Should I Fix My Computer or Buy a New One?

Unless you are a recent entrant to the world of computers, this is probably a question you’ve asked yourself before. After all, if your computer doesn’t work properly, you may have a strong instinct to throw it out and go get another one but keep wondering if it is worth fixing. This article is intended to help you decide which of these paths you should take to get a PC up and running so you can go about your work or play.

You may be thinking that since this is a computer repair technician writing this article, I’m going to tell you that in almost every case, you should fix your computer rather than get a new one. Not so. Just as there are a host of reasons to fix your computer, there are plenty of reasons to buy a new one instead.

Although the costs of consumer computers are nowhere near the costs of new cars, those of you who have had to decide whether to fix an older automobile or buy a new one may find it helpful to think about that process because it is similar. I would advise you to make two columns and write the reason to buy or fix in the appropriate column.

If you think it through this way, you will find yourself coming to a reasoned and reasonable conclusion. Also remember that if another person has your same PC model and the same problem, what he or she decides does not make their decision good for you. Keep in mind that there is not a right or wrong answer, only the best answer for you. While this article and others can help your decision process, the best answer for you is something only you can decide. Be wary of people who are certain that they know what you need.

Let’s look at some reasons to repair your current computer:

• Budget – Although the extra expense can be worth it, buying a new PC is USUALLY more expensive than fixing your current computer. If you are on a tight budget or are just a frugal person, fixing most problems may be best for you.

• Data – This second reason is related to the budget item. Whichever route you decide to take, you can (usually) keep your pictures, documents, music, emails, business files, and important personal information. It is easier, though, if you are keeping your computer because if you get a new PC, you will have to pay someone to transfer that information to a new PC. Many of you can do this without problem but not everyone can. Also, if your PC won’t boot to Windows and the data has to be extracted from the computer, most of you will need someone to get the data off the hard disk, which means you will be paying both for a new computer plus a service fee to a computer technician.

• Applications – If you get a new computer, you will also have to reinstall all of your applications. Some can be downloaded, like iTunes or Adobe Acrobat Reader. Any that you paid for, such as Microsoft Office, however, will likely be on CD/DVD. They must be installed from this media, along with the product key that came with them. My experience has been that both organized and unorganized people have a tendency to lose application CDs, particularly if they have had their computer for several years. Before buying a new computer, gather all your application installation CDs and make sure you have a disc for all the applications you use. You may be able to avoid this process and have all your applications as they were if you get your computer fixed. However, it should be noted that if the proposed fix to your current PC is to reinstall Windows, this issue is moot because all of your applications will have to be installed on a new Windows installation, just as on a new PC.