Columbus computer repairs keep clients connected and protected

When Robert Senser discovered he and his wife lost irreplaceable pictures and documents after his laptop crashed, he regretted not taking more preventive measures beforehand. By the time they enlisted help from a computer repair specialist, it was too late. “The computer was fried,” the Westerville Angie’s List member says. “Nothing they did could rescue it.”

Time and again Diana Harkness sees clients with hard drives wiped out by computer crashes at her highly rated business, Diana Harkness Computer Consulting in Columbus. “Hard drives are going to fail, power supplies fail, memory fails, you have to be prepared,” she says. Preparation includes backing up data on an external device or online and performing routine maintenance, computer experts say. “Businesses should back up their data hourly or daily,” Harkness says. “Individual users should do it weekly or anytime they have uploaded or created something vital.”

While editing a book for a friend, Columbus member Mary Ann Edwards’ computer suddenly failed to turn on. “From the last version I’d saved I had probably worked another five chapters,” says Edwards, who’d been backing up periodically to a flash drive. She turned to Hazem Tleimat, owner of highly rated Rescue Computer in Columbus, who revived her computer and recovered her work. “Nothing is fail safe,” Tleimat says. “I tell my customers back up — and do two backups.”

Taking preventive steps increases the longevity of your computer, says Paul Carter, owner of highly rated PC Support for You in Dublin, Ohio. Update your programs regularly and install anti-virus software to help provide protection from viruses and spyware, which can corrupt files and cause your computer to run slow. “Auxiliary programs, like Adobe Acrobat, get hit the hardest by computer hackers or bad guys because people don’t update them,” Carter says. Viruses and spyware typically infect computers via websites, downloads and email attachments.

Removing harmful files from an infected computer often proves challenging without professional help, which ranges in price. Harkness charges $50 an hour, Tleimat charges a flat rate of $65 for labor plus parts and Carter charges $100 after a $25 Angie’s List discount. Repairing the motherboard, the central circuit board in a computer, is a more costly repair. “If the motherboard goes, you are typically better off getting a new computer,” Harkness says. Replacing the motherboard costs from $300 to $600, and problems may persist afterward.

Harkness offers monthly and quarterly maintenance to prevent costly problems at the same price. She looks for signs like systems running slower than usual, warnings during startup, unexpected pop-up ads, and debris inside the computer, and she encourages users to do the same. “Cleaning your computer to keep it from overheating is easy,” Harkness says. “The more complicated internal problems require a professional.”

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 Backing up hard drives regularly, updating programs and installing anti-virus software are all practices recommended by highly rated Columbus computer repair experts. (Photo by Joe Maiorana)
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