How to Know When It’s Time to Take Your Laptop in for Repair Instead of Doing it Yourself

frustrated frustration in front of computer
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Will Young

It could be just a routine maintenance. Or maybe, you’d only JUST gotten the wrapping off this computer. Otherwise, perhaps you’ve kicked your heels at the cost of a much-needed upgrade, thinking “I can make this one last til next month” (forgetting you’ve been telling yourself that for more months than you can count, if you’re anything like me!).

With laptops it can feel like nothing’s a certainty. That feeling is, for the most part, entirely correct. However, one thing that is certain is that if your computer needs a repair today, waiting longer than necessary can increase costs, stress, and the likelihood of an extended turnaround time at the computer store. Likewise, if you get it taken care of ASAP, you’re less likely to needlessly lose data, money, and sleep.

It doesn’t matter if you’re the go-to techie in the family, or you’re a few “Macs” short of MacGyver himself: Challenging yourself to learn a new skill, or remembering to take care of a valued personal belonging is often a very rewarding experience, and laptop computers are no exception.

Many have never considered the possibility that they may be just as able to fix their own device as the guy on the other side of the counter in the computer shop, but the truth is, they may oftentimes be even more able to.

But if you’ve already been down this path, maybe you’re wondering when is enough enough, and when do you hire the big guns at the computer repair shop?

Wonder no more, we’ve got the biggest signs you’re in over your head.

1.You notice any signs of dampness.

If you value your computer, take it to a pro and get it spill cleaned ASAP. I know you know someone who used rice once, heck, if you really want to so can you. But a professional spill clean will be performed using state of the art tools and techniques, like cleaning the entire affected area ultrasonically. And while it might sound good, rice isn’t ultrasonic (last I heard).

2. You smell/see/taste/feel/hear something abnormal.

Laptops, once powered off, tend to be pretty boring. No change in temperature, scent or volume is actually a good thing here. If you’re on the fence about bringing it into a professional, a change in any of these things should be your first indicator to do so.

3. Every time you fix a problem, a new one pops up.

We get it. Mistakes happen, sometimes coincidences are just that: coincidences. But, if it seems like every time you get a screw tightened down, a new thing breaks, it may be time to get a second opinion on your dear computer.

That just about says it all, there are three great reasons to put down your screwdriver and set up an appointment at your local friendly computer repair shop. If DIY repairs is something you’d be interested in learning more about, we can recommend stopping in with the pros over at iFixit.com for tools, parts, and convenient step by step guides.


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One thought on “How to Know When It’s Time to Take Your Laptop in for Repair Instead of Doing it Yourself

  1. is that all?

    i would say “if you look at the numerous videos on youtube and it looks too complicated”.
    i recently replaced the battery on my old-ish macbook pro. in the process, and partly because there was no warning how fragile this little connector was, i broke off a teeny tiny plastic pin on the zif connector holding the flat cable between the keyboard/trackpad and the motherboard. (this runs across the battery.) this connector is part of the trackpad. once you’ve glued in the battery, removing it runs the risk of damaging the plastic bag in which it lives. so then i had to get a replacement trackpad AND another new battery. replacing the trackpad was almost impossible. 3 different size of torx screwdrivers are needed, and apple applied loctite to most of the tiny screws, so i garfed up some of the screw heads just trying to remove them. finally i had to drill slots in the heads with a dremel to get the silly screws out. can you tell this made me completely crazy? and i have been doing this kind of thing for DECADES.

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