The Benefits of Hiring Computer Repair Professionals

A computer is an essential component in the 21st century. Whether you use it for social media updates or work purposes, the truth is computers have taken over our lives. When we encounter problems with our computers, life usually comes to a standstill. It is human nature to try to fix things. However, with machines, it is vital to engage a professional for computer repair. Today we look at some benefits that come with hiring computer repair professionals.

The Benefits of Hiring Professionals for Computer Repair

Data Loss Prevention

There is nothing as important as the data on your computer. You may try to fix the problem on your computer and, unfortunately, end up losing all your data. An expert will ensure that all your data remains untempered with during repair. If there is a problem with your computer’s hard drive, the experts will try to repair it and retrieve the data on the drive.


Often people try to find DIY solutions to fix their computers because they think the experts will charge excessive amounts. That is not so. The professionals usually charge to the part that needs repair or replacement. Moreover, trying to fix a computer issue may lead to more harm than good translating to additional costs.


Hiring a computer professional can save you lots of valuable time. If you try to fix an underlying problem, you will have to do some serious research from books and online. A skilled professional, on the other hand, may identify the problem in a twinkle of an eye and fix it right away.


A professional will ensure that the hardware is upgraded and stored correctly to allow your computer system to function correctly.

You can never be a Jack of all trades, especially with computers. Contact us today if you need a professional for computer repair and maintenance services.

Data Recovery Guidelines

Most computer users tend to think of data recovery as a last-minute approach to retrieving documents, pictures, music, and files in general — when the files become inaccessible due to malfunctioning devices the files are installed on, i.e. phones, laptops, desktops, tablets, etc.  Many times, however, data is not recoverable, or economically so, after a computer has malfunctioned. Preemptive approaches to data recovery are recommended although utilizing these techniques lacking a smart approach can render data permanently lost. Unless a computer is merely being used for casual internet surfing, solid data back-up (copying) precautions should be taken — under the wing of experienced professionals — so when the time has come to restore inaccessible data it’s a feasible task.

Data Recovery Guidelines

Among common methods of creating copies of data, including for those with strict budgets, are manual and automatic. Within each of these categories, one could opt for offline and online (internet) options.  An example of manual offline data back-up is merely copying the desired files to a flash/thumb drive — or other devices that can be connected to the computer — at regularly scheduled intervals or when a change is made such as an added file or file edit. An example of a manual online data back-up is, when subscribed to an internet storage service, manual executions are done to copy data to that service on the internet.

An automatic offline example is configuring a program to automatically back-up to a device attached to a computer, such as a thumb/flash drive or USB hard drive. Likewise, an automatic online back-up is done when subscribed to an internet back-up service, and files are automatically copied off a computer to the internet at regularly scheduled intervals. When opting for automatic back-up, a certain folder or directories can be included in the criteria of data needing to be backed up.

Please contact us at PC Geeks for a consultation.

Fixing Computer Performance

Particularly with desktop and laptop computers, there can be a number of different culprits your computer performance to be behave sluggishly.  Steps can be taken to isolate the problem, although in most cases it’s generally recommended allowing professionals to fix the issue due to the risk of making the problem worse or outright wrecking the device needing to be fixed. Among common culprits causing computer slowness after acquiring a working computer are malicious software, excessive boot-time programs (or apps), and a full hard drive.

Fixing Computer Performance

Computer operating systems distributed by Apple or Microsoft, or those that can be downloaded for free such as Linux require a certain amount of free space on a computer’s hard disk drive in order to function optimally.  Microsoft Windows, for example, will cache files on the free section of the hard disk drive when performing reading or writing operations. If the space is not free then the desired output of the computer can be delayed.  Different operating systems require different amounts of free space on hard drives — consult manufacturer documentation.  Removing unneeded files from the hard drive will take care of the problem — typically, copying them to external drives is done before deleting them off the computer.

