Should you try to fix your computer yourself?

Computers break:

It’s a fact that computers break often. All technology is continuously becoming outdated. They eventually break, because they aren’t made to last forever. Computer technology will never be static and you will always need to upgrade or replace your system after a period of time. Then there’s the cost. Do you want to spend a couple of hundred bucks on repair? Or do you want to buy a new computer? The average life of a PC is three years, and a computer is basically obsolete within five years. So, is it worth repairing? It is most likely going to be impossible for you to know whether the computer in trouble is broken beyond repair and ready to go into computer recycling or whether it’s a really simple problem, or even whether it is broken at all. The only way to really know is by asking a professional.

You are not an IT professional:

Computers are now a very common household item, and most of their users have no idea how they work. As matter of fact they don’t need to. As you don’t need to know how the internal diesel engine works in order to drive a car, you don’t need to know all internal operations and relationships between computer components to operate one. There is a whole engineering industry dedicated to the production, maintenance and repair of computers, so consider hiring someone whose business it is to know what’s wrong with your computer.

You may do more harm than good by trying to fix your broken computer:

Have you tried turning it on and off at the switch eight or nine times to no avail? Have you been hitting 'control, alt, delete', and nothing is happening? If it’s broken and you don’t know how or why, are you really going to know how to fix it? Stop before your computer goes into ‘recovery mode’ and you click ok to ‘restore factory settings’ despite the fact that you haven’t backed it up in eighteen months. It’s worth your while. If you want to undo a screw on a computer think again. Ask yourself this question “Do you really know what you are doing?”

You may lose content that didn’t want to lose:

Whether it is your eight gigabytes of holiday photos or your superannuation spreadsheet, a broken computer is at risk of losing data. You could go through every radio station on air and never worry that you’ll stop on a frequency that will ruin your device. No TV will ever show you a broadcast that will force your screen to freeze and turn itself off. If that happens, it’s the fault of the system. Computers are the only machines at risk of doing this, and one of the most important things a computer does is store lots of data. This is why you should always back your hard drive up regularly.

Remember exactly what you were doing when it broke:

The thing you were doing before the computer broke is likely to be the key to fix it. What you were doing when it broke isn’t necessarily what broke it, but it could well be a contributing factor. Computers are very often sent into meltdown by things like bad websites, malware, dodgy downloads or spam emails which contain viruses. These things are common, and you really aren’t the first person to fall for such things. Telling the repair person that you were midway through sending five thousand dollars to the king of Nigeria in response to an urgent email could save a long time in the repair process.

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