How To Repair Your Laptop
Our laptop repair guide shows you the parts you can repair, replace and upgrade
Wondering how to repair a broken laptop? We’re going to crack open three common laptops a netbook, an older gaming laptop and a modern Intel model.
In the process we’re going to take a look at just how we got inside, how easy it is to remove cases and components and once inside just what you can do in there.
From replacing dodgy audio and data connections, to upgrading or replacing damaged parts. By the time you’ve read this guide no longer should you be afraid to open up your laptop.
Like any epic quest you’ll need the help of some trusty companions. The most important is a good precision screwdriver set. We picked up a cheap 11-piece set from a large yellow DIY store for £8. To shift firm screws a set of pliers is useful for giving a little more purchase to your screwdriver.
For soldering duties a soldering kit including a stand and helper will also be required, these cost around £15 from eBay. A well-lit, clear work space is also advantageous.
Somewhere you can store all the parts you remove and containers for the many, many tiny, easily lost screws laptops seem to produce. With all of that to hand let’s start our teardown.
How Long Does It Take To Fix My Computer
The length of time it takes to fix your computer depends entirely on what’s wrong with it. It may be something very simple that takes 30 seconds. It may be more complex than a computer repair professional can handle in-house. He or she may have to ship it to technicians outside of their service area to assist with the problem, which can take one week or more.
Remove Dust Or Check The Heatsinks
If making sure theres enough ventilation doesnt do the job, you may be dealing with vents and fans clogged with dust. For most modern laptops, this isnt a complex problem to solve. Refer to your manual on how to open the main panel of the laptop. Usually, this involves a few screws and a clip or two. Once the laptop is open, you clean out the fans with a brush, compressed air, or perhaps a tiny electronics vacuum. Always adhere to the manufacturers specific advice on dust removal.
While this is exceedingly rare, its worth quickly inspecting whether the CPU and GPU heatsinks are still correctly mounted. If the heatsinks have developed any gap between themselves and the chips they cool, this will cause heat buildup, and eventually, the computer will shut down.
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Is It Worth Fixing A Computer
It depends. If the damage is severe, you might be better off buying a new computer than spending hundreds of dollars on repairs. Always get price quotes from a few computer repair services near you, and compare those estimates to desktop and laptop prices. If it’s cheaper to fix your computer, consider doing so. But if it’s cheaper to buy a new device, that’s probably your best option.
Know Your Service Flaps
Understandably enough, most laptopusers spend all their time looking at the keyboard and the screen.But if you spend a moment looking at the underside of your machine,you’ll find there are maybe half-a-dozen little plastic flaps,secured with one or two screw or slide clips, giving access to thecomponents most likely to go wrong and need replacing. Generally, youcan remove the battery, the hard drive, and add extra memory, and youmay also be able to replace the CPU fanâall without going into theinnards of the machine.
A few years ago, when I crashed thehard-drive on my nearly new laptop, I took it into a dealer for avery expensive repair, which would have involved unplugging thebroken drive and swapping it for a completely new one and probablytook about a minute. Shortly afterward, I discovered I could havedone the same job myself by removing a couple of screws on the baseof my machine. It would have been easy to look up the part number onGoogle or eBay and order myself a new drive at a fraction the price Iwas charged.
Take a few moments to look through the manual that came with your machine. Find out what flaps it hasunderneath and what you can easily gain access to and repair.
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Questions To Ask A Repairman
Before you hand your computer over to a computer repair expert, there are a few questions you need to ask.
- What are your qualifications and experience? You need to know that the repair person is capable of fixing your issue. You can take a look at locally rated and reviewed computer repair services in your area to find one you can trust.
- Can you save my files? Even if you never lost access to your photos and documents, the repair person should still make a backup, just in case something goes wrong during the repair process.
- How much will it cost? It’s important to get an estimate of your final cost up front. You don’t want to be surprised with any hidden fees. You should also ask about a minimum charge, because some computer issues might only take a few minutes to fix.
- When will it be done? You’ve got to get back to work, so ask for a timeline and hold your repair person to it.
Can’t Connect To Wireless Network
Symptom: No Internet connection, frequent time-outs while Web browsing
Solution: Make sure wireless is turned on, smarter software tools, make sure router is broadcasting network name
Part of taking your laptop everywhere on the go is expecting to be able to connect to any wireless network, whether in an airport, coffee shop, or hotel. But wireless networks, by their very nature, are finicky beasts. Some laptops come with an external button or switch, separate from the software settings, to enable wireless connectivity. Always make sure this wireless toggle is switched on. Also make sure that the network you’re connecting to is broadcasting its network name or SSID.
