Solution get your computer fixed by a professional may seem like an easy choice for problem solving on your own but that doesn’t mean it’s carefree.

Data privacy, service time and cost, and the severity of the problem are the most common topics of questions we receive from readers when they decide to get their computers fixed.

Open laptop
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Most of the more specific questions we’ve received over the years are listed below, along with my responses:

“I need access to my files RIGHT NOW! How can I take them off? Are they still there?

This is probably the most common and completely understandable question I get. Regardless of your plans for how and where to get your computer fixed, your important data is a priority.

The most important thing to understand is that majority computer problems not affect saved files, such as the resume you just finished updating, or the document you need for school tomorrow morning. So, aside from the relatively rare situation of a physical hard drive, your files are probably fine — just inaccessible at the moment.

In the «how to disable them» part, most computer problems that restrict access to your files fall into two camps, each with its own solution:

If your computer is not completely disabled try run it in safe mode . Once there, you can even temporarily use your computer, but if not, you can at least copy the files you need to flash drive or a disk, then to use them from another computer.

If your computer won’t even start in safe mode or won’t turn on at all, you can still disable files, but you’ll need the help of another computer and a relatively cheap tool.

Cm. How to retrieve data from an old hard drive for help with this. It’s not that easy for a beginner, but it’s very possible if you follow the instructions given here. A computer repair service will do this task for you, if you like, for a fee.

“Is this problem even fixable, or is it so bad that I need a new computer?”

Obviously, the answer to this question is almost 100 percent related to the nature of the problem with the computer, which you probably don’t know yet because it hasn’t been addressed.

In general, however, most computer problems are fixable, which means a new part, and some repair time is a more likely outcome than the need for a new computer. Also, as I mentioned in my answer to the last question, it’s relatively rare for computer problems to affect your files.

That’s all there is to it, and even if you may not know the cause of your computer’s problem, there are usually some clues as to how serious the problem is, and what the solution might be, when all is said and done.

If you have any computer, but it turns on and Windows at least tries to start, there’s a good chance it’s a software problem and not a hardware problem. Software problems are easier to fix and usually they deal with computer repairs.

If you have a laptop or tablet that won’t turn on completely or not working at all, you might get lucky and just need a new battery or power adapter. If it doesn’t, you may be experiencing a different type of hardware issue, meaning you may need a new computer. Unfortunately, these types of computers do not have many interchangeable parts.

If you have a desktop computer that won’t turn on at all perhaps some hardware is to blame, but chances are that a separate piece of hardware can be replaced, which will solve the problem.

If you’re up for it, we’ve got an extensive troubleshooting guide that can help you figure out or even fix the issue that’s preventing your computer from starting. Cm. How to fix a computer that won’t turn on to know more about it.

Another thing to consider is the cost of the repair versus the new cost of the computer. If your computer has a serious problem, or you have been considering a new computer for anyway, or may be , and sometimes choosing not having a fixed computer is an excellent choice.

“How long will it take to fix this problem and how much could it cost?”

The answer to these questions depends almost entirely on the problem and is one of the very first questions to ask any repair service you plan to deal with.

Refer to the section » Important questions to ask about computer repair» to learn more about these and related questions that you need answered.

Also useful here is our management » How to describe your problem» for professional PC repair . Knowing how to report a problem is the best way to get an accurate time and cost estimate for services.

“What if they have to reinstall everything on my computer to fix this? Won’t I lose all my files?!»

Absolutely not. Backing up your files is or should be the repairman’s first priority when your computer is detected. Considering how important your files are, this should definitely be one of the things you’re asking about, just to be sure.

Don’t get me wrong if the problem has resulted in the loss of some or all of your files, which is what happens with serious problems With hard drive then your files will not be saved. However, if your files can be copied safely, they can and should be.

After repairing your computer, even if a complete reinstall of Windows and your software is required, you should provide a disc or flash drive containing your files, or indicate where your previous files are now stored on your computer.

«If I end up needing a new computer, will I lose my files or can they be transferred to my new computer?»

Yes, your files can be transferred from your old computer to your new one. If you happen to buy a new computer from the same place you fixed your old one, they might even do it for you for free.

If you want or need to do this yourself, some recent versions of Windows include something called Easy Transfer Windows which makes the process really easy.

“Computer repair technicians review files found on a computer? I can’t afford to pay someone to violate my privacy!»

Has it ever happened? I guarantee you the answer — Yes .

Is this a relentless problem? No, I do not think so. I have owned and worked in computer repair shops for many years and have never not seen deliberate breach of confidentiality.

Other than choosing the best possible repair shop (see next question) and hoping that a great repair shop means fair business practices and good staff, there is little that can be done about this potential problem.

If you’re lucky enough to have full access to your files before shutting down your computer, you can always copy the files to a flash drive or disk and then delete them from your computer. To be honest, though, you’re probably at risk of accidentally deleting something important than becoming a victim of identity theft or a privacy breach.

How to choose a computer repair service?

It’s always difficult. You do a quick search and 25 places appear, all with different, sometimes conflicting, reviews.

This discussion has become so big that it has its own piece! look, How to Decide Where to Get Your Computer for Repair for a lot of help figuring out what to do.

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