New Year, New Computer? When to Repair or Replace Your Laptop or Desktop

We’ve all experienced it. Your once fast, reliable computer becomes sluggish and filled with system errors that randomly pop up disrupting your workday. A restart becomes repeatedly necessary when open applications are continuously non-responsive, proving to be a temporary fix for a bigger unknown issue. These are a few computer issues that can leave everyday people confused and asking the question when to repair or replace their laptop or desktop.

How do I know when to repair my laptop or desktop?

There are several factors you’ll want to consider when choosing to repair your laptop or desktop as opposed to replacing it.

  • Age: How old is your laptop or desktop?

    The average lifespan for a computer running at optimal performance is 3-5 years. After five years, most computers become incompatible with newer software and operating system upgrades, and at worst, depending on how advanced newly released software is, your 5-year-old computer can become completely obsolete. An important thing to consider with an older computer is that incompatibility can leave gaps in maintaining security. Exposing your device to viruses can jeopardize personal and confidential information. For a device less than 5 years old that is functioning but experiencing sluggishness or various pop-up errors, it may be more cost-effective to get it diagnosed by a professional who can repair it instead.

  • Protection: Is your device still under warranty?

    Warranties are great for repairing devices that are still functional but need fine-tuning to run smoothly again. Rarely do warranties outlive the life of your laptop or desktop. In fact, if you’ve purchased a warranty, more often than not, your computer needs repairs well after the warranty has expired. If your computer is under the 5-year mark and is under warranty, it is beneficial to have an expert diagnose and fix any issues you are having before it is too late.

  • Upgradeability: Can your desktop or laptop be upgraded?

    A fast and affordable way to repair your laptop or desktop is by upgrading its memory or storage. It only takes simple system research to determine if your current computer is capable of upgrading to newer hardware or software. IT experts like Geeks on Site can conduct a system check and run diagnostic tests to determine whether your device is capable of being upgraded and which components should be upgraded to extend the life of your computer.

    A common upgrade is increasing the memory or RAM. If your laptop is sluggish, a faster memory can increase the overall computer response rate. For example, if your laptop currently has 4GB of memory, a system overview can determine whether your laptop or desktop can be upgraded to 8GB or 16GB of RAM which will make a big difference in productivity.

    Another upgrade option is to switch out your Hard Disk Drive (HDD) for a Solid-State Drive (SSD). An HDD is a mechanical data storage device in your computer and contains various moving parts such as spinning disks. Like cars, as with all mechanical devices, parts can eventually break or fail. An SSD is a data storage device that uses flash memory with no moving parts. It runs smoother and is more reliable than an HDD. Switching to a faster HDD or replacing it completely with an SSD removes the mechanical component and eliminates the potential of wear and tear resulting in a faster, better performing laptop or desktop that is “like new.”

When is it time to replace my old laptop or desktop?

Computers with multiple issues occurring simultaneously are telling you it’s time to replace your device. Things such as unusual or loud noises (from the fan or HDD), Operating System (OS) issues, System applications that no longer launch, or peripherals that are no longer compatible indicate that a replacement is needed. You may also notice the inability to have multiple windows or systems open at the same time without freezing and the constant warning of repeated potential viruses and spyware threats despite having virus protection software installed. If you are experiencing two or more of these issues repeatedly and your device has outlived its warranty, it may be time to invest in a new computer.

  • Cost of replacing your laptop or desktop

    Buying a new computer can be expensive, however, repairing can be costly in time, loss of productivity, and risk to security or possible loss of data. Depending on your needs, the average cost of a new laptop or computer is going to start at about $500 – whereas the average cost of repairs is $300. Take into account the investment of purchasing and installing software on your new computer or gaining access to frequently used apps on your new device. Many software companies take into account the need for customers to change devices. If you’ve held on to your activation codes for previously purchased software, the cost and peace of mind of buying a brand-new laptop or desktop may be worth the extra money.

    Despite the lower cost of repairs in some instances, an old laptop or desktop isn’t worth the attempt if it has multiple issues that share the same sticker price of a new one. A great way to save on a new computer is to seek out sales during back-to-school season or the holidays when discounted prices on new computers are at their peak.

  • Consider your personal preference

    It can be refreshing or uncomfortable to part ways with a laptop you’ve accomplished so much with. The feel, design, and comfortability of your computer can be hard to replace. Like an old car or favorite pair of jeans, some people prefer to hold on to their devices and put in the time and work to upgrade them while others prefer the look, feel, and functionality of a brand-new computer. Whatever your preference is, it’s your device and in the end, you will need to decide whether to repair or replace it.

If you are deciding whether to repair or replace your laptop or desktop, Geeks on Site can help. We have IT experts available to help diagnose and remedy issues as well as an inventory of affordable new computers and laptops to choose from. Contact us today to learn more!