Computer Repair

User Forum Topic
Submitted by zk on July 28, 2021 - 12:00pm

Anybody know of a reliable, trustworthy place/guy to get my computer fixed?

Shut my computer down for a week while I was on vacation and now it won't boot.

Thanks.

Submitted by gzz on July 28, 2021 - 1:05pm.

If it is more than 4 years old, buy a new one. If there's anything you need on the hard drive, just take it out and either put it in the new PC, or put it in an external enclosure.

You can also salvage your data with this cord if you have a normal sata drive which I'd guess you do with 90% confidence:

https://smile.amazon.com/StarTech-com-SA...

Submitted by zk on July 28, 2021 - 1:16pm.

gzz wrote:
If it is more than 4 years old, buy a new one. If there's anything you need on the hard drive, just take it out and either put it in the new PC, or put it in an external enclosure.

You can also salvage your data with this cord if you have a normal sata drive which I'd guess you do with 90% confidence:

https://smile.amazon.com/StarTech-com-SATA-USB-Cable-USB3S2SAT3CB/dp/B00HJZJI84/

Thanks, gzz. I will definitely be getting a new computer. This one is three or four years old.

I know next to nothing about computers, so I wouldn't know how to transfer the stuff I need from my old computer using that cable without booting up my old computer. Is that even possible?

I also wouldn't know how to connect my old, unbootable hard drive to a new one.

I'm getting the "your PC did not start correctly" error, and I have tried all of the available options that that message gives you (and that I understand and have the equipment to perform) to no avail.

Thanks for any info or recommendations you may have.

Submitted by gzz on July 28, 2021 - 2:09pm.

I think your PC could likely be fixed since it is at least turning on and giving you an error message. But the time and effort are not worth it. I like keeping my old ones running for 10+ years because I find it fun, but it isn't economically efficient.

It's pretty easy to remove a hard drive from a broken old PC, if it's a desktop you need nothing beyond a screwdriver and it takes 5 minutes or less.

Ideally if you are going from one desktop to another, there will be an extra drive slot in the new desktop for the old HD, giving you extra space on the new one.

In any case, the "booting" is done from the main drive on your new PC. The old drive from your old PC connects a lot like a USB flash drive. It happens automatically. So if the drive itself isn't corrupted, you plug it in with the cable I linked to, and it shows up on "My Computer" as an extra hard drive.

Submitted by zk on July 28, 2021 - 2:10pm.

Turns out I have a bad hard drive.

So instead of asking for recommendations for computer repair, I guess I'm asking for recommendations for a guy/ place that does data recovery from a bad hard drive. Thanks.

Submitted by gzz on July 28, 2021 - 3:32pm.

There are some easy software fixes for a slightly bad hard drive, which you can run by just hooking it up to a new working PC.

If those don't work, you're looking at costly data recovery services that will be $2,000+.

In my view the best system for regular PC users is to have an SSD as their windows C drive and use a regular HD for large seldomly used files plus as a windows backup. There are other backup options for even more important stuff, but most failures will not hit both drives at once so this will be a good setup for most people.

I had an SSD completely fail once, and Windows backup completely fixed it with just a few clicks.

Submitted by Coronita on July 28, 2021 - 4:30pm.

zk wrote:
Turns out I have a bad hard drive.

So instead of asking for recommendations for computer repair, I guess I'm asking for recommendations for a guy/ place that does data recovery from a bad hard drive. Thanks.

Not worth the cost of doing this unless the data is absolutely must save because often times what these people do is very painful and tedious. (Disassembly your hard drive, finding an identical drive, physically move the platters from your drive to one that is working, etc.) I've done this myself one time. It was painful and time spent versus the importance of the lost data, ended up not being worth it... Ok, maybe it was worth it since most of the videos of Evelyn Lin would have taken a long time to find again...... I'm kidding....

For your new system, besides getting an SSD as your main drive in your computer, I would also an external USB RAID drive (with 2 disk redundancy at minimum) and setup a backup schedule to regularly backup important files like pictures/videos/media to it....

I have one an older version of these:

https://www.amazon.com/24TB-Desktop-Exte...

You probably don't need 24TB of backup storage, you can probably deal with just 12TB RAID of backup storage which would be roughly half the price of 24TB RAID... Unless you happen to collect a lot of videos of Evelyn Lin.... I'm really kidding....

In addition to the raid backup, I also backup my photos to Google Photos. if you run out of storage, create a new account each year and segment the photos per year... And for video, I upload them to YouTube private and Google Photos. Pictures and videos are backed up to the cloud and to the raid drive...... Except for the videos of Evelyn Lin, which are copyrighted and cannot be uploaded to Youtube....... I'm really kidding here....

