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Many of the repair jobs we get in could be less serious than they end up being. So, in this section we will share some snippets of advice to help minimise the disruption (and hopefully costs) when your computer goes wrong.
A common first sign of a fault with your computer will be a message on boot up along the lines of :
"windows was unable to start due to the following missing file(s)
There are two main causes of this error:
1. A malicious program (virus, etc...) has altered or deleted a file essential to the booting of the computer
2. The hard drive in your computer has begun breaking down
3. A windows updates has installed badly.
Our best advice to you is to turn your computer off immediately and get it checked. It is not un-heard-of for a hard drive to suffer a total loss the very next time the computer is used - though this is rare.
If there is one single message that can save cost and heartache when your computer goes wrong is BACKUP, BACKUP, BACKUP. The second most common fault with a computer is the failure of the hard disk drive. When this happens we can easily replace the drive and get your machine up and running very quickly but if we have to get a customers data back then this will add a minimum of £30 to the bill. £30 that could have been avoided by having a backup of all the important pictures, music, documents, videos and the like. Most people don't have any more than 20GB's on their hard drive and backing up before disaster strikes costs just £5.00 for enough DVD-R disks to backup almost 50GB's of data. So please, PLEASE backup your computer now!
The biggest reason for computer failure it the power supply unit (P.S.U.) failing. It is not a big nor expensive job, usually costing around £45.00 to fix. However it is our experience that 'E-Machines' branded computers regularly suffer from a more serious problem when the P.S.U. fails. What can happen is that the P.S.U. will also damage the motherboard - meaning a much more expensive repair. This usually only happens if a user keeps trying to power up their computer after the P.S.U. has failed - but it is avoidable. So, if you own one of these computers and you ever see the blue light around the power button flashing disconnect your computer from the mains immediately and get the P.S.U. Replaced.
A common cause of laptop failure is overheating. This is usually completely avoidable by always having your laptop in a hard surface when in use. Placing a laptop on a bed or sofa will block the vents on the underside and cause overheating. Also pet hairs (especially cat hairs) can be sucked in to your laptop and block the heat sink causing your laptop to overheat. Early signs of overheating are that the fans will be on more than normal and probably spinning noticeably louder than normal. Advanced signs are your laptop cutting out without any warning followed by repeated rapid cutting out if powered back on straight away. Laptop design varies dramatically but, depending on how much your laptop needs to be dismantled to clear the fans and heat sinks we charge as little as two large well done bacon rolls from walkers bakery. Yes, seriously two large well done bacon rolls from walkers bakery.