PC Repair and Maintenance Advice

Quality In, Performance Out

The quality of replacement components is one of the factor performance after the repair. When it comes to selecting replacement parts, there are hundreds of choices and varieties in quality and price. For example, while most computer-literate people can differentiate hard drives solely by their data-storage capacity, overall computer performance is affected by differences in hard drives such as rotation speed and whether the manufacturer uses quality components and quality production methods.

How to Spot Quality Components

Spotting a high quality component doesn’t necessarily mean you have to buy the most expensive components. There are many things that can help you get a high quality parts. When looking fro a quality component try to look for a component that comes with manuals or guide, contact information, support and warranty. The manual might be in the form of a file on the installation CD, and the contact might be an address, a telephone number, or more likely these days just a Web site or e-mail address. The reason for this is you might want to be able to reach the company just in case you need a tech support or you need to talk to a customer service. Some vendors have excellent customer service and tech support but some of them are virtually impossible to reach.

Let common sense be your guide if the price is so low that it seems too good to be true, then most of the time it is.

Be Careful with Components

Handle with care, while hardware components are not extremely delicate, they aren’t indestructible either, or else you wouldn’t need to replace them. They are susceptible to physical and electrical damage due to mishandling and power surges. Follow these guidelines to minimize the risk of damage:

Make sure the power supply is set to the correct voltage: Here in the Philippines and in much of the rest of the world the electric utilities provide 220-240 volts AC to wall outlets. but in North America the electric utilities provide 110-120 volts AC to wall outlets. Check the power supply at the back of the computer. Most have switches labeled 120/240. Make sure the voltage setting matches the actual voltage, or you could face catastrophic results.

Use surge suppressors and UPSs whenever possible: Power surges and undervoltages can damage or even destroy components.

Don’t force components: Connectors should be firmly placed, not at an angle, and most go in only one way. Match up the pins with the holes. If you try to force a connector in the wrong way, you can bend or push in pins, damaging the connector and most likely causing the device to malfunction. In the case of a device with a permanently connected cable, which is common with monitors, damaging the connector requires that a qualified monitor technician repair the monitor.

There are different procedures for inserting expansion cards, memory chips, and CPUs, although the same “no-force” warning applies.

Prevent static damage: Discharge as much static as possible by touching a ground—any large metal object. Avoid carpet. Use anti-static floor mats, surface mats, and wrist ground straps. Make sure all circuits are wired correctly, including grounding.

Wire organizing tip: Do not use rubber bands or metal twist-ties inside a computer. Use plastic wire ties and snip off the ends to avoid scratching your hands and arms.

Document all changes: Keep a record of every change you make; you might have to undo certain changes. Mark all jumper and wire positions, before changing them, with a fine-tipped permanent marker. Make notes and diagrams of wire and jumper positions, and keep a record of all software configuration changes.