By PC Geeks Support / Blog / / 0 Comments

You don’t have to send your laptop to an expensive repair shop if a part breaks. If you have the proper tools and knowledge, you can do many of your own repairs or upgrades to your laptop, saving both time and money. Before you grab a screwdriver and start taking your computer apart, learn about some practices to follow. After all, there is a reason IT repair technicians need to have professional certifications.

Replacing Laptop Parts: Best Practices for DIY Repair

Ground Yourself

If you’ve ever walked across a carpet and touched a metal doorknob, you know what static electricity can do. That relatively small shock you get can travel into the computer when you take it apart, and the internal components have much more sensitivity. If you aren’t careful, your repair attempt could destroy critical parts. Before you touch anything inside the laptop, put your hand briefly on a metal object to dissipate any built-up static. When you handle any peripheral cards, hold them by the edges; the oils on your skin can damage circuits. An anti-static wrist bracelet can keep you grounded while you work. Always unplug the laptop from AC power and remove its battery.

Document Everything

Depending on what repairs you do, you’ll have to remove screws and components to get to what you’re trying to fix. Laptops are more compact than desktops and lack the space, so you have to be extra careful. Remember where each screw goes, in what order you disassembled the computer, and take pictures if necessary. Keep different sizes of screws separate and label them.

Use Minimal Force

If a part doesn’t easily and immediately click into place, do not try to force it. This is another reason why you need to label and document everything; it can be easy to place the wrong card back into a slot. Look for retaining clips beside the card slot before attempting to remove a card. If these clips break, the card may not stay where it needs to be. Putting too much pressure on a card can bend or break the electrical contacts.

Seek Professional Advice

Although it is possible to deal with laptop repairs on your own, some may require special tools that you don’t have. If you need to get an in-depth repair or simply have questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.

By PC Geeks Support / Blog / / 0 Comments

Are you still using an older version of Windows, like 7 or even XP? If so, have you considered upgrading to Windows 10? While the window for free upgrades to Windows 10 for owners of Windows 7 and 8 has ended, there are a number of advantages that Windows 10 have over previous versions of Windows that make it well worth the cost of a license.

Still Not Using Windows 10? Here's Why You Should Be

Reason #1 – More User Friendly (The Start Menu is Back!)

Windows 8’s removal of the ubiquitous Start Menu from other versions of Windows was disliked by many consumers, leaving a number of people to feel alienated. Many people preferred the older style start menu and felt that Windows 8 was too focused on bridging the gap between traditional keyboard-and-mouse-driven computers and touch-screen-based devices, and some even went so far as to install custom start menus! However, if you use Windows 10, you do not have to go through any of the hassle of implementing third party solutions. The Windows 10 start menu is compact, concise, and offers a clean and distinctly modern update of the old start menu. Overall, Windows 10 is the fastest, most efficient, and user-friendly version of Windows ever created, surpassing both Windows 7 and Windows 8 in delivering a much improved, more enjoyable overall user experience across a wide range of hardware platforms and processor types.

Reason #2 – It’s Faster

Windows 10 features “Fast Startup,” itself an upgraded version of “Fast Boot” from Windows 10. This works similarly to the “hibernate” shutdown option from older versions of Windows and works by storing currently running programs and data in your system RAM into a temporary file on your hard disk, which is loaded on your next system startup. This allows you to easily pick up where you left off when you last shut down your computer. This results in the computer booting up significantly faster, especially when coupled with an SSD or solid state disk drive. In general, Windows 10 is more efficient and faster, and Fast Startup is one of many ways in which this is true.

Reason #3 – DirectX 12 Support

If you intend on playing modern video games with your computer, Windows 10 is an absolute must for two main reasons: newer and better hardware drivers and DirectX 12. DirectX 12 is the latest version of the Microsoft DirectX API, and features vastly improved performance over DirectX 11. It is significantly more efficient, which gives game developers a lot more freedom in making complex and detailed games at higher frame rates than would be possible with DirectX 11. Not to mention it also has full-fledged support for DirectX Raytracting, which is a ground-breaking new graphics technology allowing for hyper-realistic lighting effects and reflections unlike anything previously possible.

Reason #4 – Support and Updates

Windows 10 will be supported for years to come, in terms of both security updates and mainstream updates. On the other hand, mainstream support for both Windows 7 and 8 has already ended, and extended support for both will end in 2020 and 2023 respectively. This could leave your system more vulnerable later down the road if you do not upgrade.

Reason #5 – Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge, Microsoft’s preferred, built-in web browser for Windows 10, is a huge improvement over Internet Explorer. Much like Windows 10 itself, it is sleeker, faster, more stable, and more secure its predecessor. In addition to being the most secure browser available for Windows, studies have shown Edge to be significantly more efficient in terms of memory and battery usage than alternate browsers such as Google Chrome. This can be a critical factor in choosing browsers for mobile devices such as laptops.

Final Notes

Not only is Windows 10 is a massive improvement from previous versions of Windows, it is an absolute must-have if you are building a new Windows PC. New licenses of Windows 7 and 8 are no longer offered for sale by Microsoft or from authorized Microsoft resellers.

This means than any new computer you buy now will come with Windows come pre-installed with Windows 10 in one of two versions, Home or Professional. Most consumer-grade PCs are preloaded with the Home edition.

For comparison of the two versions, consult this chart from Microsoft.

And if you have an older Windows computer, it is imperative to upgrade now to Windows 10, not only to take advantage of the many improvements Windows 10 offers over its predecessors, but to guarantee that you have the stability and security of many more years of trouble-free computing.

Do you need help with your computer, like selecting the best version of Windows 10 for your needs and installing or upgrading it? Feel free to contact us at one of our locations, and we will provide professional assistance and help you avoid the hassle!