Often times on-site computer repair services seem more convenient and expedient than dropping of one’s PC or Mac. However, dropping off a computer with a professional can allow for a much more comprehensive job to be performed.
There are certain jobs where having your computer diagnosed, repaired and tested in a lab before releasing it is quite helpful. For example, if you are looking for a data recovery, virus removal, replacement of hardware or anything other than a quick solution to a simple problem, drop-off services offer a lot of advantages. For your benefit I’ll go through and review my opinion on the more popular services customers request, and why I feel many of them are best addressed outside of a customer’s premises.
Data recovery: When your hard drive begins to act up, it’s best to stop use immediately and have it diagnosed and (hopefully) recovered in at a professional facility. Performing data recovery on-site limits the capabilities of a technician significantly. Many data recoveries require special attention to the drive to check its condition and find the best method to attempt to recover your valuable information. For example, if your drive has physical damage and someone attempts to copy data without special precautions (such as determining the location and extent of damage and the best way to work around it) the copy process could literally destroy the drive. A professional with a properly equipped data recovery lab will be able to determine how to approach this problem in a measured manner that ensures if recovery is possible it is handled appropriately.
Virus removal: Malware has evolved in to a significant headache for computer users on PCs and lately Macs as well. Many viruses will hide themselves in the registry, drivers or even the OS kernel, making conventional removal processes impossible — even if it seems as though the infection has been isolated. The same infection could come right back if it is not removed with the proper precautions. At the same time, if one is too aggressive, without ensuring that system files are not damaged, the computer could be left unusable without a re-install of the OS. A common misnomer is that there is no way to remove a virus without a complete OS re-install, but that’s not true. A properly trained professional will be able to neutralize most infections without taking such destructive measures. On-site services simply do not allow enough time and attention for a proper removal of most infections. Conventional anti-virus software is also not enough to fend off malware on its own.
Hardware repair: Every time a computer has a hardware problem, whether it is from physical damage, wear and tear, overheating or otherwise, a full diagnostic must be performed to isolate the extent of the damage and ensure that the repair addresses it. Consider the following scenario — you accidentally drop your laptop and the screen breaks. Having a system that just sustained physical damage only have the immediately obvious problems addressed may leave other problems hidden and lurking. The fall could have damaged the computer’s hard drive and your data could be in jeopardy. A full diagnostic would reveal this, but without it you could be throwing good money at a system that may not be cost effective to repair. In addition, the process to replace a screen can disrupt other functionality that is contained in the screen enclosure, like wireless, web cameras, etc. A computer repair firm with a proper lab can diagnose and address these issues without leaving out important details.
While on-site service is ideal for very simple jobs, such as setting up a wireless network, configuring a home backup system or a home theater, for many jobs it is simply not the level of attention necessary to ensure that a high quality job is performed. The next time you have a computer problem, carefully weigh your options and if you do choose on-site service, be sure the firm is licensed, bonded, insured, has been in business for several years and has a good reputation online from Yelp, BBB and other appropriate rating metrics.
If you need drop-off computer repair service in the greater Washington, DC metropolitan area, consider Arlington Virginia Computer Repair. We are a small, home-based business that has been in operation since 1999 and has served over 10,000 satisfied clients in that time.