Downloading and installing computer programs or apps, especially rare or free ones, carries the risk of infecting the computer with malicious software. Typically, free programs are laced with malicious software which is any type of program designed to perform an illegal activity on the computer it’s installed on, but often, the software will cause sluggishness on the computer.  Various guides can be found on the internet for assisting in the usage of antivirus software for scanning and removal.

When installing any given program or app, it will often configure itself to run every time the computer is turned on. If enough programs are installed and configured this way they will use up much of the system’s hardware resources, especially RAM memory. Operating systems have ways to disable programs from being run at start-time. Using the features will free RAM memory and allow the computer to run more smoothly.

Please contact us for a consultation.

Taking Care of Your New Laptop

If you’ve got a new laptop for work, play, or study, it’s important to take a few small steps to take care of it so you can keep your new investment working.

Taking Care of Your New Laptop

Don’t Block Vents

Your laptop generates a lot of heat in its CPU. This heat needs to be vented in order to prevent damage to components on the motherboard. The computer will throttle the CPU if it detects overheating in an attempt to prevent this.

The easiest way to avoid this is to use your laptop on a flat stable surface like a desk or table. Soft surfaces like beds or couches can block the vents.

It’s also a good idea to blow out any dust in the vents from time to time with a can of compressed air, especially if you notice your computer feeling hot to the touch or performance seems slower than usual.

Run Software Updates

Your new computer needs to keep the operating system software and applications updated to keep running smoothly. They’re usually set up to run automatically. Just let them update.

Run Antivirus

Your computer likely came with an antivirus program. If it didn’t there are several options on the market, even for free. This will keep your computer safe from malware.

Avoid Drink Spills

If liquids get into your laptop’s electronics, they can damage the components on the motherboard. That’s why you should try to keep drinks away from your new computer as much as possible. Containers with lids like commuter mugs or water bottles will help prevent spills.

Battery Usage

One of the best features of your laptop is the fact that you can take your work or play anywhere. The annoying part is that battery life can vary. If you find your battery running down quickly, try turning down the screen brightness to a level that’s still comfortable depending on the lighting.

You might also save demanding applications like video streaming or gaming for when you’re plugged into a power outlet. And when you are plugged in, you should use a surge protector to prevent damage from power spikes.


If you follow these tips, you find you can keep your new laptop in good working order for its useful life. If you have any questions or problems, please feel free to get in touch to see how we can help.

Getting the Most out of Your Laptop Battery

If you’re wondering why your laptop battery doesn’t seem to last as long as was advertised, don’t complain to the manufacturer just yet. It could be some of your habits that could be draining the battery. Here are some troubleshooting tips if you seem to be always looking for a power outlet to recharge your laptop.

Getting the Most out of Your Laptop Battery

Screen Brightness

One of the biggest drain on many laptops is the backlight on the screen. If you have the screen brightness turned all the way up, that’s going to deplete the battery than it would with a dimmer brightness setting.

Fortunately this is easy to adjust. Some laptops have an ambient light sensor that adjusts the screen brightness to a level appropriate for your lighting conditions. If your model doesn’t have the feature, simply turn down the screen brightness to a level you find comfortable.

Internet and Media Activity

Another source of battery usage if what you actually do with your laptop when it’s unplugged. Streaming media, gaming, and internet usage will all use up the battery life on your machine.

The obvious thing to do would be to save battery-intensive applications for use when you’re plugged into a power outlet.

Your Mileage May Vary

Laptop manufacturers will advertise battery life under ideal conditions, such as not using demanding applications. So like in car commercials, that “your actual mileage may vary.”

Discharging your laptop fully and then recharging it will shorten the battery life. While modern lithium-ion batteries don’t have a “memory”, they can only handle about 300-500 charge cycles before performance starts to degrade.

This means that if you’re fully discharging your battery every day, it will only last up to a few years. You should plug your laptop in when the battery gets to around 20% capacity.


