Archive for 'Back Bay Boston Computer Repair Services'

As computer technicians, one of the most common questions we are asked is: “Should I fix my laptop computer, or am I better off just buying a new laptop?”. This is when we put on our IT consultant hat, and take up the position as if the computer in mention were our own – in fact, this is how we are trained from day one within our company to handle every computer repair job. After all, that truly is the fairest approach and leaves our customers with the best, and most trusting sentiment at the end of the day, especially since it is authentic.

Fixing Laptops

Fixing Laptops

In many cases Laptop repair is worth it, especially if the computer is less than 3 years old and the initial cost was over $600. In addition, one has to consider several other matters when considering replacing one’s laptop rather than repairing it. For example:

  • What is the current state of the damaged computer? Can it even boot into Windows so that we can pull off all the licenses of the loaded software for re-installation purposes? If not, then you are looking at purchasing all new software outside of your Windows operating system (unless you keep meticulous files with all your software4 license keys printed out and/or have the original installation CD’s. which only about 2% of the population keeps records like this according to our experience).
  • Will you be able to re-use your copy of MS Office (e.g. MS Word, MS Excel, MS Outlook, MS Power Point, MS Access, etc.)?
  • If you can re-use your MS Office license, is it a version that is worth continuing to use or is it time to upgrade (e.g. from MS Office 2003 to MS Office 2007 or above?)
  • Will you be able to re-install your paid version security software (e.g. Norton, AVG, McAfee, etc.)?
  • Is there any other paid software on your computer that you want to keep without having to repurchase (e.g. Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Adobe, CAD, etc.)?
  • Are there files on your computer you need to recover?
  • Are the files you are looking to move over (data transfer) from your old computer to a new computer) in need of a cleaning as to not carry and computer viruses over with them (such is the nature of viruses, they will spread from drive to drive)?
  • And lastly for now, do you like your computer, or has it been a lemon?

Generally for laptop computers older than 5 – 6 years, it does make sense to purchase a new laptop rather than invest in prolonging the life of your old one. Remember, that computers are somewhat like cars in the sense that eventually parts are going to break.

The laptop buyers market can be intimidating and the prices change rapidly as new technology comes out. It’s always best to talk to a computer technicians about what you need to get out of your new system and where to find the best deal. In general, within a price margin the competition doesn’t vary as much as you might think. So if you are trying to find a laptop between $500-$1000 don’t get hung up on the numbers – think about what you want to hold in your hands.

Screen Size / Weight – Laptop computers vary from tiny netbooks to monster workstations

Keyboard Layout – Always demo your laptop before you buy it to see if the keyboard fits your hands – think about whether you need a numeric keypad or not, and if you do know they come as USB attachments.

Speakers – You may have a stereo for home entertainment and headphones for on the go – but good speakers make or break a laptop for a lot of people.

Gaming Capabilities – If you are a gamer you definitely want a high quality video card, most likely a larger LCD screen, a powerful processor and plenty of RAM (random access memory).

If you are thinking about a high-end laptop over $1000 there are a lot more options to consider – including getting a Mac (sadly its impossible to get a Mac laptop on a budget). Before you make a serious investment get in touch with a professional to ensure you purchase your personal ideal laptop.

If you have questions about upgrading your laptop, purchasing a new laptop and what it would take to move your files over cleanly as to not infect your new laptop computer – and/or if you are just looking for an honest answer and advice about purchasing a new computer, please feel free to give us a call (617-723-1986) or stop by our Boston computer repair shop and speak with one of our many Boston based computer repair technicians and we would be happy to assist you.

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If you are ever in the market for a used laptop you are probably in for a lot of digging to find that great deal. Just like a used car there is so much going on that the eye cant see in one short test. Whenever you buy a used laptop try to find a seller that gives you a modest return policy – a week to a month should be fine.

Either way, there are things that SHOULD come with every used laptop – know before you buy and avoid the scams and rip offs.

If the laptop comes with the old users data on it – that’s a bad sign. I can understand a hand me down might not come clean but any private seller or a retail shop selling used custom configurations should be cleaning the disk before the sale. Honestly if a laptop ever came into my hands with the previous owners data on it – I’d tell them and then wipe it for them out of courtesy for their privacy.

Recovery Disc

Make sure that your laptop comes with recovery software.

Check the bottom of the laptop for a Windows sticker with a license key on it. As long as you have a license you don’t need the original CD to install windows. However, for those who are not sure how / where to download Windows OS disc images it is really convenient to have a recovery disc included with your laptop.

If you don’t have one you can either have a local computer repair shop create you one or burn your own. Careful though, you don’t want to mess up your recovery disc because when it comes time to use it you probably wont have another fail safe.

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Have you ever tripped on your laptop power cable? Or dropped your laptop and now your laptop will not charge? Or possibly you now need to wiggle the AC Adapter cable where it plugs into the female port (the DC Power Jack) in the back or on the side of your laptop to get at least (or in some instances, at most) intermittent connection allowing electricity to flow to the PC?

