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Should You Buy a Mac or a PC?

Mac or PC

Should You Buy a Mac or a PC?

It seems the debate about buying a Mac or a PC computer has been around since the beginning of the computing age, and there still appears to be no resolution in sight. These days however, the lines are blurring between the two operating systems, with the availability of cloud storage and cloud computing at the back end of both systems, and many of the same apps available to both.

Mac or PC
In truth, both machine types have always been very capable of accomplishing computing tasks, but have simply gone about it in different ways. There are still some reasons why you might want to purchase an Apple machine or a PC running the Windows operating system, depending on your personal preferences.

Here are some of the differences which might appeal to you personally, and sway you toward one computer versus the other.

Screen considerations

If you’re a big fan of touchscreen capability, you might want to lean toward a PC with the newest Windows operating system, because Apple has yet to incorporate touchscreen into its own technology portfolio. Users who prefer navigating with a swipe of their finger rather than using some kind of mouse are likelier to find a computer which appeals to them in the Windows arena rather than in Apple. On the other hand, Retina Display, which reduces glare and makes the screen easier to view for longer periods of time, is more apt to be found on Apple machines, and is not in widespread use on PC’s.

Availability

This is one major difference that is likely to remain intact for quite some time, since it has to do with the respective manufacturers. Mac computers are only available for purchase through Apple, whereas PC’s running Windows are available from a whole slew of different manufacturers. The practical impact of this is that Apple computers tend to be priced similarly no matter who you buy them from – but PC’s are available with a broad range of pricing, depending on what kinds of features are included on specific machines, and which manufacturer produced the machine.
It also means that when you need repairs, most take your Mac to an Apple computer repair service, whereas PC’s can be fixed by most repair companies, no matter who made the machine. As for us, we can work on both.

Performance

In terms of memory and hard drive storage, most PC’s have a slight edge over Macs. Whereas PC’s tend to have between 2 and 8+ GB of RAM, standard Mac machines generally come equipped with between 1 and 4 GB+ of RAM. The same difference holds true for hard drive space, with PC’s routinely providing more space than Macs.

 

Question to Ask Yourself before you buy

No days, buying either is much like buying a Ford or a Chevy. Which one do you like the most? Here are some questions that may help you identify what direction to go.

  1. Where is all my data now? Do you have data in the cloud such as movies, music, pictures, documents, etc? If it sits will Google you might just want to stick with a PC. If it sits with Apple you may want to move to Mac for better integration.
  2. What is my budget? If a new Mac is in the budget then great. Keep in mind for the same amount you spend on 1 Apple you might be able to get two very decent PC’s. PC parts are generally much cheaper to replace or repair.
  3. What do I use my computer for? If you use your computer for cruising the internet only, save the money and get a PC. If you require video, photo, and music editing, Mac has the edge. Game much? go with PC’s

At the end of the day this is your choice. Don’t let anyone settle you either way. We have customers that have switched to Mac’s and hate them. We have customers that switched to PC’s and hate them. Use your best judgement. Spend the right amount of money for you and give it some time to learn. Where most go wrong is comparing a $2000 Mac to a $500 PC. Be sure to compare equivalent prices when comparing Apples to PC. Our bet is you’ll get more bang for your buck with PC than a Mac, But which operating system to you like most?

 

 

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2016 & 2017 Angie’s List Award Winner

2016 & 2017 Angie’s List Award Winner
Computer Repair Award 20172016 Angie's List Award Winner

iNFLUX PC, LLC Earns Esteemed Angie’s List Super Service Award, 2 years running. The Award reflects company’s consistently high level of customer service

iNFLUX PC, LLC has earned the home service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award, reflecting an exemplary year of customer service to members of the local services marketplace and consumer review site in 2016 and 2017.

This achievement is particularly significant as Angie’s List experienced unprecedented member growth in. More than 1.6 million consumers, many of whom were eager to quickly hire highly qualified service pros, joined Angie’s List after the company added a new, free membership tier.

“Companies that can meet higher demands without missing a beat in their exemplary performance standards truly do stand apart from their peers,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “Only a fraction of the Technology Services companies in Phoenix Valley, Arizona were able to do it.”

