Computer Service and Repair“It’s making a weird thump.” Your mechanic looks at you and resists the urge to slap his forehead. He has to start at square one and figure out this problem without your help, and on your dime. He’ll figure it out eventually, repair it, and then hit you with a giant bill for the time it took. Your tech person feels the same way when you say, “I got all these error messages and it just quit working.”

Do yourself a favor and come armed with more information than that. Whether you’re unhooking your computer to take it to a service person, or trying to fix it yourself with the aid of a service phone call, be prepared with information that will help move the process along quicker, thus saving you both time and money. Here are a few tips from to help you get on the same page with your technician.

Be Prepared

Before you post to a forum or social networking site for help, or start unhooking your computer so you can get some service on it, you need to make sure you’re prepared to explain your computer problem.

If you’re prepared, you’ll describe your problem to the computer repair person more clearly, which will make him or her better informed of your issue, which will probably mean that you’ll spend less time and/or money on getting your computer fixed.

The exact information you should be prepared with will vary depending on your problem but here are several things to keep in mind:

– If you have an error message: What’s the exact error message on your screen?

– If you don’t have an error message: What exactly is your computer doing? “It just doesn’t work” isn’t helpful information.When did the problem start happening?

– Did anything else happen at the same time the problem started? (e.g. a blue screen of death, smoke coming from the computer, virus warning, etc.)

– What have you already done to troubleshoot the problem?

– Has the problem changed since it first started happening (e.g. computer shuts off more frequently, error message appears at a different time now, etc.)

If you’re getting in-person help, I recommend writing all of this down before you head out the door or pick up the phone.

Be Specific

I touched on this a little in the Be Prepared tip above, but the need to be thorough and specific is extremely important! You may be well aware of the trouble your computer has been having but the computer repair expert is not. You have to tell the whole story in as much detail as possible.

For example, saying “My computer just quit working” doesn’t say anything at all. There are millions of ways a computer might “not be working” and the ways to fix those problems can vary tremendously. I always recommend stepping through, in great detail, the process that produces the problem.

Also important with most problems, at least when getting help online or over the phone, is to let the expert you’re talking to know the make and model of your computer as well as what operating system you’re running.

If your computer won’t turn on, for example, you might describe the problem like this:
“I hit the power button on my laptop (it’s a Dell Inspiron i15R-2105sLV) and the green light that always comes on does so. Some text shows up on the screen for just a second, which I don’t have time to read, and then the whole thing shuts off and there’s no lights on at all. I can turn it on again with no trouble but the same thing happens. It’s running Windows 10.”

Be Clear

Communication is key to properly describing your PC issue to a computer repair professional. The entire reason for your post, visit, or phone call is to communicate to the person helping you what the problem is so he or she can properly fix, or help you fix, the problem.

If you’re getting help online, be sure to reread what you type for clarity, avoid using ALL CAPS, and a “thank you” goes a long way considering the help you’re getting is probably being provided free of charge.

When getting help in person, basic communication rules apply like elsewhere in life: speak slowly, enunciate properly, and be nice!

If you’re describing your problem over the phone, be sure you’re calling from a quiet area. A barking dog or screaming child is unlikely to help anyone understand your problem more clearly.

When you’re ready for help with your system problems, the Service team at Great Lakes Computer is ready to help. Great Lakes Computer offers computer repair services for all major brands of servers, storage equipment, computers, printers, plotters, and POS equipment. Our certified repair technicians provide peace of mind and the highest quality service and can help you with all of your computer repair needs, even if all you can tell us is, “It just quit working.”