SSD drives are great, especially for laptops because generally they are more rugged than normal hard drives. So for instance if you drop your laptop, you are less likely to crash your hard drive. However, they do fail too, and when they fail, unlike hard drives, there's usually no early warning sign like a click-clack you often hear with a hard drive or just get a few bad sectors. Often times it's a total failure all at once. So you definitely want to plan for that. But SSD offers significant performance. For instance, for a 2 hour long video of Evelyn Lin...seeking to the relevant parts of the video is a lot quicker and less laggy than with a normal hard drive.... I'm kidding, really....

Submitted by zk on July 28, 2021 - 6:23pm.

gzz wrote:

In any case, the "booting" is done from the main drive on your new PC. The old drive from your old PC connects a lot like a USB flash drive. It happens automatically. So if the drive itself isn't corrupted, you plug it in with the cable I linked to, and it shows up on "My Computer" as an extra hard drive.

Great to hear.

gzz wrote:
There are some easy software fixes for a slightly bad hard drive, which you can run by just hooking it up to a new working PC.

If those don't work, you're looking at costly data recovery services that will be $2,000+.

Coronita wrote:

Not worth the cost of doing this unless the data is absolutely must save because often times what these people do is very painful and tedious. (Disassembly your hard drive, finding an identical drive, physically move the platters from your drive to one that is working, etc.) I've done this myself one time. It was painful and time spent versus the importance of the lost data, ended up not being worth it...

When my new computer arrives, I'll try the easy methods. I backed up all my pix/videos (several hundred GB of family pix/vids but, sadly, none of Evelyn Lin) a few months ago. And google photos should have a lot of the more recent stuff. Whatever else was on there was backed up recently enough, I guess. It would save some hassle to have it back, but nowhere near 2k worth of hassle, so I won't bother with the expensive options if it comes to that. I wasn't aware that those were my options so thanks for the info, gzz and flu.

gzz wrote:

In my view the best system for regular PC users is to have an SSD as their windows C drive and use a regular HD for large seldomly used files plus as a windows backup. There are other backup options for even more important stuff, but most failures will not hit both drives at once so this will be a good setup for most people.

Coronita wrote:

For your new system, besides getting an SSD as your main drive in your computer, I would also an external USB RAID drive (with 2 disk redundancy at minimum) and setup a backup schedule to regularly backup important files like pictures/videos/media to it....

Seems like good (and similar) ideas. Thanks to the input here, I'll definitely go with something like that. If there are particular pros/cons to those different setups, I'd love to hear them.

Coronita wrote:

In addition to the raid backup, I also backup my photos to Google Photos. if you run out of storage, create a new account each year and segment the photos per year... And for video, I upload them to YouTube private and Google Photos. Pictures and videos are backed up to the cloud and to the raid drive......

New account every year. That's a great idea! Definitely doing that.

Submitted by Coronita on July 28, 2021 - 7:17pm.

one thing about backup usb drive. i dont leave it connected. A RAID usb backup drive mitigates against hardware failure with your main storage, and the dual RAID drive mitigates against a single hard drive failure in the USB RAID drive....However, these backup drives wont do anything against a computer infested with a virus. So i only have the backup drive connected when im backing things up.

Submitted by gzz on July 29, 2021 - 10:42am.

Flu suggests something a lot more expensive than me. A 12GB external RAID would be I'd guess something like $500+ on top of the normal computer price. I had something similar for my business for about 8 years called a NAS. The NAS itself failed but not the drives inside, and I ended up parting out the drives to PCs and using a regular PC to host the office network.

The only home PC use of such size would be storing a huge collection of HD quality videos. With smart phones able to take 4k video and maybe ripping your favorite blurays that's not an exotic requirement like it would have been a few years ago. Still it is atypical.

If you want a desktop for typical home use something like this would be great and probably provide more like 8 years of good use:

https://www.hp.com/us-en/shop/pdp/hp-sli...

It has the SSD + HD setup already in it and HP is the most reliable brand in my experience for computer equipment. It also has a DVD drive and burner, which I think is still pretty useful but is becoming harder to find on new PCs.

Submitted by zk on July 29, 2021 - 12:00pm.

I think I'm going to go with this

https://www.costco.com/.product.1487294....

Lenovo w/ 512GB SSD, 12GB RAM, 10th GEN INTEL i5. $500.

I have a 2TB external HDD for storage, and I'll be getting another 2TB external HDD for storage (storing the same stuff (pix/videos) on both for safety). I'll be putting the pix/videos on M discs soon ("soon" is the plan anyway).(I have an external device to write to M-discs)

The non-pix/video stuff I need to save fits on a thumb drive.

