As we provide IT support in Orange County, we often come across really old computers. Many business owners hesitate to purchase new devices, particularly when their existing machines still function well. However, how do you determine when to fix a broken component or let go of the entire machine?
Check the Warranty First
Before making any decisions, it’s essential to check the warranty on the device. You may be able to replace a component or the entire machine for free, depending on the warranty terms.
Components That Spell Disaster
If the motherboard has failed and the warranty has expired, it’s best to replace the entire device. Replacing the motherboard is extremely expensive, often costing more than a brand-new machine. In this case, just extract the hard drive and bid farewell to the old computer.
Screen damage may not be as devastating for a desktop, but for a laptop, it could mean game over. Replacing an out-of-warranty screen can be very expensive, sometimes equaling the cost of a new device. However, before jumping to conclusions, ensure that the video card isn’t the issue. A broken video card could indicate a damaged motherboard, too. You can test this by connecting an external monitor to your laptop or using a different monitor for a desktop.
Components That Can Be Fixed
A broken hard drive is not the end of the world. While it might be challenging to replace, new hard drives are relatively inexpensive and easy to install. Just ensure you get the correct size and type for your computer. A solid-state drive will be more expensive than a regular hard drive, but it’s still a viable option.
A failed RAM is probably one of the best scenarios. It might not be the cheapest fix, but it won’t break the bank and is typically straightforward to replace. Adding more RAM can also speed up your computer, so you might end up with a faster machine.
The power supply is likely the cheapest component to replace. If it fails, you should be able to find a new one for your device model with ease. Replacing the power supply can be a bit tricky, but if you remember where you unplugged the original, you should manage it.
Seek Professional Help
These tips may not apply to every device, but they provide a good rule of thumb. If you’re unsure which component has failed, consider hiring a professional IT support company to help you make the decision.
Below is a an additional resource to help you make informed decisions about computer repair and maintenance. These resources provide valuable information on diagnosing computer issues, upgrading components, and keeping your computer running smoothly.
- LaptopMag – Guide to Upgrading Laptop Components: https://www.laptopmag.com/articles/laptop-upgrade-checker
- If you’re considering upgrading your laptop’s components, this guide from LaptopMag offers valuable insights on which parts are upgradeable and how to perform the upgrades.