15 Common Myths About Computer Repair
If you love to tinker with computers, you may have debunked some myths about computer repair already. For instance, you may have learned that you probably won’t get a reputable computer repair job unless you obtain certification. That said, this list of 15 common myths about computer repair may be somewhat controversial, depending upon your perspective, the type of computer you use and the software you install. Overall, however, most computers and computer users can encounter the following issues:
You vs. The Geek
- Only Geeks Can Fix Computers: For those old enough to remember, computers once were mystical arenas, where only geeks could tame the beast within. Today, however, desktop computers are modular in their construction, and sites such as the one linked here can help anyone troubleshoot problems and possibly fix them. That said, if you want a job as a professional, you’ll need certification.
- The Flat Rate Computer Myth: If you see a sign at a computer repair shop that claims they can fix a computer at a flat rate, this is a myth. That rate is a fixed labor charge in most cases, and any parts, repair or upgrades to your “broken” computer are over and above that rate. Learn more about flat rates fees through this link, and — if you have computer customers — they might appreciate knowing that you charge a flat rate and parts and other essentials are extra.
- You cannot Defrag a Computer by Yourself: Fragmentation can cause a myriad of computer problems, system failures, and early hardware replacement. But, you can find a simple defrag program already installed in many operating systems. However, it doesn’t operate automatically, and — according to the information provided in this link — it may or may not do the job.
- My technician is the Best: Some folks tie themselves into one technician for everything, because they might feel their system is unique. However, if your technician gets stumped, or declares the computer “clean” and it still doesn’t work, don’t hesitate to inquire after another consultation. Be aware, however, that technicians may charge a flat rate just to look at a computer.
- My Technician Used a Magnet to Destroy my Data: Don’t even go there…if you’re still using floppy discs, a magnet can ruin the data on that disc. But, as far as computer hard drives, SD, memory cards and other updated data “banks,” it’s virtually impossible to erase the data on those tools with a magnet. Use this link to learn more about how to destroy the data on your drives if you’re worried about passing that data along when you want to pass on certain computer items.
Parts and Such
- The Higher the Price of the Computer and/or Parts, the Higher the Quality: Sometimes this is true, but not always. The fact is, you can get a really good computer at a decent price. You just have to know what you’re looking for in a computer and pay attention to sales. Do your homework and perform some serious price comparisons before you purchase a new computer.
- You Must Drain Your Laptop Battery Before You Recharge: In the past, this myth was reality, as the underlying battery technology at that time was Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH), which had a notorious memory effect. Modern equipment, including laptops, phones and tablets, use lithium ion batteries and they do the exact opposite. They can actually lose maximum battery charge if you take them down to zero as the batteries develop a chemical resistance to recharging, which can kill their lifespan. Recharging often and every day is a safer option.
- Switching Your PC Off Will Kill Your Computer: The worst thing that could happen if you hit the kill button is that you may lose unsaved data. But, when you reboot, the programs you were using may try to retrieve the data as it was when you hit that hard shut down. That said, don’t make the hard shut down a habit, as you may have software updates or upgrades that install only when you power off and on through the proper methods.
- If You Speed Up the Computer, Your Internet Will be Faster: This may not be a myth, but it’s close to being the wrong way to go. You can upgrade memory and that improvement can move things along a little faster. Cleaning out that computer and defragging (see below) can help to boost speed as well. But, if you have a dial-up connection, you can kiss high speeds goodbye. You’ll need to upgrade the Internet connection to cable, wireless or DSL.
- As long as you have a virus protection program, you don’t have to worry about acquiring viruses: It’s a good idea to obtain and upgrade (when needed) a good virus protection program. But, no program will protect you from all viruses. There’s no way any virus protection program can stay ahead of the game 100 percent of the time. Your best line of defense is to make sure that you keep your anti-virus software up to date at all times.
- Anti-virus software and firewalls are 100 Percent effective: Sometimes malicious programs will trick you into thinking you have a virus through a software program; so, when you follow directions, you may actually download a virus. Before you follow the directions of anti-virus software programs and firewalls, make sure the program is legitimate. If it’s not coming from a program you’ve previously installed, stop everything and contact a reputable technician.
- Firewalls Protect You From Viruses: Today, worms and viruses initiate the vast majority of attacks. Worms and viruses generally find their targets randomly…as a result, even organizations with little or no confidential information need firewalls to protect their networks from these automated attackers. Theoretically, an outbound firewall may alert you when a malware application is sending data back, but that warning provides a false sense of security, since, once you are infected, a clever virus can simply disable the firewall. Don’t disable your firewall, however, as you should keep it enabled at all times, especially when you’re using an insecure network like those you might use at a coffeehouse.
- Viruses Can Physically Damage Your Hardware: Sure, a virus like CIH can infect your firmware or BIOS, but the hardware itself is unaffected. Rumors of viruses causing your PC to go crazy and explode are unfounded and a little ridiculous. If your computer ends up infected by one of these more dangerous BIOS-level viruses, you’ll probably have to take the computer to somebody that can wipe the BIOS manually, or replace it, but software viruses aren’t going to murder your hardware.
- Macs are Virus Free: Thanks to the predominance of Windows and PCS over the past years, PCs have been more vulnerable to attacks from hackers. But, recently, Macs have become targets as well, since Macs have become more popular among computer users. If you’re using a Linux or Mac computer, you can protect yourself by following many of the same rules that you would for Windows: Don’t install software from places you don’t know, be wary anytime a piece of software asks you for your password, and avoid installing “codecs” from porn sites. Some simple common sense will keep you from being the victim of a malware attack.