I considered (would continue to consider if I receive further input on it) the dual-drive computer gzz put a link to. But I've read that as SSDs get full, they slow down. And that basic, necessary stuff might get a 256GB SSD to a point where it's full enough to do that.

I understand that backing stuff up to 2 external HDDs is a pain, especially compared to backing stuff up to the HDD in a dual-drive computer. But it seems pretty cost-effective.

That's the plan, anyway. I really very much appreciate the input so far, and if anybody would be so kind as to point out any flaws in my plan, I would very much appreciate that, too. Thanks again.

Submitted by gzz on July 29, 2021 - 12:20pm.

That PC looks like a great value with great specs. It is only a 90W power supply which would have been way too low a few years ago but I assume is OK now.

From a clutter standpoint you can add a 2nd 2TB HD to the inside rather than get another external. The internals are usually about $5-10 cheaper too.

The specs on their website say it supports this:

Storage Storage Support Up to 2 drives, 1x 3.5" HDD + 1x M.2 SSD • 3.5" HDD up to 2TB • M.2 SSD up to 512GB

Submitted by Coronita on July 29, 2021 - 1:01pm.

zk wrote:
I think I'm going to go with this

https://www.costco.com/.product.1487294....

Lenovo w/ 512GB SSD, 12GB RAM, 10th GEN INTEL i5. $500.

I have a 2TB external HDD for storage, and I'll be getting another 2TB external HDD for storage (storing the same stuff (pix/videos) on both for safety). I'll be putting the pix/videos on M discs soon ("soon" is the plan anyway).(I have an external device to write to M-discs)

The non-pix/video stuff I need to save fits on a thumb drive.

I considered (would continue to consider if I receive further input on it) the dual-drive computer gzz put a link to. But I've read that as SSDs get full, they slow down. And that basic, necessary stuff might get a 256GB SSD to a point where it's full enough to do that.

I understand that backing stuff up to 2 external HDDs is a pain, especially compared to backing stuff up to the HDD in a dual-drive computer. But it seems pretty cost-effective.

That's the plan, anyway. I really very much appreciate the input so far, and if anybody would be so kind as to point out any flaws in my plan, I would very much appreciate that, too. Thanks again.

that PC sucks... For starters it has a last generation Intel I5 in it.

This one is better, albeit less ram ...

https://www.costco.com/hp-pavilion-deskt...

CPU comparo

https://www.cpu-monkey.com/en/compare_cp...

Submitted by zk on July 29, 2021 - 1:19pm.

gzz wrote:
That PC looks like a great value with great specs. It is only a 90W power supply which would have been way too low a few years ago but I assume is OK now.

From a clutter standpoint you can add a 2nd 2TB HD to the inside rather than get another external. The internals are usually about $5-10 cheaper too.

The specs on their website say it supports this:

Storage Storage Support Up to 2 drives, 1x 3.5" HDD + 1x M.2 SSD • 3.5" HDD up to 2TB • M.2 SSD up to 512GB

Good idea. If I go this way, that seems like a tidier way to go. Thanks!

Submitted by zk on July 29, 2021 - 1:17pm.

Coronita wrote:

that PC sucks... For starters it has a last generation Intel I5 in it.

This one is better, albeit less ram ...

https://www.costco.com/hp-pavilion-deskt...

CPU comparo

https://www.cpu-monkey.com/en/compare_cpu-amd_ryzen_5_5600g-1877-vs-intel_core_i5_10400-1153

Those cpu comparison stats are over my head. But if you say the AMD Ryzen is better, I'll take your word for it. I like the 1TB SSD. What would it take to upgrade to 12 (or 16) GB of RAM? Thanks!

Submitted by gzz on July 29, 2021 - 4:46pm.

I had no idea Ryzen 5 had such better built in graphics as Intel chips.

Ultimately it's not very important. ZK will probably barely notice his new PC is faster than his 4 year old one, and not notice at all the speed difference between these two PCs, unless he is doing some power user stuff like video edits.

I still use my 2011ish Gen 1 i7-890 desktop, and it really is barely any slower for most daily tasks than my shiny new Omen 25L.

The biggest difference for general office use is that the new PC does OCR of large scanned documents a ton faster than older PCs. Not sure how often people need to do giant OCR projects however.

Submitted by svelte on July 30, 2021 - 12:25pm.

