Fear of the computer
Recently, my laptop crashed. I am not sure what happened, but the hard drive just began chirping one day. The next time I turned it on, I got a message that no boot device was found. This was devastating. Like many of us, my entire life was on my hard drive. There were photos from my daughter’s first birthday, college papers, important emails, and even tax returns on this hard drive.
Good news, I had made a back-up.
The bad news is though, I had not made it in the correct format. I could not reload my computer from this back-up. I could reload my computer from the recovery partition, but that was on the hard drive and the hard drive was toast. Knowing that I had to get my computer back up and running, I immediately drove to my neared computer store and purchased a new hard drive. Since I had not made a recovery disk, I contacted the particular maker of my previous Operating System (OS) and tried to get a new copy sent to me. However, since this version had special add-ons specially made for my laptop, they could not send me a new copy. The maker of my laptop could send me a recovery hard drive, for a price.
It was then that I decided that I would just upgrade and go with the newest version of this particular OS. So, along with the new hard drive, I purchased some tools and a new version of software.
For most people, the thought of replacing any computer equipment would send them running to the nearest computer repairman or geek squad. There is no need for that. Most of the repairs that you will need to do on your PC you can do yourself, with a little knowledge and the right tools.
For instance, the replacement of the hard drive took less than five minutes and that includes opening up the packaging of the new hard drive. (This was a laptop though. The times I have had to do this on a desktop computer have taken longer.) The most important thing here is to know what type of hard drive you need. You can either take your old one with you to the store or ask an associate at the store. The actual replacement of the hard drive is a snap.
Just today, I had to replace the screen on this same laptop. The screen had just burnt out. I knew that it was just the screen because if I plugged in a VGA cable, I could still use the laptop along with a monitor. Had I not been able to, then we would have had a whole different issue.
In this case, it was just the screen.
The entire process of replacing this screen took less than 20 minutes and that is with my stopping to pop some of the bubble wrap the new screen came in. (I couldn’t resist, I love bubble wrap.) Doing this type of stuff does not require an intricate knowledge of computers. On the surface, changing out the screen seems like a big deal. However, it’s not. It is also a whole lot cheaper than buying a new laptop.
Next time you get computer problems, follow these simple steps:
1. DON’T PANIC. Costly mistakes are made when you panic. You might be tempted to purchase an entire new system rather than fix the one that you have.
2. RESEARCH. Find out as much as you can about your problem and about your system. If you do an internet search, don’t take the first piece of information you come across. Verify it through multiple sources. For my screen replacement, YouTube was a wonderful tool.
3. BE PREPARED. Be prepared before starting the process. Have the correct tools and the correct parts. Also be prepared to make mistakes.
4. PRACTICE. In this day and age, older technology can be purchased relatively cheap. You can regularly find older laptops and PC’s on Craigslist and through other venues for around 50.00. Or just open up your own laptop or PC. Don’t touch anything if nothing is broken, but look.
Now for those of you with apple products or tablets, I would recommend not trying to do it yourself. In cases like that, seek professional help.
I can still remember the first time I changed out a hard drive. It was about 15 years ago. To say that I was nervous would be an understatement. I checked and double checked my work and I still did not do it right the first time. Or the second. It was not until the 4th time trying that I got the PC to boot. I tell you that to say this: Working on your own computer is doable but it is not always easy.
With a little time and a little knowledge you can easily get more life out of your current computer, saving you time and money. Now, if I only were to take these same concepts and apply it to changing my own oil…
On second thought, nevermind.