Most people, when they encounter an issue with their PC or laptop, look for a convenient way to get it repaired as quickly as possible. However, it’s not difficult to find some ‘easy-fix’ solutions which end up costing you a lot of money to get your computer repaired. In some cases the ‘repair’ may not even be effective and you end up wasting your hard-earned money.
If you’re looking for computer repairs, you can find plenty of options by searching online for businesses providing such services in your local area. Some of these will be reputable and professional computer repair services, whilst others may be less competent, or even likely to rip you off rather than offer you a cost-effective solution.
Let’s take a look at some of the services which may in fact be rip-offs and which you should avoid at all costs.
PC Tune-Up Services
Most computer repair shops offer some sort of computer tune-up service, the end goal of which is to improve the performance of your PC. This may involve eliminating temporary files, defragmenting the hard drive, removing unused applications, checking for software updates and cleaning the Windows Registry.
PC tune-up services can cost a lot of money, but you may be able to achieve a similar outcome using free utilities which can be found online. Of course, you need to be careful about which utilities you use as many of these so-called optimisation programs may in fact introduce malware to your computer. Reputable utilities such as CCleaner are in reality few and far between. It’s always worth carrying out some solid research on the internet before opting for a particular utility. Try to find independent reviews of the product prior to downloading and installing it.
Before you end up spending a lot of money on tune-up utilities, it’s important to understand that a number of useful utilities are already built in to the Windows operating system. For example, Disk Cleanup can be used to clean up your hard drive with just a few clicks. The Storage Sense utility in Windows 10 and 11 can be used to automatically free up drive space for you by removing items that you don’t need.
Disk Defragmenter is another useful tool which can be used to defragment your hard drive. It is, however, important to keep in mind that this tool is only of use with traditional hard drives and not for Solid State Drives (SSD’s).
PC Setup Services
If you’re buying a new PC, many retailers are happy to offer you a computer setup service. This would include unpacking the computer from the box, connecting all the cables and installing any required software. Such services can however be rather expensive.
Setup services aren’t usually necessary as the majority of people would know how to set up a new PC, connect the cables and get it running. Most computers are plug and play in the sense that as soon as you plug them in and turn them on, they will take you through any required steps and you’ll be up and running in no time. A new PC can easily guide you and walk you through the initial setup process without the need for assistance from a professional.
Some stores offer data transfer from old PC’s to new ones as a paid service. However, even this service becomes non-essential if you have a Microsoft 365 subscription and you’ve been using OneDrive to store your files and folders on the cloud.
If you have a desktop tower computer and you’re not confident about opening the system case to check the RAM or hard drive, you would have little idea regarding a potential graphics card upgrade or any other hardware upgrade. Timely hardware upgrades could greatly improve the performance of your PC and a novice user should always seek help from someone with the relevant technical knowledge.
When seeking a hardware upgrade, make sure that the computer repair centre doesn’t target you for unnecessary hardware upgrades. Upgrading the RAM should not be an expensive affair as a relatively experienced user could just purchase RAM and install it by themselves. However, many computer shops charge large sums for RAM upgrades and installation of graphics cards.
Hard drives can fail and human error can cause loss of data. When such things happen, you could easily feel tormented by the loss of your files. Professional data recovery companies can recover your lost data but this service is extremely expensive if the source drive has failed. The best way to avoid such a scenario is to keep a regular backup of your data. A straightforward way to do this is to use a cloud-based service, such as OneDrive mentioned earlier.