Coronita wrote:
one thing about backup usb drive. i dont leave it connected. A RAID usb backup drive mitigates against hardware failure with your main storage, and the dual RAID drive mitigates against a single hard drive failure in the USB RAID drive....However, these backup drives wont do anything against a computer infested with a virus. So i only have the backup drive connected when im backing things up.

I use similar strategy. None of my data is stored on the computer - only software I install which isn't much nowadays.

All of my data is on external USB - I have a 12TB drive and two 12 TB backup drives plus a 12 TB backup sitting in a safe deposit box which I swap out every 4 months. I will lose a week's worth of work if my 12 TB main USB drive fails. I don't keep any drive past 5 years of age - all failures I have seen have been on drives 7-10 years of age. Backup drives are plugged in only while backing up data.

If my house burns down I'll lose 4 months of data, but if my house burns down I've got bigger problems than data.

If my computer goes belly up, all I do is unplug my 12 TB drive from my old computer and plug it into my new computer. Install 2-3 sw packages and I'm good to go! Easy.

Submitted by Coronita on July 30, 2021 - 3:15pm.

gzz wrote:
I had no idea Ryzen 5 had such better built in graphics as Intel chips.

Ultimately it's not very important. ZK will probably barely notice his new PC is faster than his 4 year old one, and not notice at all the speed difference between these two PCs, unless he is doing some power user stuff like video edits.

I still use my 2011ish Gen 1 i7-890 desktop, and it really is barely any slower for most daily tasks than my shiny new Omen 25L.

The biggest difference for general office use is that the new PC does OCR of large scanned documents a ton faster than older PCs. Not sure how often people need to do giant OCR projects however.

If you plan on doing some photo editing, or use a drawing app like CorelDraw, it makes a difference too. Not sure if these cheaper boxes allow for a ram upgrade. A lot of times, to cut cost they started soldering the memory directly onto the motherboard.

I would say for the talented, you could build a much better system if you wanted to assemble it yourself, but that takes a lot of work.

Submitted by Coronita on July 30, 2021 - 3:17pm.

svelte wrote:
Coronita wrote:
one thing about backup usb drive. i dont leave it connected. A RAID usb backup drive mitigates against hardware failure with your main storage, and the dual RAID drive mitigates against a single hard drive failure in the USB RAID drive....However, these backup drives wont do anything against a computer infested with a virus. So i only have the backup drive connected when im backing things up.

I use similar strategy. None of my data is stored on the computer - only software I install which isn't much nowadays.

All of my data is on external USB - I have a 12TB drive and two 12 TB backup drives plus a 12 TB backup sitting in a safe deposit box which I swap out every 4 months. I will lose a week's worth of work if my 12 TB main USB drive fails. I don't keep any drive past 5 years of age - all failures I have seen have been on drives 7-10 years of age. Backup drives are plugged in only while backing up data.

If my house burns down I'll lose 4 months of data, but if my house burns down I've got bigger problems than data.

If my computer goes belly up, all I do is unplug my 12 TB drive from my old computer and plug it into my new computer. Install 2-3 sw packages and I'm good to go! Easy.

When I use to work in an office, I leave a single drive backup that replicates the raid drive in my office... no office anymore...

Submitted by Coronita on August 4, 2021 - 7:43am.

...(Mr. Rogers theme song playing...) It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood, a beautiful day in the neighborhood... wont you be mine? ...

STONKS!!! Amd to the moon!!STONKS!!! Amd to the moon!!

Submitted by barnaby33 on August 4, 2021 - 10:08am.

How about just using a cloud backup service. Why mess with a local drive at all?
Josh

Submitted by zk on August 4, 2021 - 10:55am.

Cost, obviously. 1 tb of cloud storage is $20/month from what I'm seeing. A 2TB HDD is about $60.

If you're aware have a cloud service that can provide a terabyte of storage for free or for significantly less than $20 a month, I'm all ears.

Submitted by svelte on August 4, 2021 - 3:46pm.

barnaby33 wrote:
How about just using a cloud backup service. Why mess with a local drive at all?
Josh

A few reasons. Privacy, reliability, and cost for me in that order.

There have been so many data breaches that I really don't trust anyone's ability to safeguard my information.

Reliability - I have seen backups fail way, way too many times. Either they are misconfigured so that they weren't storing what I thought they were storing, or the mechanism or media failed, or on and on. I'd say as high as 25% of the time that data needed to be recovered, it was unrecoverable. I don't trust anyone but me with my data redundancy. I never do incremental saves...I wipe the disk and make an entirely new copy of everything. Time consuming yes, but I'm 100% sure all of the files are there and the latest version.

Third, it does cost a bit. However, 12TB drives aren't cheap either so its not a major driver in my decision.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.