If you’d rather steer clear of networking issues altogether, or want a tool to help you troubleshoot without having to learn any lingo, download an all-in-one utility like Network Magic . It helps you easily set up and secure your network, complete with a comprehensive network map, as well as repair broken wireless Internet connections. Road warriors should consider JiWire’s Hotspot Helper , which will not only show where you can log on via Wi-Fi but also will protect your privacy while you surf the Web wirelessly. In addition, this utility offers secure e-mail delivery, just like you get back in the office.
Symptom: Green or red dots on your notebook’s screen
Solution: Massage away dead pixels
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Average Computer Repair Technician Salary
The average national salary for computer repair technicians is $20,303 per year. Common benefits for this career include remote opportunities, flexible hours, tuition reimbursement and employee discounts. Your salary and benefits can vary depending on your geographic location, education and professional experience.
How To Repair Your Netbook
Starting small seems like a good idea to us and our first Dexter-style victim is a trusty netbook. This is an ideal place to start as the construction and internal components are at a minimum, reducing the internal clutter and confusion, plus it provides a perfect way of getting to know the basic insides of a laptop before we move on to more complex models.
The first thing to do is disconnect this thing from the mains and remove the battery. This makes sure the damn netbook isn’t going to try and spring back into life as we’re poking around inside it. The other reason is that many models hide securing screws within the battery bay, so we need to poke around in there anyway.
Before attempting any teardown it’s worth stepping back and assessing how the land lies. For us this means checking to see what screws are clearly visible in the base, flexing obvious areas to see if they look like they will un-clip and trying to spot screws hidden behind rubber feet or stickers.
The first job is to remove all the visible screws.
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Simple Solutions To Common Laptop Problems
1. Your computer does not turn on
You press the power button, and nothing happens. One common laptop problem is a complete failure for the device to turn on, and it can leave you without access to your important files and programs. If the laptop seems like it is dead and does not make any sounds or light up, there are a few possible causes and solutions.
First, make sure your computer is charged. If you believe it has been charged, your AC adapter might have failed. You can test the AC adapter with a voltmeter or test a new adapter. If your AC adapter isnt to blame, the DC jack may have failed, keeping power from your computer, or the issue is with your motherboard.
2. The screen is blank
If your laptop shows signs that it is on, such as lights or sounds, but the screen remains blank, you are left unable to use your computer. This issue can be particularly frustrating because your machine appears to be functional except for the screen. First, try to unplug your laptop from its power source and remove the battery. Press and hold the power button for about a minute before plugging it back in and restarting your computer. Finally, replace the battery and restart the laptop again.
If that process does not work, you may be experiencing a memory failure. Check that the memory modules are making contact with the slot. It may be necessary to replace the memory modules altogether.
3. Laptop turns on and off repeatedly
4. The laptop makes weird noise while running
Who Makes Dell Hp Toshiba Acer Apple Laptops
Have you ever wondered who makes that laptop you own? Well, wonder no more, because Im going to tell you.
Many people, and understandably so, believe that Dell, HP, Toshiba, Apple or Acer make their own laptops. This actually is not true. In fact, they dont even design them in most cases. There are three main Chinese ODM manufacturers and one smaller manufacturer that design and make them for all five.
Compal Electronics Inc, based in Taipei, Taiwan, designs and manufacturers laptops for Dell, Toshiba, HP and Acer. They currently manufacture 45% of all Acers shipped laptops. 50% of Dells outsourced notebooks come from Compal. In June they recorded sales of $43 Billion according to their posted sales reports.
You can view some of their current laptop product lineup here.
Quanta Computer is the worlds largest designer and manufacturer of notebooks. Quanta is headquartered in Taiwan, with factories in several continents. 25% of all Acer notebooks are made by Quanta. If you look on their notebook product page, you may recognize the basic design.
It is also not well known that Quanta Computer is now manufacturing the Apple MacBook Pro laptop computer.
In June of this year, Quanta Computer recorded sales of a whopping $62 Billion.
Compal and Quanta are designing and manufacturing a fascinating new product for Acer that will dual boot Windows XP and Android. You can look for that product to hit store shelves any day now.
Some other major players:
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Apple Macbook Repair Process
uBreakiFix in DC will start your visit with a free diagnostic exam of your device so that our team knows which Mac repair you need. This allows us to pinpoint any and all trouble to provide you with an accurate quote and time frame for your Apple computer repair. Well do this quickly and then if youd like us to continue with the MacBook Pro repair, one of our technicians will begin working immediately. In most instances, MacBook repairs will take about an hour from exam to completion. Our team works expeditiously to turn your Mac repair around as quickly as they can so that you can be on your way with a laptop that works as good as the day you bought it. No one has much time to wait around on an Apple Mac repair. Regardless of what brings you into uBreakiFix in DC, our team will take care of your Apple computer repair professionally. We are the local experts in MacBook Pro repairs and have fixed every possible issue you could imagine from screen replacements and virus removals to liquid damage repair. You wont find a better MacBook repair anywhere else.
