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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Damaged PCs

     So, I've been working on some PCs lately that have some serious software damage.  We're talking damage to essential windows files.  And they way things look isn't pretty.  So, when these kinds of problems arise, where the system itself is damaged, and few options seem to be left, what are your options?
     There are just a few that I'm willing to consider.  If you've done everything like running your anti-virus, scanning your PC for malware, and checked all the hardware for damage, but your system still seems broken, then you have two major choices to make:  Repair or Replace.
     I'm usually a fan of the first choice, which within itself contains a few smaller choices.  Those are to attempt a recovery, or run a re-installation.
     The first matter is preferable, because who wants to constantly go about getting your computer set up just the way you like it all over again?  No one I know.  But this option tends to be the most annoying and difficult to properly achieve.  If you are lucky enough to have Windows 7 (or maybe stuck with a copy of Vista), you may have the system recovery disc.  These disks are fantastic for repairing a damaged Windows OS's, but only work if you have your matching generation's disk.  For those running Windows XP/2000, you have the ability to do repair installation if you have your original installation disk.  And, if you are really attached to your current configuration, you can pay someone ridiculous sums of money to painstakingly reconfigure your whole computer file by file.  This last options is something I do not suggest.  Honestly, if it has come to the point of having to restructure the OS file by file, just have the tech retrieve your information and re-install.  It will be cheaper.
     The re-install option works best if the computer is horribly infected.  If to much nastiness is going on to really use your computer, a repair installation doesn't usually help, its more for times where three or four things are wrong, but you can still use your PC.  A re-installation leaves you with a fresh, clean copy of your OS, and allows you to only re-install the necessary software you actually use.  As long as you have a good tech support personnel, and you have requested to have your system backed up, this should be relatively minor in its inconvenience.  You just have to put your personal files back into the proper place, and re-install some of your software, which your tech support will gladly do for a nominal fee.  Often times, this is usually the fasted road to getting your computer up and running again, because an OS installation takes time, but at least they happen without much fuss and confusion.  Even a green tech support employee can re-install an OS with out much trouble.
     And finally, in the face of mounting tech support costs and the constantly lowering price of computer electronics, if worst comes to worst, you can always buy a new computer.  The benefits to this method of computing is that you always stay up-to-date with technology.  In some very rare cases, this can even be cheaper than trying to restore your old computer (very rare).
     But this method can be expensive in its own right.  If you don't know much about computers and have a lot of personal files stored up, you'll have to migrate all of that information over.  Once again, you tech support person will probably be glad to offer you this service for a nominal fee.  Another downside to a strait upgrade is that often times your old software isn't compatible with your new computer.  There are many tricks around this limitation, but they are some of the more complicated aspects of computing, so I won't go into detail in this article.
     So there you have it, your options if your computer goes south for the winter and doesn't ever come back.  As always, you can contact Digital Fruit Tech Support with any support questions you have, and we will be pleased to help you.