Essential Points To Consider When Selecting A Computer Repair Company

Computers are perhaps one of the most useful gadgets that have ever been invented. They have become even more powerful with the advent of web technology. There’s hardly anybody these days who doesn’t find computers necessary, whether it’s for work, business, or other purposes. However, despite how advanced this device is, it’s still prone to encountering defects. In other words, it’s far from being perfect. Sooner or later, problems will arise, either with the unit itself or with the programs installed. Hence, there will be a need for repair work. If you don’t address the problem as soon as possible, it will be more troublesome later on.

When it comes to problems with your computer, it’s best to rely on an expert for help. There are many cases of units getting damaged beyond repair because inexperienced people fiddle with them. As a result, even just a simple repair job gets blown out of proportion. The entire system even needs to be reprogrammed sometimes. This will cost a lot and it’s probably better to just think of buying a new unit instead. Hence, if something goes wrong with your computer, do the right thing immediately. Look for a competent computer repair company to handle the job.

The question now is how to choose the right computer repair company. Remember that there are so many of them nowadays, so you have to choose wisely. Here are a few key points to look into when you’re out hunting for one. Number one, look for repair companies that are more established and check them out first. Those who have been in the business longer are presumed to have more experience. However, this is just a presumption, which means that it’s up to you to verify the nature of services actually delivered by them. With the help of online resources, you can search for customer feedback and other reviews.

Number two, make sure that the company is licensed to do business, specifically in the computer repair business. Also check out the credentials and other qualifications of their technicians. Be wary of those companies that do not openly display their business permits and licenses. If it is indeed an established one, it will have no qualms about displaying its legitimacy. Number three, assess the kind of customer service the company delivers. You can do this by setting a personal appointment with them or calling them up. Last but not the least, also make sure that they provide for the necessary warranties.

Basic Checks Before Visiting a Computer Repair Center

Today, computers are everywhere. It’s difficult to ideate life without computers. Directly and/or indirectly, computers have really changed our lives. If you are a regular computer user, then you must have experienced different types of problems. It doesn’t matter if the problem is a minor or major, if it gives problem when you need it, it’s real frustrating. If your computer still covers warranty period, then it is not a problem. If the warranty period is already over, then you may need to take it to the computer repair center to fix it. Before you visit any computer repair center, there are some basic checks you must do to find what the problem might be:

Anti-Virus

First and foremost thing that can affect the health of computers are viruses. If you do not have an anti-virus, which is up to date, then your computer is prone to getting affected with these viruses and malwares. Usually, these viruses enter your system through internet downloads. If your computer is slow, unable to open local disks, or restarting for no reason, then most probably your computer is affected by viruses and malwares. If your anti-virus is not updated, it is advised to keep your anti-virus up to date. If the problem still continues, then you may need to visit a computer repair center where professionals can find out what the problem is.

Hardware Drivers

Computer hardware devices come with plug-and-play option and also with the drivers. A driver is software that allows the computer to identify and run hardware properly. Some of them are included in the OS and some are not. If any of your hardware is not working properly, then chances are that the drivers are not installed properly or are corrupted. When you try to connect any external device or hardware to your computer, it always asks for the driver. Almost all the hardware devices come with the driver. If you have not received one, check with the retailer or you can get it installed at computer repair center as they own driver CDs for all the major brands of computer.

Excessive Heating

Computers can be used for any long but it should have proper cooling system. All computers come with the fan attached to reduce the excessive heat it generates while it is on. When computers get overheated, chances are that it will cause it to malfunction. Computers must be kept in cool place. Clean the dust regularly so to allow proper air flow. Always check if the fan is working properly.

These are just some of the basic things you must check before visiting computer repair centers so that you know what to expect from them and get your computer into working condition soon.

Securely Wiping Computer Hard Drives Before Discarding

In the Linux operating system(which is free), the super user(root) has raw access to disks and partitions on the disks in the machine. The general idea is to write random data generated by the Linux operating system, to the hard disk.

The situation often arises where an individual needs to throw away an old computer, but does not want the data on the disk of the old computer to be accessible if someone retrieves it via dumpster diving. There might still be data stored in the motherboard or some of the peripherals, but that is beyond the scope of this article. Ideally, the disk platters should be physically destroyed, but due to hardware or cost constraints, this might not always be possible.

A free way to wipe the data on the disk involves using a bootable Linux disk to write random data to the disk multiple times. Here is the general procedure:

  1. Boot the machine off a Live Linux disk such as Knoppix, BackTrack or Gentoo installation disk
  2. Identify the dev node in /dev corresponding to the disk that is to be wiped.
  3. Use dd to read pseudo-random data from the kernel and write it to the disk.

1) Booting off a Live Linux Disk

Live Linux disks are CDs/DVDs that a compatible computer can be booted from rather than booting from the Operating System installed on a hard disk. Live Linux disks are useful when the user wants to use the computer without leaving any trace behind, or modify the hard disks in the computer without booting the Operating System installed on them. BackTrack Linux is one such Live distribution of Linux and can be downloaded free at http://www.backtrack-linux.org/.

2) Finding the Dev Node

One way to find the right dev node is to match the known capacity of the disk in bytes with that reported in /proc/partitions. There should be some indication of capacity on the sticker of the disk. If not, the model number found on the sticker of the disk can be searched online and the capacity can be found that way. In Linux, both the raw disks and the filesystems on those disks appear as dev nodes in /dev. Since the goal is to wipe the whole disk rather than just a partition, the disk’s dev node rather than the partition’s dev node must be used. The disk and the partitions listed in /proc/partitions can be differentiated by looking at the last character in the name. Usually, partitions end in a digit, while disks end in a letter. The dev node to use is the file in /dev with the same name as the desired line in /proc/partitions. For example, sda refers to the first disk, while sda1 refers to the first partition on the first disk. In the example below, the computer has only 1 hard disk, sda. The sda disk has 2 partitions, sda1 and sda2. In order to wipe the disk, the /dev/sda dev node will be used.

I go through the exact steps that one would type into the Linux command line here:

http://www.neilscomputerblog.blogspot.com/2012/10/securely-wiping-computer-hard-disks-for.html