Learn Most Common Laptop Problems And How To Repair Them
Nothing is more frustrating than a laptop that does not work correctly. You invest money in the device and rely on it for work or personal use, so it is a real inconvenience when you have laptop repair problems. Some hardware issues are quite common across laptops, and you may be able to troubleshoot the issue and find a quick fix. Keep reading to learn more about the ten most common laptop repair problems and how to repair them.
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Virus Or Spyware Infestation
Symptom: Excessive pop ups, slow downloads
Solution: Install antispyware programs, use free virus scans
Nothing can cripple your system like malware. The first line of defense is always prevention. It’s best to have a subscription to a service like Norton 360 . Norton impressed us with this unobtrusive security suite that offers stellar antivirus and spyware protection, file backups, and performance tuning without a complex user interface. The Norton suite also offers a firewall option that will silently block most threats while alerting the user to friendly programs requesting Web access.
If you don’t want to spend any money, you can bolster your defenses with free tools like Ad-Awareand Spybot: Search and Destroy. While both are excellent tools, each has its own strengths and weaknesses–Spybot is better at tracking down malicious code like pop-ups, while Ad-Aware does a better job removing cookies . We recommend scheduling periodic scans with both of these tools, just to be safe.
If these tools fail to locate a virus, you may want to try Trend Micro’s free House Call at housecall.trendmicro.com, which is sometimes more adept at identifying viruses than other programs. Trend Micro also offers a free database of viruses and manual removal tips, if automated solutions fail.
Mobile Computer Repair Prices
Most service technicians will come to you, and some of them have a business location you can drop your computer off at for repair at a lower charge.
Lebowitz IT Services in Chicago, IL | $65/hour residential $75/hour commercial
Crescendo Computers Technology, Valley Stream, NY | $150/service call $95/hour after first hour
Midvein Computer Services, Elyria, OH | $50/hour residential $75/hour commercial
You First Tech, Long Beach, CA | $70/hour residential $60/hour drop-off
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How To Become A Computer Repair Technician In 6 Steps
Computer repair technicians are professionals in the information technology field who specialize in solving computer issues. If you are interested in fixing computer hardware, installing software and troubleshooting technical issues, a role in computer repair could be a great opportunity for you. Learning more about this role and what it involves could help you determine your next career steps. In this article, we explain how you can become a computer repair technician, and we provide important career information, including job responsibilities, career outlook and useful skills.
Read more:Learn About The Information Technology Field
What Is A Computer Repair Technician
A computer repair technician, also called a computer technician or PC repair technician, is an IT professional who helps troubleshoot and repair computers and computer programs. They can assist customers in a variety of locations, including corporate offices, IT departments and repair centers. They help ensure that computers, networks and systems function correctly.
Read more:Learn About Being a Computer Technician
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You Might Need A Nerd If
- You need to upgrade your laptops memory
- Your laptop has symptoms of a virus
- Your laptop screen is broken or wont display an image
- You push the power button on your laptop and nothing happens
- You spilled soda on your laptop keyboard. Now you cant type anything
- One of your USB ports doesnt work anymore
- Something is stuck in your headphone jack. Now the jack doesnt work anymore
How A Laptop Works
Computers arent magic, though the power they provide is pretty magical. If you already know the ins-and-outs of computer tech, you can skip this section, but for the rest of the people out there this information might be helpful for the troubleshooting and repair tips shown in the section above. Much of this information is explained further on HowStuffWorks.
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Computer Repair Technician Work Environment
Computer repair technicians can work in a variety of environments, including:
- Computer or technology retail stores
- Computer repair centers or help desks
- Hospitals or other healthcare organizations
- Government buildings
- Universities or colleges
- Company IT departments
Some computer technicians may work as freelancers, meaning they work on contracts for individual clients. They may travel to multiple locations, visiting residences, or work remotely.
Ubreakifix Dc Expert Macbook Repair
Apple designed its laptops to be the most powerful and portable tool around. But one slip or spilled drink and you could find yourself in need of MacBook repair. uBreakiFix DC is here to help you with any Apple Mac repair you might need. Our store is located at 3510 Connecticut Avenue NW in Washington, DC. We proudly take care of Apple computer repairs for anyone living in Washington, Bethesda, Silver Spring, Arlington, Brookmont or Bladensburg. uBreakiFix in DC provides professional, fast, and affordable MacBook Pro repair on our premises with no shipping out or waiting for days. Dont wait to get your MacBook repair taken care of and come into uBreakiFix in DC today. No appointments necessary!
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