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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Computer Repair Centers 101

By JD Chang

Computer repair centers are invaluable for people who have broken PCs, desktops, laptops, Macs, and so forth.

Computer repair centers serve 3 functions:

1) Fix hardware problems
2) Fix software problems
3) Serve as a training center for computer technicians and computer support personnel
These repair centers for laptops and desktops are incredibly helpful because they:
1) Are generally cheap and inexpensive
2) Will solve 99% of problems thus saving you time and hassle
3) Are very experienced in dealing with the most common issues (eg, broken monitor, failing hard drive,
slow computers)

You should first do computer troubleshooting on your own - click here for some key advice.
To find the right computer support shop for you, you should use a Google Search for terms such as:
-Computer repair center
-Computer support center
-Local computer technicians
-Online computer support

These are just a start. It's best to find something local - area computer experts are generally more convenient should there be any hassles in fixing your desktop or laptop.
In this article, I will cover a few key things you should know about PC repair and support stores - including pricing, timing, warranties, and the like.

These repair shops are generally affordable, but make sure to get a quote upfront. This is vital to protecting your assets and your pocketbook. If it's a broken hard drive, have a cost estimate by doing online research. So forth for any problems - including software and hardware. Pricing should usually run by the hour - technicians and support people are paid hourly. In general, like car repair, there will be a parts fee and a labor fee. Make sure to doublecheck the computer parts fee to make sure the price is reasonable.
The computer labor fee is generally an hourly wage to technicians and repair people, which should run $20-$50 depending on level of expertise.

If you have a desktop PC, it's generally easy. Laptop PCs are more expensive because hard drives are smaller, motherboards are tinier, and monitors are specialized.
If you have a Mac, take it to an Apple Store - the geniuses will generally help solve all problems.

Generally computer repairs shouldn't take more than 2 weeks tops. It may take some time to order hardware parts, but that won't take longer than 2 weeks at most.
Most problems - such as a broken motherboard or lack of RAM - should be fixed within 24-48 hours.
Make sure they know it's an urgent computer problem - this will help them fix your laptop faster.

Whether you have a Dell or an IBM, an HP or an ACER, be very careful about voiding warranties. By taking your precious Thinkpad to a local laptop repair center, you could void the hardware warranty. This means that if your laptop dies, IBM won't replace the Thinkpad for you - you're on your own.
The same applies for Dell Latitudes, Acer laptops, Hewlett Packard models, pretty much any desktop or laptop PC brands. Call customer service to verify warranties and where/when you would void any insurance.
Final issues

Finally, be sure to do diligence on local PC repair shops. You never know the quality of work you'll get - read reviews on computer shopping sites, ask technician friends and computer experts, call your laptop manufacturer to get recommendations.

With something as important as your computer, before you take it into any shop, do your research. Backup all files if you can - and also make copies and write lists down of key hardware and software components so you know exactly what you're giving them and what was in it You don't want to have to worry about stolen hardware parts or stolen data files. I hope that helps! Best of luck fixing your computer at the local repair center. Cheers.

JD Chang is an expert computer technician specializing in PC repair. Click here to solve your computer support problems. Learn about computer repair centers now and save $1000s in the next 10 minutes!

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