repairs

DIY Computer Repairs

I come from a time, as many who live at the Heads do, when most blokes (and some ladies) did their own car repairs.

DIY Computer repairsHours spent lying on cold concrete floors battling with unyielding bolts, swearing and covered in grease and dirt. Fixing the Holden or Ford us gave much satisfaction and the money (sometimes) saved helped the family budget. Once chips – silicon ones, not the dead remnants of lunch at the beach – found their way into cars, things changed. Using a strobe light to set the timing and tinkering with carburettors soon became impossible when they were replaced by electronic ignition and fuel injection and we had to rely on workshops with the right gear to do the specialised work for us. Continue reading

Fixing malware infections is causing pain

by Andy Turner
Coastal Computers & Design

I usually get a handful of systems a year that I have to completely wipe and do a clean reinstall of Windows after serious malware infections, but I have noticed – as have many computer techs – that this more drastic cure is needed more often now to completely eradicate the problems.

The writers of this dangerous junk have become far more adept at ensuring that their ‘products’  often worm their way so far into the operating system that complete removal is near impossible. I now advise my customers that I will attempt removal for a certain amount of time but after that it simply becomes uneconomic to continue and we have to shift to a ‘backup your data and start from scratch’ approach. In consequence, the more usual hour to ninety minute job ends up as a 2-3 hour exercise. Also, the end result is usually more work when the customer gets the computer back home again – reinstalling printers and other software that they require. Continue reading

Why do motherboards die?

by Andy Turner
Coastal Computers & Design

In this, the third article in the ‘why do components die?’ series (Why has my power supply died? and Why do hard drives die? are the other ones), I’ll look at the most important (and usually most expensive) computer part in any system – the ‘brawn & brains’ of a PC if you like.

The motherboard is visible from the back of any modern computer – all the sockets where you plug the keyboard, mouse, monitor and speakers into are mounted on one edge of this large printed circuit board. It is where all the I/O (input/output) devices connect to which also includes the hard drive, DVD writer as well as the previously mentioned peripherals. It also has the socket for the brains – the processor – and the memory store – the RAM modules. Motherboards are incredibly complex pieces of kit and are – or should be – one of the most reliable components. After all, there are no moving parts (unless you count the cooling fan on the processor) and if it is well designed with quality components that don’t get too hot, expected lifespan should be well over 10 years – well, unless it becomes obsolete before then anyway! Continue reading

Why has my power supply died?

by Andy Turner
Coastal Computers & Design

Any PC repair business will tell you the same thing, they replace around 10 times as many power supplies than any other computer component. Why? Because many (if not most) power supplies fitted as standard equipment in the average mass-produced PC are poor quality.

You would think that manufacturers would specify better quality components in their systems. One reason they don’t may be that it’s easy to blame failures of this essential component on power surges and lightening strikes! Continue reading

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