Broken Computer – Repairs, Recovery And Recycling

by Rod Dunne on October 29, 2010

in Articles, Data Recovery, Hardware, Laptop

Broken Computer | Repairs, Using Computer Repair Services, Data Recovery Options And Recycling Broken Computers
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It is surprising how many people will not attempt to fix a broken computer for themselves (instead resorting to computer repair services) when in fact, some simple computer maintenance and repairs techniques can resolve most hardware and software issues quite easily.

In this article, we’ll step through some straight forward approaches to desktop and laptop computer repair which most people can attempt. As this is quite a broad subject, links are provided to additional informational articles on this website which provide more in-depth instructions on how to perform some of these tasks.

Broken computer repairs

The starting point for any PC computer repair is to backup your data. It is important to do this on a regular basis to safeguard your data from being lost if the computer develops a fatal error. You could use a tool like Final Sync to configure, synchronize and automate your backups.

Hardware

Use the Device Manager utility (Control Panel, system, hardware) to identify any hardware components that are causing issues. This utility will indicate if the device drivers are faulty or if components are not correctly connected. It also includes a troubleshooting wizard to step through resolving the issue.

Check the diagnostics section in the BIOS menu to see if there are any computer overheating issues. What you are looking for are details of the CPU temperature and fan speeds to make sure these are normal and according to manufacturer settings. You should also check that the inlets and air vents to the PC/laptop are not blocked by dust or other items.

Software

The starting point for resolving software issues is to first run an anti-virus check, just to make sure this is not to blame for the issue.

The key to resolving software issues is to capture the error/exception code that has been displayed. There are then two approaches to fixing these issues: automated repairs using PC computer repair tools or the manual approach.

You could also try using registry cleaners (e.g. Registry Easy, XP Repair Pro or Error Fix) if you feel the fault is specifically related to the registry file. However, any issues that affect other OS files will generally not be repaired with standard registry cleaners (Reimage is more capable of doing this).

The manual approach to software repairs can be a little more time consuming, but still well worth the effort. Your starting point is to use the error or exception code is displayed. Do a little initial research to identify if the error relates to OS programs. If it does, then use the Microsoft support site primarily to investigate the root cause and workarounds that the problem. If the error relates to third-party applications installed on your PC, then check the customer support tickets on the maker’s website. In addition, make sure you have the latest patches/version of the product. A last resort option is to try reinstalling the application.

Some additional manual repair checks you could do include running Windows update, scanning the drive for bad sectors (using Windows disk checking utility) or rolling back the OS files and keep programs using the System Restore utility (accessories, system tools).

  • Resolving disk partition issues by doing your own bad sector repair work.
  • Understanding why your computer freezes or hangs at startup or in the middle of operations.

Computer repair services

If your attempts at repairs have failed, or you discover a hardware fault which you do not feel comfortable fixing yourself, then contact a local computer repair service to run the repairs for you. When choosing a repair service, it is worth picking a local shop to reduce the cost of transport and also selecting one which provides data recovery services too (just in case the fault is terminal and they need to use mechanical recovery to retrieve your data).

Broken computer recovery

Some broken computers may have faults that simply cannot be repaired. In this case, your priority is to try and recover as much data as possible from the hard drive.

If Windows is operational then you can use data recovery software to scan the hard drive for any lost data and copy/clone these files over to external hard drive.

Recycling broken computers

If all attempts have failed at PC computer repair and recovery then you may well consider trying to recycle the PC. At the very least you should be able to reuse any peripherals (e.g. the keyboard, mouse and monitor) on any later PCs/laptops you purchase. In particular, it is worth holding onto the monitor in order to facilitate having a multi-monitor setup at a later stage.

The one component you need to be concerned about when reselling a PC is the hard drive. It is important to make sure that nobody can read your personal data is so it is essential to wipe the hard drive clean or remove it entirely and use it for your own purposes as an external hard drive (by inserting it in an external drive case – which are widely available in PC shops these days).

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