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Should You Repair Your PC or Recycle It?

Published: November 30, 2017

You’re in the middle of something important and your computer freezes. Or worse: it crashes! What do you do now? Sometimes, you can calm the panic with a simple computer restart. But other times, it’s not so simple. You’re forced to make a tough decision. Should you repair or replace your old computer?

First, find out if your computer is still under warranty. If it is, repair could be a free or inexpensive option.  Then try to find out what’s wrong. Contact a Computer Technician and ask them to run a diagnostic test.

Tip: Make sure to ask for an estimate and measure the cost to repair against the cost to replace.            

Cost: Consumer Reports recommends that if repair of your old PC costs 50 percent or more of the price of a new one, you should replace the computer. Also factor in whether you’ve paid to repair your PC before. If you have, it will probably be best to put your money toward a new computer instead of continuing to spend on an old one.

Your PC’s age: It may also just be time for a new computer. If a computer is five years or older, it may not be worth repairing. Older computers tend to need more frequent fixes. They also may become incompatible with new programs and operating systems.

Your computer’s operating system: Windows XP was a popular operating system on PCs, but Microsoft officially stopped supporting it in 2014. So if your system and programs are only compatible with XP, it actually could cost more to upgrade all the individual components than to get a new PC with a current system.

The problem: If a diagnostic shows that the issue with your PC is relatively simple and inexpensive to repair, then fixing it might be the best route.

The downtime: It is also important to consider how long you will be without your computer if you opt for a repair. Decide whether or not you can really afford to be without it. If you rely on your computer to perform the tasks of your job, even a few days without it could be a problem.

Tip: If you opt for a repair, it should include a warranty, typically 90 days.


Some people just have a knack for computers and technology. Does this sound like you? Maybe you could become a Computer Technician or build a career in Information Technology. If you want to help people determine how to make the best decisions about their PCs or want to learn how to repair your own, contact Charter College today to learn about all our IT programs.