Repair or Replace: What Should You Do With Your Old Computer?

old computer

How do know if it’s time to ditch or repair your old computer?

Technology is, well, technology and things happen. Computers slow down, they get buggy, or you might even get the blue screen of death.

You could have a computer virus that’s preventing your computer from booting up.

On the low end, you could buy a new Windows laptop for under $400. On the high end, a MacBook Pro starts at about $1800. =

Sometimes, you don’t have to make the investment to buy a new computer. You could spend way less money on getting it repaired.

Read on to learn when it’s time to replace your old computer or when you should repair it.

What’s the Issue?

The first thing you need to take into consideration is the issue you’re having with your computer.

Here are some of the common uses:

  • Cracked Screen
  • Computer is slow
  • Breaks down often
  • Virus/Malware
  • The computer isn’t starting/rebooting

For something like a slow computer or a virus, you can get those repaired. Even a hard drive failure could lead to computer repair.

How Old is Your Computer?

The age of your computer is a big factor in deciding to repair or replace your old computer.

Typically, if your computer is 5 years old or more, then you’ll want to replace your computer. Most computers last for 5-7 years. If you got your computer on the cheap, and it’s made it to 5 years, congratulations!

These computers last between 3-5 years because they were made with cheap parts and they get hotter more easily.

Costs to Repair Vs. Replace

What does keeping your computer cost you in time and productivity? If your computer is slow and you spend more time cussing at it, then you should consider a replacement.

For most people, the cost of the repair will be the determining factor to repair or replace the computer. If a repair will cost over $300, then most people will replace the machine.

With a cracked screen, it might be a $200 repair and your computer is only worth a little bit more than that.

If you spend the extra money now on a new computer, it seems like a smart decision.

There are a few other costs that you need to be aware of when you buy a new computer.

With any new computer, there will be an adjustment period to adapt to the new keyboard and the operating system.

Your computer will be faster, but you may not be as productive as you were right away.

Also, remember that you may not be able to download all of your software onto your new computer. You may only have the license to use the software on one machine only.

Transferring Files to Your New Computer

If you opted to buy a new computer to replace your infected one, be aware that you could take those corrupted files with you.

It can be a very time-consuming process to go through your old hard drive and transfer files to your new computer.

That process can be made much easier if you have a cloud service where you store your important files like Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive.

In both cases, you’d just download your files from the cloud to your new computer.

What to Look for In a New Computer

If you decide to get a new computer, how can you be sure your new computer meets your needs?

If it’s been several years since the last time you went shopping for a computer, you can bet that things have changed.

Your needs may have changed over time, too.

Let’s take a look at the most important considerations when buying a new computer.

You’ll need to look at your needs first. When do you use the computer most often and what do you use it for?

If you use the computer at home and for gaming, internet, and email, then you’ll want to spend money on a desktop computer that has a great graphics card and a lot of memory to handle gaming.

On the other hand, if you travel a lot and the computer is your business machine, then you’ll want to get a laptop that can handle multitasking and large application files.

Whether you go with Mac or PC is entirely up to you. If you make the switch from a Mac to PC or vice-versa, be prepared for a bit of a learning curve.

It takes a lot of getting used to.

You’ll need to know the processor and the memory of the computer. For processors, go with a Dual Core processor at minimum. The more cores a computer has, the more multitasking you can do.

As far as memory goes, most of the low-end machines have 4GB and can be upgraded. That’s fine for emails, internet, and documents.

You should really start with 8GB, especially if you plan to use programs like Adobe’s Suite. Then you’ll want to upgrade to 16GB.

How to Hire the Right Computer Repair Tech

Should you decide to repair your machine, you’ll need to find the right computer tech. Here’s what you need to know before you hire one.

You’re going to need a tech who can work quickly. You can’t be without your computer for long, so the faster the turnaround time, the better.

The person you hire needs to be an experienced professional. At the hands of an inexperienced repair person, you’re risking your data. For some repair folks, it’s a side gig instead of a full-time job.

Check to see how they charge for services, whether it’s an hourly or a flat rate.

Finally, pick up the phone and talk to them. You’ll want to get a sense of how easy they are to communicate with and talk to.

Finally, check online reviews. You’ll get an honest opinion from others who have worked with the tech before you hire them.

Repair or Replace Your Old Computer

The decision to replace or repair an old computer shouldn’t be taken lightly. The decision usually comes down to cost, but there are hidden costs like the time to transfer files and set up your new computer that needs to be considered.

Repairing your computer could make more sense if it’s just a matter of upgrading RAM or a hard drive.

If you want more great tips on saving money, check out these articles on shopping online and getting out of debt fast.

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