Over 75% of our time goes into computer hardware repair. Out of the last nine computers, we repaired recently, seven experienced hardware issues and all nine had spyware and viruses that needed to be cleaned up. Computer hardware repair is easy but unfortunately requires a little extra time and money. We charge $150 flat rate for our service time. Our flat rate means we charge you the same amount for 1 hour or 10. We charge at our costs for hardware repairs so our customers get the most economical but professional repairs.
LCD / LED Screen Replacements
We are seeing an increase in cracked or damaged LCD / LED computer screens. Unfortunately, we do not have a way to repair the displays so we buy brand new panels to replace with. Recently, a sweet grandmother battling health issues dropped her grandson’s Lenovo G50-45 laptop off. The laptop had a cracked screen and a few viruses. The grandmother brought it to us and left it for two days for the repair. We were able to remove the bezel and broken panel to replace the screen with the brand new one that came in that same day. We get the best prices for replacement panels and the swap can typically take less than one hour.
Hard Drive Repairs
Two out of the last nine systems repaired experienced hard drive failures. We worked on a Lenovo Ideapad U530 touchscreen laptop that would boot into a menu that gave options to boot from other media. Because the hard drive failed completely, there was no operating system to boot from. We took the old 1TB 5400 RPM drive (slow) out and put in a new Samsung EVO 850 250GB solid state drive which is extremely fast and affordable and plenty of room for their growth needs. We also had to order a new copy of Windows 10 because the license key was not retrievable from the failed drive and the sticker on the bottom was completely worn off and unreadable. We rebuilt the operating system and installed all the applications that he had previously. Our customer was sad to hear that he lost all the data so we sent the drive out for recovery quotes that came back at approximately $2,000-$2,500. This shows the value of keeping good backups with USB thumb drives, external hard drives, and/or online backups. The Lenovo U530 was not the only make and model we worked on with hard drive issues. Normally, hard drives last about 5 years on average.
We worked on an HP DV7 that experienced slowness, freezing, and applications not opening. Typically this happens because of spyware, viruses, page file corruption, or registry issues. We cleaned all those things up and performance appeared normal. Even though our scans did not find any issues with the hard drive, the bootup process was still taking several minutes. We decided to upgrade the hard drive to a new solid-state drive. During the cloning process, from old to new, it became very apparent that the old hard drive was in the midst of failing. After we cloned the old hard drive to the new, everything was performing perfectly and the bootup process was down to 12 seconds as expected. We upgraded the operating system from Windows 7 to Windows 10 but the AMD video card was having issues with Windows 10. Resolutions would not stick, the drivers would not start, and sometimes boot process would only display a black screen and increase the boot time. After some research we found our new friends at http://leshcatlabs.net/ they develop custom video drivers for older cards that are not yet Windows 10 compatible; this fixed all the video issues and now the system is running perfectly.
DC Jack Repairs
We repaired two DC jacks recently. One in a Samsung 7 Series NP700Z3C and another in a Dell Latitude 1525. Both appeared that drops onto the charge cable cracked the dc jack off the motherboard. We simply ordered new DC jacks to replace. DC jacks are normally less than $30 and some plug right into the motherboard after pulling apart the laptop but some must be soldered on. Either way, it’s the same price for our customers. Normally, DC jacks don’t need to be replaced until they encountered some kind of physical damage like the laptop being dropped or someone stepping on the power cable while it’s plugged into the jack.
CPU / GPU fan Repairs
At first, our customer took their Toshiba Satellite E45T-A4200 laptop to the “Geeks” for diagnostics and was told, “it could be the hard drive or the CPU fan.” This kind of service frustrates customers…” or”?! Clearly, they didn’t diagnose it correctly or they would know which one it was for sure. She brought the laptop to us and while she was here, we pulled the bottom case off and booted it up to show her that the fan was causing the grinding noise. The laptop booted fine and wasn’t experiencing any issues. We ordered a new CPU fan for a couple of bucks and it arrived the next day. The laptop’s CPU fan was swapped out, the OS was cleaned up, and the metal cased laptop is now running perfectly. Since fan failure is not all that common in newer laptops, we did a little digging and found the root cause of death. We found that the BIOS version installed had a bug which caused the fan to run at 100% all of the time. This was fixed by upgrading the BIOS to the latest version. We don’t expect the fan to fail again anytime soon.
Normally, it’s easier to just replace the motherboard but sometimes there is a chance to swap out the bad capacitors. A customer brought in an HP Pavilion Slimline 400-034 with a failed motherboard. Typically, dust or time kills the components on the board but this motherboard was as clean as new. This motherboard happened to be ~$250 bucks for the replacement and no signs of failed capacitors. The motherboard experienced a failed BIOS upgrade and recovery attempts are not completing. At this point, our recommendation was to buy a different computer and we will transfer the data.
The older your computer is, the more likely a computer hardware repair will be required; much like automobiles and people! 🙂