Angie’s List Super Service Award 2016 & 2017 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade, and review period grade. The SSA winners must also be in good standing with Angie’s List, pass a background check and abide by Angie’s List operational guidelines.

“We are honored and excited to accept this award! We pride ourselves on maintaining 100% customer satisfaction.” said Brad, the company owner.

Service company ratings are updated daily on Angie’s List as new, verified consumer reviews are submitted. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in areas ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality.

For more than 21 years, Angie’s List restricted access to its verified reviews to consumers who paid membership fees. When the company removed that barrier, some companies worried that the new, non-paying members would not be as engaged as members of the past. Experience has shown, however, that these newly added members are just as engaged – across all age groups – as prior members. Also, because the company continues to adhere to its review verification process, there has been no degradation of review quality.

“The biggest change at Angie’s List is that we are connecting even more consumers to high-quality service professionals,” Hicks said. “And that’s good for everyone.”

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Angie’s List helps facilitate happy transactions between more than 4.5 million consumers nationwide and its collection of highly rated service providers in more than 720 categories of service, ranging from home improvement to health care. Built on a foundation of more than 10 million verified reviews of local service, Angie’s List connects consumers directly to its online marketplace of services from member-reviewed providers, and offers unique tools and support designed to improve the local service experience for both consumers and service professionals.

Check out our other 2016 award from Expertise.com

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Computer Hardware Repair

Computer Hardware Repair

Computer Hardware RepairOver 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 $120 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 $15 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.

Motherboard Repairs

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! 🙂

 

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Virus Removal Service

Virus attack concept. Control panel with red light and warning. Conceptual image symbol of computer infection.

Computer viruses are programs that are installed unknowingly and will corrupt data or impede computer performance. More than likely if you have ever encountered a virus you have done so through downloading files, opening email attachments, or clicking on a questionable web links or pop-ups. Malware can be nasty, recently we dealt with a laptop that was infected with an encryptor variant. The encryptor virus locked all personal files including music, movies, documents, and pictures. The unfortunate part about this experience was that the customer did not have any recent backups and there was no known fix to get access to the files again with this specific lock. Our virus removal service is top notch but in this case there was nothing to do besides save what we could and rebuild the system from scratch. We moved the saved files back once we confirmed no traces of the virus remained. Always keep backups and even backups of backups.

Virus Removal Service Phoenix Arizona

This week has been insanely busy for virus removal service with no repeat customers thankfully. One Dell Inspiron 1525 and also a Dell Inspiron 1545, we also worked on a couple of white box (custom home builds) systems; we do not see many of these anymore. Each of the systems were running Windows 7, 8, and 10.  that we were able to use our tools on to effectively remove all the viruses and deliver the computer back in hand running better than ever.  We left our virus removal assault tools on these systems so our users can fire them up later if needed. Tim also brought us a Lenovo with a massive number of viruses that needed to be removed because the system was running so slow.

Our virus removal service is guaranteed, so don’t wait around to get those bugs cleaned up. Start enjoying your computer again!

 

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Asus G72Gx Gaming Laptop Repair

Asus G72Gx Gaming Laptop Repair

Hey iNFLUX PC Repair friends! Looking for a repair on your laptop? Let us know what you need and we’ll take care of it for you.

Oldie but Goodie – Asus G72Gx Gaming Laptop Repair

A couple weeks ago we received a gaming laptop that definitely had seen better days and needed multiple repairs. The Asus G72Gx originally came with a 17″ in LCD screen, 1GB of dedicated graphic memory, 500GB hard drive, and 6GB of RAM. This was clearly designed for gaming use and is still a decent laptop today. Why not repair it, right?!

Asus G72Gx Gaming Laptop Repair

Our friend Daniel, brought us the laptop after it accidentally dropped out of a parked vehicle. Fortunately, he had insurance on it. We worked with the insurance company to justify the time and materials required for the repair and it was at very little cost to him. This laptop had so many things wrong with it, probably more than we have ever seen on a single device within the last 10+ years  that we’ve been in business.

It’s easier to ask, “What is working?!”

