3 Steps Students Should Take When a Laptop Breaks

Most students rely on laptops, notebooks, or Chromebooks to handle their coursework, and with more classes moving online, a computer isn’t a luxury for students — it’s a necessity. If your device fails, don’t panic. By taking appropriate actions, you can reduce your chances of a hefty repair bill while minimizing downtime.

3 Steps Students Should Take When a Laptop Breaks

Pay attention to the symptoms. Listen for unusual tapping or whirring noises, which can indicate a hard drive failure. If the computer displays any error messages, write down the exact text including any numbers or codes. Look for flashing lights or obvious signs of mechanical damage (for instance, a damaged power cord).  Find the computer’s model number and serial number, which can be useful for troubleshooting.

If you believe that the computer is infected with a virus or other malicious program, follow our guide here to attempt to remove the malware. However, if the computer shows signs of physical damage, keep it powered off after you’ve made a list of the symptoms. Operating a damaged computer can result in media damage, file corruption, and data loss.

Back up data (if possible). If your computer still boots, you may be able to copy important files to a flash drive or cloud backup service before performing repairs. Depending on your technical proficiency, you may also decide to remove the computer’s hard drive or solid-state drive to access the data from another machine.

Try to prioritize your most important files, and if the computer’s symptoms seem to be getting worse, turn it off right away.  Don’t attempt to copy files from any device that shows signs of physical damage (for instance, a hard drive that makes clicking or whirring sounds).

If you rely on the laptop, don’t attempt repairs on your own. If you can clearly determine the cause of the failure (for instance, the computer shows an error message indicating a media failure), you may be able to repair the laptop on your own. However, many modern laptops aren’t designed to make user repairs easy; you may need special tools to disassemble the device and access the damaged components. Attempting repairs may void manufacturer warranties, so don’t start unless you have a clear plan in place.

In other words, if you’re unsure of the source of the problem — or if you haven’t backed up your data — leave it to the professionals. Attempting repairs could cause permanent data loss or increase the cost of your repair bill. The safest (and cheapest) option is to take the computer to a qualified repair service.

At PC Geeks, we have the tools, resources, and expertise to address any laptop failure. Whether you need data recovery, virus/malware removal, or you simply want to get your computer into working condition as quickly as possible, our technicians are ready to help. Contact us today to discuss your options.

3 Strategies to Select Your Next Gaming PC

Get Your Game On

If you just want to check your email and social media, and maybe write on a word processor, you probably don’t need to be too picky about your computer. If you are one of the 2.5 Billion people who play video games though, you need a machine that can handle the games you like to play. Here are three strategies for making sure that your next gaming PC will be up to the challenge.

3 Strategies to Select Your Next Gaming PC

Strategy 1: Throw Giant Wads of Cash at the Problem

If you have $10,000 to throw around, you can get the new Maingear F131 with all the bells and whistles. This beast is VR ready, with an Intel Core i9 7980XE processor, 64GB of RAM, Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti Graphics card, and a 4TB SSD. Whatever your game, the F131 will probably be more than adequate. Maybe even overkill.

Strategy 2: Find a Computer Suited to Your Play Style

There are a lot of different types of games in the world, so just because a computer is marketed as a “gaming computer” doesn’t mean it is ideally suited for your application. If you are into online first-person shooters or real-time RPGs, the last thing you want is for some 9-year-old punk to pwn you with a lag death. Connectivity is key for those games, which means you will want to invest in connectivity hardware to avoid ping lag, and the latest and greatest graphics card to avoid graphics lag. Of course, those elements aren’t as vital to single-player turn-based strategy games.

If you want to play VR games, then it is essential that you get a computer that is VR Ready. If you aren’t planning to play VR games, though, why pay extra for features that you aren’t going to use?

Strategy 3: Get the Right Tool for the Right Job

If it is tricky to find a computer that does everything you need, without paying for a bunch of features that you don’t, it’s probably because you are a unique person, with unique tastes. Accordingly, the perfect gaming computer would be a unique computer, tailored to your needs. You don’t have to be an expert on the optimal hardware for each game that you like to play, and you don’t have to spend a fortune on features that you won’t use either. Just contact us and tell us what kind of games you want to play, and our experts will build you a computer with everything you need, and nothing that you don’t.