Are Refurbished Computers Worth It?

Written on 29 May 2015 by

refurb-macmini-thunderboltBig name brands like Apple sell refurbished computers at a very reasonable price. This is a big draw to customers who would like to replace their old computers for newer models but cannot afford them at full price. If you look at it from the financial standpoint, refurbished computers are definitely worth it. But are they really just as good as brand new ones?

The truth is that refurbished computers are labelled as such for varied reasons. One of the reasons that computers are “sent back to the factory” is because of cosmetic defects. If you get a computer that was refurbished with only cosmetic defects being the original problem, then you can bet that you’re getting a great deal since the issue will definitely affect your computer’s performance.

If the original problem is due to something serious like CPU failure, then it is understandable to be more wary. However, remember that the problematic part has been replaced. The only real problem is that refurbished computers usually have shorter warranties. Still, if you have a limited budget, they are indeed worth looking into.

Image via Apple Store

Video Card Errors – Part 1

Written on 22 May 2015 by

video.jpgYou are browsing the net and you get tired so you take a break and return to a computer with no display, what do you do? First of all, don�t panic and see if the CPU is still functioning with blinking lights or the power LED (the green thingy that is always on when you use your PC). If it is blinking, the PC has turned itself off going into sleep mode, look for the wake-up key on the keyboard and press, you�re back in business. If it still fails, sorry but you�ll have to turn off the CPU (computer actually) by pressing the Power Button until the power led turns off and the fan stops humming. Disconnect all cables and connectors from the CPU and open the casing making sure you touch the case before doing anything else (this discharges static electricity which could fry expensive microelectronics like your motherboard, memory module, CPU, etc).

Computer Basics : Essential for troubleshooting Part-2

Written on 22 May 2015 by

pctt3.jpgIf this is your first time, get hold of a can of compressed air specifically developed for cleaning computers and not from your garage compressor. Canned air is moisture free to avoid contaminating the electronics. Hold the Power supply for a few minutes while you take a look inside to admire the parts (this discharges any static electricity from you) Check all vents for the internal fans along with the one for the power supply. If they are dirty try to blow air through them to remove all dust and debris from all visible parts. If the said computer is visually dusty, you might want to do this outside the house. Also pay close attention to the CPU and blow air onto the fan and heat sink. Once you are satisfied and all visible dust and fido hairs are gone, you can reverse the process and take the camera shots to re-connect all the cables and chords that you took out and boot up. A clean computer runs cooler and more efficiently, besides too much dust on any of the internal components can lead to parts failure due to the insulating properties of dust.

Beginners Guide: Computer Repair (Part 3)

Written on 15 May 2015 by

To junk some of your unused files and clean the Windows registry, you have to grab yourself a cleaner software program. Once you have this program, just close all of your applications and open the software. Click on “Clean Now” and you will see that the program will remove almost all of the temporary programs or files in your machine, which are normally the cause of many common problems. Then you will see the result on the screen on how much files were removed.

Then, click on the “Repair Errors” button. Click “Scan for Errors,” and when the process is complete, just click “Fix Errors” and it’s all complete. Restart the machine and if the problem is not yet fixed, you already have a more serious problem which needs a technician to troubleshoot it for you.

Dust and Grime may cause your PC or Gadget to malfunction

Written on 8 May 2015 by

Every gadget that has electrical contacts will always have some sort of failure sonner or later. Whether it is caused by dust, dirt, corrosion, or just plain wear and tear it will happen.

Moving on, everything from CF cards to flash memory cards, from batteries to USB peripherals can encounter this problem. I remember that the same thing happened to me with my PlayStation Portable unit. When I inserted the Memory Stick Duo, it was not recognized. I was sweating profusely and I restarted the unit and turned it on again, much to my shock that it seems it was empty. All my photos, saved games, or movies seemed lost. It was almost a year since i cleaned my memory card so i proceeded to clean the contacts using the eraser on my pencil and inserted it back to my PSP and Voila! The Memory Stick was alive again.

Cooling Fans Explained

Written on 1 May 2015 by

Ever wonder why those small fans inside your computers continue to run even after years of use, thanks the bearing less motor for that which is actually derived from hard drive technology that uses precision motors to spin the fan without any contact points. If you’re technically inclined and are familiar with brush less motors, they’re the same principle with bearing less motors that spins the fans of our computers. They rely not on mechanical bearings but a sleeve bearing that has less friction compared to mechanical bearings that wear out in time. They will break down eventually for they do burn out or some part can fail, but overall, they are capable of serving us for many years. Continue »

Heat, your PC’s worst Nightmare

Written on 24 April 2015 by

chipsetHeat is the enemy of any computer system or any other electronic device for too much can burn out specific parts rendering them useless and possibly catastrophically to fail and give you a puff of smoke that smells. There may be too much dust that has accumulated within your computer’s casing that it is causing excessive heating wreaking havoc to an otherwise healthy computer system. Get your vacuum and open the casing, removing most of the ones you can to allow reach into all nooks and crannies. Use a special metallic brush that dissipates static electricity or use a wrist strap to prevent damage from static. Use the steel brush to remove stubborn dirt while keeping the vacuum at a safe distance from the motherboard (you may just suck some small part like a vital jumper or worse).
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Video Card Errors – Part 2

Written on 17 April 2015 by

agp.jpgLook for the video card and check if it hasn�t popped out of it�s slot (remember the monitor, the card to which it is connected to is the video card), if so re-seat and try booting up. If the video card is embedded (meaning it is part of the motherboard) it may have failed (sorry, replacement is the only option for this form of motherboard) or if you have a slot for third-party video cards you may purchase one and disable the one embedded within the system.

Note: It is normal for Video Cards to pop out of their slots (AGP or PCI) due to some manufacturers making them with teeny-tiny edges where the contacts are located that fail to seat firmly into the board. They tend to jump out by themselves especially if the PC is used heavily or there is a source of vibration nearby say in an office. The short edges, instead of being grabbed by the connector on the motherboard, sits just above the clamping part which acts as a spring hence the jumping part.

Moving Old Files to your Slave Disk

Written on 9 April 2015 by

Normally, you will find yourself running out of space when folders such as you’re documents directory would soon be filled up. People want to leave their files in their directory since most of the time that is the first directory that applications such as Word and Excel would point to.

You can do one of two things. One of which is to change the target directory of your software via the options or preferences panel or second, just make another directory on the secondary hard drive to serve as historical files data. That is why when you format your hard disk, it would be best to split it into two so that in these cases, you have a logical way of storing files as archived ones.

Defrag your Computer Regularly

Written on 2 April 2015 by

Our computer is delicate especially if you do not properly shut it down. Most of the time, we cannot avoid sudden hang-ups or even power failures that make our computer encounter some problems whenever we turn it on again.

In these cases there will be lost fragments which go astray. While we cannot check out how to place them back, we can always use a defragment service that our computer has to ensure that these lost fragments are brought back to where they originally were.

Aside from that, we can help optimize our system as well. All it takes is a couple of minutes to allow our computer to re-align itself and we are bound to get it back to good as new.

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