How To Tell if a Computer is Worth Fixing

Even as the price of a brand-new computer has come down recently, along with the increase in power and capacity, you may be one of several million users out there who still hold on to their computers, especially those more than three years old.

This guide will help you determine if your computer can be fixed.

  • Speed and capacity. New operating systems such as Windows Vista or Seven, as well as new releases of third-party software, require a new or fully upgraded computer that meets or exceeds their system requirements. Before purchasing such software, you must consider first the specifications of your computer, especially the processor, memory, hard drive space, video card, and networking. If your specifications are below than required, then you will have to buy a new computer.

    Now if you feel that your computer is sluggish when it tries to load a program or a website, you will have to delete unnecessary files, uninstall unused programs, and then defrag the hard drive. If that’s not enough, you can try to add more memory or get a new hard disk, as they are known to improve your computer speed to match the software, provided that you know first – by checking your specifications found in the PC user’s manual – what kind of memory or hard disk you must buy.

    But if you are into computer games or using resource-hungry applications, new applications and games demand more processing power and disk space, so the only way to do is to buy a new computer for them, with a faster processor and bigger hard drive, which is really cheaper than upgrading.

  • Errors. Older computers tend to catch more errors as they age, so if you find a “blue screen of death” right on the screen, you can check on the Internet to see what causes the error to happen, and there are useful DIY guides that you can follow to fix them.

    If the error is caused by software, you can use a hotfix or two, or a patch or service pack upgrade, or better yet download or buy the new version of the software; all of them tries to correct any mistakes and bugs found in older programs.

    Hardware errors are a different matter, as you have to narrow down to what causes the error to appear. If the computer beeps suddenly with nothing to display, it means that your motherboard, cards or memory may have a problem. If a check disk utility appears as it scans your hard drive after booting, it means your hard drive has some errors.

    If hardware errors are difficult for you to handle, and your PC is still within warranty, a call to an accredited computer technician or a customer service representative may help you.

  • Heat. If you feel that your computer is too hot, try to open up the CPU casing. If it’s choked with dust, bring the CPU outside and use a blower or a vacuum cleaner to blast away the excess dust. If a fan or two isn’t working, try to have them replaced with newer fans. Any reduced cooling or none is bound to wreck your computer from within, so place the computer in a cool, dry place with adequate ventilation.

If your computer is more than six years old, and it becomes difficult to solve any problems mentioned above, buying a new computer and then moving your files to there is the best, affordable option.


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