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Determining if An Old Laptop Can Be Repaired

Determining if An Old Laptop Can Be Repaired

Determining if An Old Laptop Can Be Repaired

Your old laptop might seem like it's on its last legs, but before you get rid of it for good, there are a few things to consider. In some cases, there may be options at your disposal for repairing the laptop before throwing it out.

At PC Laptops, we're happy to help with a wide range of computer and laptop repair services, including assisting our clients with basic information on whether repair is possible for your laptop. How can you tell whether it is worth fixing or should just be replaced with a new one? Here's a primer on several of the basic steps you should take, either on your own or with the assistance of our computer repair professionals.

Evaluate Laptop Age and Condition

Many old laptops will require a basic troubleshooting if they're going to be used again. This usually consists of updating the operating system and checking for viruses, malware, or other problems. The next step is determining the age and condition of the laptop in question.

  • How old is the laptop? If it's over five years old, this is likely not worth fixing because newer versions are available with more improved features that are less power-hungry than an older model.
  • How long has it been since you’ve booted up your laptop? If your laptop has gone unused for three months or more, don't count on troubleshooting to fix things—they've probably outlasted their own battery life! Before getting replacement parts, first try the simple process of booting up your laptop again.
  • Is it a business laptop or just for personal use? If it's a Dell Latitude, Lenovo Thinkpad or other brand favored by workers, then you should follow the same repair process as any consumer brand because parts are readily available and affordable. However, if it's a custom-built model or one of the rarer business laptop models, then it may be worth getting in touch with your company's IT department to get help. They may have knowledge about repairing your specific model and can save you money on returning the item for repair.

There are several other factors which will determine whether laptop repair is possible, one of which is whether the laptop was dropped or exposed to water. However, it's best to discuss this with a PC Laptops professional who can give you an assessment and necessary quotes for fixing your laptop.

Extent of the Problem(s)

The extent of laptop issues can be classified into three categories: significant problems, such as those that result in logic board damage, which may not allow for repair; minor issues which will usually require a quick fix that does not involve expensive parts; and intermittent problems with the laptop's hardware components.

Significant laptop issues that cannot be repaired include:

  • Logic board damage.
  • Any component that has shorted out or been damaged by water.
  • The laptop is unable to maintain a charge, even with a new battery.

Minor laptop issues which usually require a quick fix might include:

  • Dust within the fan blades and vents.
  • Leaking keyboard, resulting in sticky keys and possible decrease in performance.
  • Broken hinges and cracked screens resulting from normal wear and tear.

Intermittent issues which usually result in a laptop not booting might include:

  • Loose connections, such as those that occur with the power adapter or between components like RAM and motherboard.
  • Corrupted system software. The most common reasons for this include virus or malware infections, which will require a professional to take care of.
  • Defective memory chips or bad hard drive sectors.

Knowing the extent of the laptop's problems is essential when deciding what to do next: have them repaired or replaced completely. Some fixes might seem too concerning, like sudden and uncharacteristic lack of battery life for an older machine, or failure to boot up. But with the right tools and a bit of troubleshooting knowledge, laptop repair is possible in many cases.

Is it Still Under Warranty?

If you're still on the fence, it's worth considering whether your current laptop is still under warranty. A new laptop might seem like an attractive option, but if you can get a free or affordable repair based on your warranty coverage, that will save you money in the long run.

If you're considering a laptop swap, comparisons of hardware specifications are important. The cost of new parts can add up, so double-check that your next laptop will match the processor speed of your old one. Saving money on a new laptop is always important, but don't cheap out so hard that your performance suffers based on lower computing power.

Costs of Laptop Repair Vs. Laptop Replacement

In some cases, your laptop may be worth the repair and restoring process. But if you're upgrading to a new laptop anyway, you'll want to consider that it will cost more up-front for the device itself and then any additional costs for repairs or restoring work down the line. This is primarily why most people ultimately go with a replacement laptop over a repaired one.

However, this isn't always the best move long-term because repairing your old laptop can extend its life by several years—and also saves you money in the long run without having to buy a new laptop.

For more on how to determine whether an old laptop can be repaired, or to learn about any of our computer repair, phone repair or other device repair services — or any of our PCs for sale — speak to the staff at PC Laptops today.