If you take these tips in mind, you can get the maximum performance out of your laptop battery. If you need service with your battery or any other component in your laptop, please feel free to contact us.

What’s in a PC?

If you’re stuck at home now is the perfect time to build your own custom gaming PC, but where do you start? When I first started building PCs I remember having no idea to where to begin. I researched parts for hours, identifying all the pieces I’d need to build my new machine. I ordered expensive graphics and sound cards, what was, at the time, a lot of memory, and so on. I installed all of my components, Windows, and a game I had been dying to play. I sat nervously while I loaded the game, and as it ran for the first time on maximum graphics, I felt a sense of accomplishment that I’ve never forgotten.

Since then I’ve built dozens of PCs, mostly from kits, and each time I get that sense of satisfaction, of having put something together that works. Having done it many times now I realize how simple it really is, once you boil it down to the essentials.

What's in a PC?


A motherboard (or mobo for short) is what everything else in your computer plugs into. The CPU (central processing unit) is housed in your motherboard. The graphics and sound cards will fit into (probably PCI Express, a.k.a. PCIe) slots located on your motherboard. RAM will plug into your motherboard. Your hard drive will be connected to your motherboard.

Motherboards have a number of specs you need to be aware of:

  1. What chips does it support? Typically, a motherboard will support a limited number of chips, as they are not one-size-fits-all.
  2. What slots does it support? For a gaming PC you’re looking for at least two, if not four, PCIe slots
  3. How much memory does it support, and at what speeds? The more memory, and the faster the memory, the more fluid your gaming experience will be.

Modern gaming motherboards typically come with LAN (wired and wireless internet) capabilities built-in, so you won’t have to worry about that. If your motherboard doesn’t come with a networking solution you’ll have to buy a network card. Likewise, you may have not on-board audio, or you may have it and choose to buy a more advanced sound card. Other considerations include the number of USB ports.

Power Supply

Buying and installing a power supply is a straightforward endeavor, just make sure it has enough power with all of your new, fancy components installed!


The CPU (central processing unit) is the brain of your PC. CPUs have a number of cores (the number of things that can be simultaneously processed, more or less) and a clock speed (the number of cycles per second the CPU can handle out of the box). Surprisingly, more cores does not necessarily mean a better gaming machine, because games don’t tend to use all the cores. However, clock speed is very important: choosing an appropriately high clock speed will mean speedy gaming.


Memory, a.k.a RAM (Random Access Memory) is a confusing subject. There’s so many different types of RAM available, and it can feel overwhelming to a novice. Luckily, memory manufacturers offer tools to help you discover if your RAM will be compatible with your motherboard, e.g. Crucial’s memory adviser or Kingston’s memory search.

There are really only two considerations when choosing memory:

  1. What speed of RAM do you need? High is better for gaming, but make sure it’s compatible with your motherboard.
  2. How much RAM do you need? Again, more is better, but only to a point, and make sure your motherboard can support both the number of sticks and the total amount.

Hard Drive

You’ll need a hard drive on which to install your operating system, not to mention a place to put all of your digital stuff! Considerations for a hard drive are similar to those of memory:

  1. What size hard drive do you need? I’d recommend at least 1TB.
  2. What type of hard drive do you want, spinning disk or solid state (SSD)? Once again make sure your motherboard supports your choice. Odds are your motherboard supports SATA (Serial ATA) devices, which also include CD/DVD/Blu-ray drives, should you want to install one or more.

Graphics Card

This is a fun section, and it’s where most people that are building a custom gaming PC spend the most time. There’s a ton of options, but ultimately it will come down to NVIDIA or AMD, and your mileage may vary no matter your choice.

And Everything Else

You’ve now got everything you need for your custom gaming PC, but you’ll probably want a few more things for comfort and fun.

The Case

Get a case that supports your mobo and your power supply and whatever (and however many) drives you’ve chosen. Cases are a fun part of building a PC, customize to your hearts desire!

