Hardware Maintenance and Repair

Modern computers have few moving parts and are usually very reliable. However this can lull you into a false sense of security - tower & desktop systems still do need regular maintenance. (Disassembly of laptops for maintenance is not recommended, its best to keep the vents clean and never use on a soft or dusty surface.)
Here are just a few of the many things that can break your computer:

  • a hot environment, blocked vents or dirty fans causing overheating (especially on laptops).
  • failure of fan bearings causing excess noise, overheating, and eventually leading to fan failure.
  • electrical surges on mains or telephone lines. From bitter experience we recommend all connections to mains and telephone lines be surge protected.
  • mechanical damage - breakages, wear and tear on laptop parts especially the keyboard, or disturbing the computer when the drive is running.
  • degredation of components with time - especially hard drive, power supply, batteries and capacitors.

What does a hardware service on a conventional PC (not an all-in one, laptop, tablet etc) include?

A hardware service by skillbank includes:

  • Clean outside of case and vents, monitor screen and keyboard.
  • Strip down as necessary and clean excess* dirt from inside computer, heat sinks and fans: check and replace fans where necessary
  • Visual inspection of motherboard, check all connectors for tightness and fix / replace as required.
  • Check power supply and hard drive(s) and advise if replacement is indicated.

* overly enthusiastic cleaning can itself cause damage through disturbance of components or static discharge.

Repairs to laptops

The main causes of failure in laptops less than about 4 years old are due to mechanical damage - broken screen, failing keyboard etc. All of these are repairable. In particular many laptops (especially HP ) suffer from broken hinge fittings. I have a new way to repair these that does not impair the appearance or stability of the case.

Recently I've also been seeing a LOT of laptops that wont run because the hard drive has failed. The good news is that provided it was running windows 8, 8.1 or 10 Windows will have a "digital licence" which means you dont need to pay to re-install windows. Depending on the make and model, and your requirements, we can replace the hard drive with an SSD from about £80 depending on the capacity you need (an SSD is faster and more robust than a traditional disk drive, but may have have less storage space.)

In most cases we can also recover at least some of your data from the hard drive.

You should be aware that, unlike tower PC's, laptops are not designed for maintenance, and there is always some risk of collateral damage during the repair process - depending on how much disassembly is required.