Should I Fix or Replace My Computer?

Occasionally we encounter some really old computers throughout Orange County as we support various companies. Many business owners are reluctant to purchase new devices, especially when the older ones are working so well. However, when something breaks on the machine, how do you know when to let it go, and when to bring it back to life?

Some of the components of the machine spell disaster, while others can actually be fixed fairly inexpensively. In either case, it is best to check the warranty on the device before proceeding. You may be able to replace the component or the whole machine for free depending on when the warranty expires.

Which parts should probably not be fixed?


If the motherboard on the machine has failed, and the warranty has expired, the best idea is to just replace the entire device. Replacing the motherboard is extremely expensive, and would probably cost the same, if not more than a brand new machine. When the motherboard fails, just grab the hard drive out of the computer and say sayonara to the whole thing.

Screen damage

While this isn’t as devastating for a desktop machine, in a laptop it can mean lights out. Replacing a screen out of warranty can be very expensive, and might just equal the cost of a new device altogether. If the screen isn’t working though, make sure it isn’t the video card that is broken. On a laptop, the video card could be integrated into the motherboard, which would mean the motherboard is probably toast as well. You can check this by plugging an external monitor into the laptop, or use a different monitor for a desktop.

Which parts can be fixed?

Hard drive

While it might be the biggest pain to replace, a broken hard drive is not the end of the world. The hardest part of the hard drive replacement is reinstalling the operating system and all of your programs. However, new hard drives are not very expensive and are very easy to replace. Just make sure you get the correct size and type for your computer. A solid-state drive will definitely be more expensive than a regular hard drive.


If the RAM in your computer has failed, this is probably one of your best scenarios. It might not be the least expensive, but it won’t cost a fortune, and it is usually incredibly easy to replace. Most RAM chips are easily accessible, pop right out, and take almost no effort to put the new one in. Adding additional RAM is also a great way to speed up your computer, so depending on how much was in there to begin with, you may just wind up with a faster computer!

Power Supply

The power supply in your computer is likely the cheapest component to replace. If your power supply fails, you should be able to find a new one for your model of device fairly easily. Replacing the power supply itself can get a little bit tricky, but if you remember all the places you unplugged the original from, you should be able to handle it.

While these tips might not be the same for every type of device, it is a good rule of thumb of what to expect. If you are having a hard time determining which component on the computer has failed, definitely consider hiring a professional IT support company to help you make the decision.