  1. The LCD screen was only showing black and gray; however, the attached external monitors worked fine.
  2. The laptop would not completely boot and sometimes froze at the windows boot logo.
  3. The Keyboard back-light was intermittent and sometimes wouldn’t register that keys were being pressed.
  4. The exterior had cracks in the plastic, mainly the bottom case and screen bezel. This was strictly cosmetics though.
  5. WiFi was not working. The laptop knew the card was attached but the radio would not enable.
  6. DVD burner was not working. Again, Windows knew the drive was there; however, CD’s and DVD media could not be read or written.
  7. The battery would not keep a charge.

The repairs.

We ordered the parts needed to get the laptop back up and running. The first problem was the screen. If a laptop doesn’t have a working screen, what is the point of having a laptop? So, we ordered the following parts right away:

  1. LCD panel and bezel
  2. Bottom case/cover.
  3. Battery
  4. DVD Burner.
  5. 500GB Solid State Hard Drive.

Once we swapped the LCD panel and bezel we could then see what was going on with the boot up process without having to use an external monitor. The bottom case swap fixed the gaps in between palm rest and bottom case. The battery swap kept the device mobile since it would now keep a charge. We put in a 500GB Solid State Hard Drive in addition to his 500GB spindle drive; now he had 1TB of hard drive space to work with.

Asus G72Gx Gaming Laptop Repair Woes…

Once booted, we determined that it was best to go ahead and do a clean install of Windows 8.1. Everything was going fine until we updated the BIOS using Asus’s update tool in Windows. The bios is a a set of computer instructions in a firmware that control input and output and if it goes wrong the laptop becomes a brick. This is the first time in 10+ years of updating BIOS’s that we actually witnessed a no boot failure after an updating. Short version of the story, we ended up ordered a new motherboard for him. The BIOS update on the new motherboard went perfectly, phew! Asus G72Gx Motherboard

Once the new motherboard was in, we were back in business. We finished up all the Windows 8.1 update and a couple days later, Windows 10 was released. The Windows 10 update was simple and quick and fixed some other weird operating system issues.

Upgrades

We upgraded a few things to bring the laptop up to date. First, a brand new SSD. The solid state hard drive (SSD), is the best upgrade anyone can pay for. We’ve been turning 5-7 year old laptop into scream machines. This laptop allows two internal drives so we installed the Samsung 850 Evo SSD as his primary drive that has the operating system (Windows 10), his applications, and primary data on it. The 500GB spindle drive was installed in the secondary slot and can now be used for data that is not frequently accessed or even as a backup drive. This is the best setup for high performance. We also upgraded him to Windows 10 from Windows 8.1. I guarantee this laptop is at least 30% faster than the first day he got it.

It’s was great to see this shamble of a system go through repairs to become such a great computer again.

Now then, what could be so wrong with your laptop? Our laptop repair is $120 flat rate + at cost parts; love your laptop again!

 

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Toshiba Satellite L305-S5958 Laptop Repair

This week a customer dropped off a Toshiba Satellite L305-S5958 laptop that has truly seen better days! The laptop wasn’t charging because of a broken DC jack. The jack was shattered into 4 or 5 pieces and even severed from the harness and bottom shell. My guess is that someone dropped the laptop perfectly onto the charging cable while plugged into the jack or they stepped on it; who knows?! You can see the DC wire harness here with the severed positive and ground cables that are supposed to connect to the jack itself.

20150329_091240

After pulling apart the laptop, we noticed that it desperately needed a new bottom shell. The bottom shell that we ordered came with the wire harness and DC jack for ($10); score! DC jack repairs are much easier when a harness is in the mix. These jacks simply plug into the motherboard with a 4-pin connector as opposed to unsoldering and resoldering a new jack directly to the motherboard. The old bottom shell had cracked plastic all over and was missing the rubber feet too so it was well worth the replace.

We did a few other repairs to it at well. Some of the keys were missing or stuck down. We decided it was best to just order a brand new keyboard for $10.

The laptop could still use a new battery for $15 and a new screen bezel that has a hairline crack in it but other than that it is ready to go! As usual we removed 30+ viruses and optimized the system for best performance.

Our customer watched YouTube videos on how to perform Toshiba Satellite L305-S5958 laptop repairs but admitted it was more difficult that it looked and decided on us.