Any way you cut it, this can be very frustrating and can cause you a major inconvenience especially if the laptop is dead and you need to access files that are on that computer which can sometimes lead to a more expensive data recovery computer laptop repair service once your battery runs out just to access your files until you can get the DC power jack repaired. The fact that your computer is not getting power  is most likely due to one of two or two of two things:

1. The actual power cable and/or the AC Adapter Cable -that plugs into your laptop is damaged and it needs to be replaced
2. Damage has been occurred to the DC power jack, which is what the male port on the end of the AC adapter cable plugs into. The DC power jack actually resides on the motherboard and allows electrical current to flow to the laptop.

AC Adapter w/ Power Cable

AC Adapter w/ Power Cable

Power Jack Repair

DC Power Jack Repair

Most computer repair shops do offer some laptop repair services, however, many of these computer repair shops do not offer the DC Power Jack Repair services in-house as it is a more complex repair requires a high level of expertise with laptops since the laptop needs to be disassembled to access the motherboard, ability to solder and not your every day run of the mill tech possesses these skills.

Our Boston computer repair shop is one of the few locations that does offer DC Power Jack Repair in eastern MA, and we do all the work in-house, not sent out to another company or location. We offer DC power jack repair services for Toshiba, Dell, HP, Sony Vaio, Lenovo. Thinkpad, Gateway, Acer, Asus, Mac and all Apple laptops in Boston MA. Also, depending on your computer make and model and our available stock we can preform a DC jack repair on the same day or for next day pickup.

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A HP Pavillion latop currently in our Boston computer repair shop in Back Bay this morning with serious issues. We quickly discovered that the PC was showing symptoms of infectious malware ranging from Trojan Horses and adware to even more malicious worms and spyware.  The intent of most of this malware (malicious software) is to steal your identity, credit card(s), or just simply to wreak havoc on your operating system and programs (software layer), or sometimes physically attack your system components (hardware layer).

Virus Removal in Boston

Virus Removal in Boston

What ultimately happens is that many viruses can attack you machine making it either go to a blue screen, or make it almost impossible to do anything on your computer because it is too slow or constantly freezing up.  Then the only choice is to find a local computer repair company to assist you, or junk the PC and buy new.

We have around a 95% success rate when we manually remove malware from any PC, regardless of the operating system. This means you don’t have to backup your existing data (quarantine it and clean it to ensure you are not carrying any of the infected files when you put them back on your drive later on) to “wipe” or reformat the drive, then reinstall everything from the operating system, drives, Windows updates, your security software (AVG, Norton, etc.), MS Office (if you use MS Word, Excel, PPT, Outlook, etc.), and specialty software you might use (e.g. QuickBooks, Photoshop, peripheral device software, etc.), your printer(s), VPN’s etc. and then ultimately your files that you backed-up and cleaned from the old infected drive. Whew!

Pop ups galore and unmountable boot volumes can sometimes mean a full reformat and reinstallation of Windows, especially when the unit comes with Windows Vista or Windows 7. This is not the end of the world.

At the customer’s request we can create drive duplicates so that you do not lose any files once your hard drive is reformatted. Using several powerful deep scanning utilities, we ensure that no infections are carried over when your files are restored. Once again, this is only in the case that a reformat / Windows reinstall is absolutely necessary.

Experiencing such an event can remind you of how important backing up data can be. We have several solutions to help you to backup your data to make the recovery process run smoother in the future. With External drives and programs that automatically backup your drives periodically, we can help you to not lose any of your information. also, having the appropriate anti-virus software can prevent the loss from occurring in the first place.

As a computer repair and Boston computer repair company, we do a lot of virus removal and are constantly testing different anti-virus, anti-spyware (anti-malware) and computer security software. Some of the products that we demo on a regular basis are AVG, Symantec (Norton), Panda, Kasperski, Zone-Alarm, Computer Associates and McAfee.  We are aware that none of these are infallible, however, we have found that AVG’s paid version of their Anti-Virus software and the paid version of the AVG Internet Security 8.5 are the best the market has to offer.

On the flip-side we have noticed that on about 95% or more of all malware related issues, the PC is running some version of McAfee. We cannot endorse this product, and frankly are shocked that it is so widely used in today’s market, and endorsed by such large companies as Dell, AOL, Comcast, Verizon, Cox Communication, etc.

IMPORTANT: It is also a good idea to run a good Registry Cleaning Software on your computer periodically, and especially after doing a virus removal. There are several good Registry Cleaner / PC Optimization softwares on the market, however, from our research we have found RegCure to be one of the best, and relatively inexpensive.

Click Here for the Best Computer Registry Cleaning Software

Click Here for Best Computer Registry Cleaning Software

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