Keyboard and Mouse

Don’t forget a good keyboard and mouse. A lot of gamers choose keyboards with mechanical switches as they support more simultaneous inputs, and they feel better.

A good mouse is important too, ensure you get one with a high enough polling rate (e.g., at least 500Hz).

Need Help?

There’s a lot that you can do when you build your own PC, if you’d like help selecting parts for your custom gaming PC, or if you’d like us to build it for you, reach out to us today!

A Newbie’s Guide to Budgeting for a Gaming PC

When it comes to budgeting for a gaming PC build, most newbies don’t do much work here. They tend to just figure out what they can afford, get the parts that look the coolest or whatever they find first and then just put it together. To a lot of new builders, finding the parts isn’t what they’re there for. No, that’s just the annoying bit that gets in the way of them doing the fun bit of assembling their new toy and playing games. And this is fine but by not taking the time to specifically set their budget or shop for particular parts, they are opening themselves up to some potential problems.

A Newbie's Guide to Budgeting for a Gaming PC

First, this sort of shopping approach can unintentionally bottleneck your system. If you aren’t picking your CPU and GPU based on relative performance and how much of the budget they consume then you will almost certainly end up with one of the primary pieces of hardware in your machine performing far better than the other which can lead to the performance of the superior part being degraded as it has to reduce the level it runs at in order to accommodate the weaker and slower hardware it works alongside.

There is also the risk of hardware having its support cut. If you buy a motherboard, for example, without researching it and then learn that the manufacturer will be cutting all support for the BIOS that motherboard runs despite a fatal flaw leading to bluescreens on systems using it then you are unlikely to be pleased. This kind of scenario is unlikely but far from impossible and is one reason why you want to do extensive research rather than just picking whatever parts work and running with it.

A general rule of thumb to avoid this sort of problem is that you want to spent 2x as much on your GPU as you do the CPU. This is a gaming PC, after all, and the GPU is what will be pushing all those fancy images to your monitor. It’s also a good idea to have at least double the amount of system RAM as your graphics card does VRAM. If you have a GPU with 8 gigs of VRAM then you need at least 16 gigs of system memory. Of course, these are more of guidelines than hard rules so feel free to alter them if you want. Still, this should give you a basic idea of how to budget for a gaming PC.

If you still feel like you need some help budgeting for your gaming PC build then contact us today!

When to Replace a Laptop Hard Drive

Lifespans vary considerably, but many modern hard disk drives last around five years. You might need to replace your laptop’s drive when you notice these signs of failure:

When to Replace a Laptop Hard Drive

1. If files vanish or become unreadable, a faulty hard disk may be to blame. Filenames might get scrambled as well. However, keep in mind that malware could also trigger these problems.

2. When unusual errors start to appear as you manage files or run software, it’s a possible sign of impending failure. Some messages may report disk I/O problems.

3. Do you experience long pauses when opening files? If so, your HDD might soon fail. Remember that other things can also slow down your computer, including certain anti-virus programs.

4. Peculiar noises may foretell a hard drive crash. Listen for abnormal humming, grinding, clicking or scratching sounds that you didn’t hear in the past.

5. A failing laptop HDD might prevent the operating system from booting when you power up the computer. It may boot a few more times if you restart it repeatedly.

6. When the machine frequently freezes up or displays blue-screen errors, it could need a new drive. This is more likely to happen as you open or save files.

7. If you don’t find any viruses, try running a disk check. This scan may detect bad sectors. Complete failure could be near if it finds many of them.

8. Has your notebook computer simply stopped detecting the hard drive? If so, the unit may need replacement or isn’t properly connected to the motherboard.

Hard disk failure is more likely if you notice any of these symptoms after the laptop suffers some type of harm. For example, it may have overheated or been dropped.

It’s wise to back up your files and take action before the drive completely fails. If you need help diagnosing the problem or replacing hardware, please contact our knowledgeable technicians today.

