At the Computer Warriors, we see a lot of devices and get a lot of questions. Today, we wanted to compile all of our frequently asked questions in one place. Below are answers to our most common questions!

My computer is slow, are there ways to speed it up?

Yes, there are several ways to make a machine faster.  Sometimes, a device will only require a software optimization. Years of use can result in a pile of junk programs and files that can chip away at the performance of your computer. Hardware can also affect the performance of the device. If you have an older device, you probably have a standard mechanical hard drive, which can wear down over time resulting in slowness.  The RAM may have been sufficient for operating the device when you purchased it, but new operating systems and programs will require more system resources, leaving your device struggling to keep up. Luckily, all of these are simple fixes, that can give your device a new breath of life for several years to come!

What is the difference between a mechanical drive and a Solid-State Drive?

A mechanical hard drive is like a record player in a sardine can. The ‘record’ holds all the data, and the arm retrieves it from the disk as your computer needs it. This disk can spin 5400 or 7200 times a minute! Due to this rotation, your data can become fragmented or where your data may be scattered throughout the drive. You may be familiar with a Windows program called Defrag, which helps bring everything back together. Also, with all the movement on the drive, the parts can physically wear down and start to break. In moderate cases, you may experience slowdowns, but in extreme cases, you may find a ‘No Boot Device’ error screen or complete data loss.

Solid State Drives, like their name, have no moving parts. NAMD flash memory storage holds all of the data. Due to this, the drive can read and write data an incredible speed, with better reliability than their mechanical counterparts. The SSDs also handle physical abuses better than mechanical drives. If you drop a laptop with a mechanical drive, the arm that reads the information of the disk can physically scratch it, potentially corrupting data to the point of no recovery; SSDs do not have that issue. SSDs also run quieter than mechanical drives.

My computer is almost four years old; I can buy a new one for that cost of the repair.

This is true, an SSD, RAM, Graphics, or another upgrade may cost a few hundred dollars. You may be able to go to a big box or online retailer and replace the device for the same cost of the upgrade but consider this: Most of the time replacing the drive and RAM is all you need to get your computer back up and running great. It may also be hard to find a computer with the identical specs at that price point. Upgrading the device can also extend its life for several years. In terms of the hard drive replacement, if you have a mechanical drive, it is like a tire on the car. As you drive around, over time, the treads wear down and need to be replaced. The car is still working fine, but you want a little bit more traction. Your computer is very similar.

Swapping the drive is standard maintenance to your machine that can keep it running for years to come. As for RAM, another standard upgrade, as programs and operating systems continue to evolve, the requirements also continue to increase. If your computer has 4GB of RAM, Windows 10 has a recommended specification of 2GB of RAM to operate. This leaves only 2GB of remaining space for your programs to run. Doubling it to 8GB of RAM will give your applications more room to work with and decrease slowdowns.

Do you work on Apple Products?

Yes, we work on all Apple devices.  All iPhone, iPad, iMac, MacBook, Mac Mini, Mac Pro, and iMac models can be repaired. Newer Mac computer models are designed in a way to limit upgradability, but repairs can be completed on these machines.

What devices do you work on?

We can work on just about any electronic device. Some repairs may not make sense due to the cost of the repair vs. the cost to replace the device, but more devices can be fixed then you might think. If a device is too out of date, we may recommend replacing it. Even if the computer, tablet, or phone does not come on, we may be able to get it back up and running for you. We have an onsite technician who can come out to your home and help set up and configure networks, get a new PC up and running, or even program a universal remote. We can help set up smart devices as well.

If you are looking for full smart home integration, we have partnered with other great companies in the community that are better equipped for those type of jobs. We will look at anything that has a battery and a screen on it. The only devices we will not work on our TV’s and printers. Sourcing parts for these devices can be challenging and very expensive. Most of the time, it is better to replace these devices.

Can you change out my phone or tablet battery?

Yes, we can replace batteries on most mobile devices. Contrary to popular belief, the batteries on iPhones and Samsung devices with a sealed back can be replaced. Most phone batteries can be replaced in 30 minutes, and tablet batteries can take between 2-4 hours.

Are your technicians qualified?

All our technicians go through a rigorous interview process to ensure they know what they are doing. Collectively our technicians have 70 years’ experience between them. If there is a challenge that one hasn’t come across before, chances are another has. As a company, we share information as quickly as possible to help keep up with the ever-changing technological landscape. Computer Warriors are also serious about providing excellent customer service, and the best way to do that is to expand our skills to serve our community better. In an effort of this, we encourage and help our technicians grow their skills through multiple certifications.

Do you recommend 3rd party anti-virus?

All computers come installed with an anti-virus built into operating systems. For some users this is plenty, but it is good to have a 3rd party anti-virus installed, as it can make your computer more secure. Some 3rd party anti-virus software works better than others, and no anti-virus program will be 100% full proof 100% of the time. Due to this, some of our protection plans offer guaranteed virus removal in the event a threat can get to your computer. Mac users can also fall victim to malware and viruses. While their closed operating system can make them a little more robust compared to their Windows counterparts, as they become more popular, they more likely to be targeted.

