I’ve been in the computer repair business for some time now. There seem to be a few myths that many people believe about computer repair, computer repair companies, and other related topics. Here we’ll dispel those myths.
Unless you’re a computer repair guru or techie yourself, chances are you may have been the victim of one or more of the following PC and computer repair myths at some point.
Read on to find out what these common computer-related myths are, see if you’ve been duped, and finally get the truth about computer service and repair.
1) My computer guy knows everything about every program out there.
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Expect your computer repair guy to know all the details of every program you have installed on your PC? Perhaps you expect too much.
There are so many programs around, and they are constantly changing. It would take more than a lifetime to learn them all. While a given computer repair tech may know about common applications (i.e., Word, Quick Books, etc.), they may not know anything about programs specific to your industry or other applications that aren’t as common.
2) The computer repair person can fix some problems I’m having with a website(s)
Another all-to-common computer-related myth.
Your computer tech cannot usually “fix” problems with websites (such as Facebook) because the website itself is actually on a server, another computer built to run web pages and share content located somewhere else. Only the people who administer the website can access the files and the computer which hosts the site (the same rule above also applies: no one knows everything about every website; plus they come and go).
He or she may be able to tell you why you’re having problems with it or maybe tweak the settings on your computer to correct some small issues, but this is usually limited to what it can accomplish. Any real problems with a website have to be handled by the people who own and operate it.
3) My teenager or my neighbor’s/friend’s/coworker’s a teenager/young person can fix it.
Kudos to the older generations for giving positive credit to the younger people for something.
Too bad that this is nothing more than an error in reasoning.
Some pretty computer-savvy youngsters can write programs, troubleshoot hardware, and understand computer architecture.
But most young peoples’ wisdom is in the form of using the internet, specific programs, and using the computer in general (this is most likely because they grew up with PCs).
People like this are dubbed “power users.” Being a power user does not necessarily give one the ability to troubleshoot, install, and configure hardware and software properly, especially on complex networks and servers.
Computer repair calls have been made to me because the PC owner let his teenager or twenty-something have a crack at fixing it first, thus making the problem worse.
4) I need to be a computer technician, engineer, or computer scientist to fix my own computer.
This reminds me of the time I locked my keys in my car (with the wireless key fob, of course). I called a locksmith, thinking he would pull some James Bond-style moves and pick the lock or something equally intriguing.
He stuck an air bladder between the door and car, pumped it up to pry the door open a bit, then stuck a metal rod between the door and car so he could hit the unlock button granting me access to the car.
Something I expected to require special skills or be difficult turned out to be something I could do in my sleep with one hand tied behind my back.
So it is with many computer repairs – you have to know how to do it.
Maybe your 18-year-old isn’t quite the computer whiz you thought he was. This doesn’t mean you need to kick out $250 for that repair quite yet.
Fixing many computer problems is kind of like walking a tightrope: you don’t have to be a genius; you just have to know how to do it.
Many repairs are easy and require little or no technical knowledge. That’s what this website is here to show you.
5) I’d know if my computer was infected with viruses, spyware, or other malware.
Sometimes you will, but not all malware is so overt. Often, malicious software is designed to run quietly in the background so it can log the keys you press, the websites you visit, and attempt to steal data and passwords, sending them back to whomever. Other computer viruses can turn your computer into a spamming machine without your knowledge.
If this happens, you may get a letter from your Internet service provider explaining why they disconnected your machine from the Internet. I’ve seen this happen.
6) I can buy a new computer for $350, so I’m going to pitch the old computer rather than fix it.
Computers that sell for less than $500 are very low-end, cheaply made machines. They are equipped with low-grade processors, modest amounts of RAM, small, slow hard drives, and are cheaply made. Buy one, and you’ll soon wish you hadn’t. An older (5 yrs or less) computer can often be repaired and/or upgraded for a relatively low price.
If you do it yourself, then the only cost is the software or hardware you buy. Then you get another 2-4 years out of it.
Remember the Golden rule of shopping–YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.
And yes, it’s true, even for computers.
7) Tablets are ooooh cool and powerful; I think I’ll use one of these and pitch my desktop or laptop PC.
Tablets can be cool, fun, and even somewhat powerful.
But they are not meant to be upgraded (ever try to change the battery on your iPod?), nor are they usually cheap.
Most tablets can only run one application at a time. The ones that can run more than one program at a time can run two – that’s it.
Compare this to a desktop or even laptop PC
Many upgrades are possible: adding memory, a bigger hard drive, better video, sound, etc.
Can run many applications at once
Much easier to repair
If a tablet breaks, you usually throw it out or send it in for repair. Forget about adding memory or a bigger hard drive; or even changing the battery when it dies (and it will). Get ready to spend $400-$900 every couple of years.