Why You Should Switch to PC Gaming

Have you ever considered switching to PC gaming? After all, while consoles are a good way to play your favorite games, many of these can be played on PC with even more features and options. While a PC is always going to be more expensive than a console, PCs are cheaper than ever to build. Today even a budget build can outperform consoles while offering more features, a longer lifespan, and much better options for upgrading: after all, not every part of a PC will need to be replaced every time you build a new machine! Furthermore, if the cost of a gaming PC is what worries you, since you probably already need a PC anyway you could spend a little bit extra cash on getting a more powerful PC that you can play games on in addition to use for work and other tasks instead of getting a console.

Why You Should Switch to PC Gaming


“Flexibility” in one word describes some of the major advantages of a PC. Flexibility in parts and upgrades means that you can build a PC with some parts for a budget around $500 and then upgrade that same machine over time to outperform every console on the market without having to replace everything. Flexibility in performance means that, unlike with a console, you can adjust the settings of your games to maximize performance and graphics. Why settle for 30fps at medium settings at 1080p on a console when a PC that isn’t too much more expensive can do 60fps with much higher quality graphics at the same (or higher) resolutions? Meanwhile, the computer itself is extremely flexible: not only can a Windows PC play games but it can also be used for work, browsing the web, chatting with friends across the globe, and innumerable other tasks- not to mention that you could even make your own games! There’s also flexibility of controls: on PC not only can you change what each button does, but you can also change what you’re using to play your games: you can use a keyboard and mouse, a joystick or steering wheel, console controllers, and much more – some of which are better suited for different genres than console controllers are. For example, a mouse and keyboard setup for a first person shooter is much, much better than a controller.

True Backwards Compatibility

Unlike consoles, a PC offers true backwards compatibility. You can install games that are over twenty years old like Unreal and Half-Life and play them with little to no issues, and some other games that are older can work on your PC with some adjustments and workarounds. Even though some may need a little work to make them run perfectly on modern systems, this is already an improvement over consoles that do not allow much backwards compatibility (if any at all). A PC can offer a nostalgia trip at any time without having to pull out another old console or PC to play your favorite games of old.

Exclusives: Games and Genres

For the most part, the exclusive games for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 were somewhat lacking, whereas the PC has hundreds (if not thousands) of exclusive games and genres. For example, pretty much all strategy games are exclusive to the PC, like the Total War games and the Civilization games. A lot of indie games see good success on PC, too, whereas on console only a few have done particularly well. Furthermore a lot of older classic games are either PC exclusive or have their best versions on PC. Some good examples of this are the first two Thief games, the Half-Life series, the Unreal games, and Deus Ex- all of which are classics and feature either only PC versions (like the Thief games and some of Half-Life’s expansions) or feature vastly inferior console ports (like the PS2 ports of Deus Ex and Half-Life and Unreal Tournament’s Dreamcast and PS2 port).


While PCs are more expensive than consoles, they offer significantly better value for their utility, flexibility, backwards compatibility and the exclusive games and genres that find homes only on the PC.

Do you have any questions about PCs or PC gaming? Do you want help picking parts for a potential build, or do you want your computer built by our highly qualified professionals? Contact us today at one of our locations!

We’re taking preventive measures at each PC Geeks location!

The safety and health of our customers and employees is our top priority. We’re taking preventive measures to keep each PC Geeks location clean and maintain a healthy environment. If you’re having issues with your computer, please don’t hesitate to let us know.

We’re taking preventive measures at each PC Geeks location!

The safety measures listed on the CDC’s website are very important as we continue to address this ongoing situation and as we do our part to help prevent the spread of illnesses. Therefore, please continue practicing good hygiene and following these preventative actions:

  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Keep your distance from others if possible.
  • If you are feeling sick, please stay at home!
  • Call ahead before you go to the doctor and tell them about your symptoms.

We are more than happy to help our customers during this time! Please give us a call. We’re happy to help with any computer related issues.