Are your phone screens OEM screens?

Most Android-based smartphone companies will sell their Original screens. Apple does not sell its screens. This forces companies like us to use aftermarket screens. We use high-quality aftermarket screens that come with a lifetime warranty to protect you against any potential manufacture defects.

Do you sell computers?

We have a selection of refurbished computers in stock. We can get a PC and Mac-based desktops and laptops. Computer Warriors also has a partnership with Dell that allows us to get Certified refurbished business grade machines. All our devices come with a 1-year hardware warranty.

Why buy refurbished over a new device?

We get this question a lot. There are many benefits to purchasing a refurbished device, but there is also a stigma around them. Refurbished machines can come from several places, and that unknown can scare people away from them. Refurbished devices can be returns or devices that have been damaged in shipping. They also may be the floor models that big-box retailers want to flip after newer versions come out. Most people think that refurbished means junk, but that isn’t always the case.

A consumer could still get a lemon buying a brand-new device. New electronics come right of an assembly line are packaged up and shipped out. Most of the time, this is not a problem, but in a factory that might be putting out thousands of devices a day, one or two defective items may get sent out. A refurbished device will have one person dedicated to testing out all the functions and will make sure that it is cosmetically acceptable for resale.

Refurbished devices do not always mean they are broken. If there is significant damage to the device, chances are the retailer will not fix it. Now that isn’t to say there may not be some bad apples out there that put out shady ‘fixes,’ but if a company is reputable, they will often warranty the work. Computer Warriors offers a 1-year hardware warranty on all our devices. If you see tags like factory refurbished or certified refurbished, this means that the manufacture of the device did the refurbishment themselves or an authorized 3rd party completed it to a set standard of quality.

Should I protect my phone?

As a repair shop, we love working on devices; but you should always have some form of protection on your phone. There are several options to help keep your phone safe.  Even if you have never broken a screen, all it takes is one drop on the right spot and CRACK! Once you get a case, leave it in there. If you need to clean it, make sure you extremely careful, we see a lot of damaged phones resulting in the removal of cases to clean them. Your phone is probably one of the most used items you own, treat it accordingly.

Do you build computers?

We can build gaming computers. While putting together a computer may seem like a straightforward process, but there will need to be research to make sure everything works together. Two dominant brands sell processors, and they are not cross compatible. This is one of several potential pitfalls for first time PC builders. If you interested in a build, we will have you fill out a questionnaire then take those answers and put together a build that will fit your needs like a glove. We will do all the background research to make sure all the components work together, so all you have to do is turn your system on and start gaming!

Can you work on circuit boards?

We have technicians on staff who can work on board level repairs. These repairs can include repair charge ports that are soldered onto the board, data recover, power issues, and much more. We have completed repairs on GPS systems, aquarium lights, game consoles, and other items with circuit boards. Bring it in and let us take a look at it, even if it is not a computer or phone, we may be able to repair these items.

Do you work on game consoles?

We can repair consoles from all the major manufacturers ranging from the Nintendo DS to the Xbox One X. We can swap out drives, replace power supplies, and even fix the HDMI ports if they get damaged.

The Wilmington area is in a coastal area, what is the best way to protect our technology during storms?

This is a great question. There are several measures you can take to help keep your technology safe during a storm. Power surges and lightning strikes can destroy your technology. The best way to keep them protected from this is to unplug them during a storm. If you do leave them plugged in, we recommend having a power surge or a battery backup installed to help act as a buffer between your electronics and the outside world. If you are at risk of flooding elevate your electronics as high as possible.  Secure your backups and other information in a safe location or take it with you if you evacuate.

Are you able to save water damaged devices?

This is a tricky one. When water or any liquid is introduced to the circuitry of the device, strange things can happen. Each device reacts to water differently. The important thing is to turn the machine off and get it to us as quickly as possible. The sooner we can get our hands on it, the high likelihood of repairing or retrieving the data can be. With liquid damage, nothing is for sure, so the speed is your best friend.  We have resurrected phones and computers that have gotten wet before, but we are only able to get data off other devices.

Do you offer classes?

We offer one on one classes with a technician. They can be as general as a tour of the operating system, to as specific as to how to use a program. If you just got a new device and have a bunch of questions about it, we can help you there too. Our class structure is very flexible, leaving the realm of possibilities endless.

Do I have to back up my device?

You should ALWAYS be backing up your data! You can hook up and external hard drive or configure your backups automatically. Storage options are cheap; data recovery options can be expensive. We are very good at what we do and have partnered with data recovery experts, but there have been cases where once the drives fail, the data is gone for good. If you need help backing up your data or finding what the best solution is, feel free to give us a call for a consultation.

Can you help my small business with IT services?

Yes, we can help small businesses with a variety of IT solutions. Our sister company, Computer Warriors IT Support, specializes in helping the business achieve peace of mind knowing their networks, data, and systems are adequately protected. For more information about our IT services, give us a call at 910-726-1595.

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