Today’s Topic

STOP: Before Repairing Your PC

Imagine this.  The computer you bought from that big box store seven months ago no longer works.  No problem, it’s under warranty.  You call the manufacturer for a return authorization.  You pack and ship your computer to them.  Two months later, you finally get it back.  It quickly boots up.  However, your desktop doesn’t look the same.  Then, you realize some programs are missing, you can’t print, and most importantly, all your pictures, videos, music, and other data is nowhere to be found.  Your computer works, but your personal stuff is gone.  You call the manufacturer to ask about your data.  Suddenly, you get this sinking-feeling as you learn that the only obligation they have is to repair or replace your computer to the way it was the first time you took it out of the box.  The manufacturer has no liability when it comes to the stuff you add.  You learn the hard way that your missing programs, data, and more are your problem.  People find themselves unprepared and in this predicament every day.  Hopefully, after reading this, you won’t.

Some people view computers no differently than coffee makers or other appliances.  Electric coffee makers use hardware and software to function.  However, your coffee maker’s software is not as sophisticated as your computer’s software.  Like the coffee maker, people typically do not differentiate between the hardware and software aspects of a computer system.  The truth is, where the software in your coffee maker never changes, the software in your computer constantly changes.  Especially as you add and delete music, pictures, and other personal data.

Your computer’s hard disk drive (HDD) stores all computer software information including your personal and unique information.  This happens over time as you add, delete, and otherwise change programs, printers, data, etc.  Each change alters the contents of your HDD.  When you send your computer to the manufacturer for repair, your HDD may be physically replaced with a new HDD.  It can also be logically replaced by having all the information on the HDD erased and then rewritten with the original information the HDD had on it the day you took it out of the box.

Ever had the battery in your car replaced?  The first thing you realize is the radio preset stations have been wiped out due to the battery being disconnected.  The auto repair shop’s responsibility is not to restore your radio presets but to replace your car’s battery with a working one.  You’ll just have to reprogram those stations all over again.  The same is true of your computer.  Important information can be lost during the repair.  Personal data, like rare photos, may be impossible to replace.  It is always your responsibility to make sure you have what you need to restore the programs and data you have added to your computer since you bought it.  But no one ever tells you this until it’s too late!

So, how do you minimize your data loss when you need your computer system repaired?  First, make certain all your personal data is backed up.  This can be difficult if your computer will not turn on.  If your computer will not turn on, there’s a good chance my team can save your HDD data before you send your computer off for repair.  Call me at 727-534-4000 to find out.

Next, you’ll need the installation disks and/or downloaded files for any software you added to the computer after you bought it.  Make sure you have all your product keys so these items can be reinstalled with as little trouble as possible.  You’ll also need a list of your email and website usernames and passwords.  You will need to reenter these the first time you try to access any secured websites.  If you are not sure you have everything you need, and you would like some help sorting it all out, call me.  I’ll help you get all your ducks in a row.  An hour or two of prevention will save you so much money and, more importantly, grief if you find yourself in a time-crunch to get your computer back up and running the way you had it before sending it off for repair, or experiencing the distress of a malware attack, or the misery from the inevitable HDD crash.

Are you certain your computer is safe?  You don’t have to do this alone my friend.  My team and I are here to keep your computer safer and keep it running.  My team repairs computers and secures them, on our bench, on-site in your home or office, and even remotely.  We have the best solutions already in place and we’re only a phone call away.  Call us anytime at 727-534-4000.  We’ve been helping folks restore their peace of mind, and sanity, with their technology for decades.

We Keep You Safer In Your Digital World!