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To Repair or Replace, That Is the Question: When to Let an Old Computer Go

published 1/28/2020

The expected lifespan for laptops and computers is between 3 and 5 years, owing to both ownership and age.

Anything you own for a significant amount of time is likely to experience wear and tear. Computers also have the disadvantage of being at the forefront of a major field. The rapid advance of digital technology has resulted in short-lived computer models.

It has also resulted in upgrades, modifications and other tricks to keep an older computer working for longer. Taking care of a computer can also significantly extend its life.

The day will come when you'll have to repair it. When is a computer outdated, though, and how do you know for sure? How do you know what the problem is and how to fix it?

We'll talk more about that in the paragraphs below.

1. Slowing Down

There are many potential causes for a slow computer, and most of them are fixable.

Checking for malware is a possible solution. Some types of malware function by gaining access to a computer's files and downloading a very large program that strains a computer's function.

Running an antivirus scan or upgrading your antivirus may be the solution. It can help you find and eliminate malware, and will prevent similar issues in the future.

Perhaps you've downloaded a disruptive file or program. It may not be a harmful program and it wasn't downloaded with malicious intent, but it's large enough to slow down your computer. Your best options are to either upgrade the storage space on your computer or delete the program.

Cleaning your computer could also help. Sometimes, bits of the computer get clogged or disrupted, which causes overheating. Physically cleaning the computer should fix this.

2. Screen Malfunction

Another common problem that many computers experience is screen dysfunction. The issue could be internal or it could be just the screen.

You can tell for sure by hooking up a monitor to your laptop or computer. If the monitor works, then the problem is your screen.

Dead pixels in parts of the display are also a good indicator that it's the screen. Most internal issues will not cause pixel loss.

If it's an internal problem, you'll need to see a repairman. Oftentimes, internal display issues can be fixed for less than the cost of a new computer.

3. Charging Issues

Unfortunately, most of us have at some point encountered a device that won't charge. The first thing to do is to try hooking the charger up to another device where it fits and that runs on the same voltage. If that device charges, then your computer is the problem.

A charger cable not working could also be the result of a power outlet or the power in your home not working. This isn't likely, though, so don't set aside cash for an expensive home repair yet.

Plugging the laptop into the wall and unplugging the battery can help to determine whether the battery is at fault. The battery and cable can be replaced.

On the subject of batteries, you may want to look into potential problems if you have a Macbook Pro. Apple recently issued a battery recall because some of the batteries were at risk of catching fire.

4. Upgrade Concerns

Every once in a while, you may want to improve your computer's capabilities. Oftentimes, this can be done with a few system upgrades, such as adding in more memory or installing a new operating system.

New video cards and operating system updates are coming out all the time. These can help your computer run more efficiently for longer.

Keeping your computer cared for and upgraded can also extend its life. A well-maintained computer can last for up to a decade. This is an astoundingly long time for a computer.

When is a computer outdated? When you can no longer run it as is and you can't upgrade it either. Otherwise, you should be able to fix it.

5. You Really Want to Upgrade it

The best indicator of what to do with your computer sometimes comes down to personal opinion. Are you fine with how it's working now, or is there something you feel is missing from its performance?

Before committing to any kind of repair or upgrade, you'll need to know exactly what you want and whether your computer can handle it.

A Note On Personal and Professional Repair

You don't have to consult a repair shop for everything that goes wrong with your computer. Sometimes a few Internet searches can give you a hint or steps to perform that may make the issue disappear. However, there will occasionally be more complicated issues that will require the expertise of a professional.

If you really don't want to go to a repair shop, or simply can't there are websites and videos dedicated to more complicated repairs.

Another option if you have time time to dedicate to it might be to take classes on computers. It may even help you save money on your computer in the long run.

When is a Computer Outdated?

When is a computer outdated? Technically, the answer depends just as much on you as it does the computer.

We've mentioned some of the problems of aging in the paragraphs above. We've talked about how to diagnose a problem and how to fix it. Ther are other factors that play into whether it's time to repair or upgrade a computer.

What about time? Do you know how to install the upgrade? If you need an expert, and if so, can you afford to wait if they're not immediately available?

How about tutorials? Can you figure out how to fix it yourself? These are the kinds of questions you should ask before making a decision.

If you want more advice on computer maintenance or are in need of repair please visit our site. If you have to get rid of an old computer, there are steps you'll need to take first.