Many technicians only specialise in iPad, tablets, and phone repairs, but not computers. They will advertise they can fix computers.
But, having seen their work, in my opinion, they are better at phones and tablets, not computers.
Some technicians only fix server computers and outsource PC repairs to other technicians.
It’s also common that many computer technicians only go on-site (servicing computers at the customer’s place). They don’t have a workshop to carry out complicated repairs such as Apple logic board repairs. In this case, they may outsource the work to another repairer.
While many computer repairmen are bringing-in only type, they never fix computers on-site.
For the first few years, I didn’t even know how to open up a laptop. When laptops got more popular, I had to learn to repair laptops. Then, when Apple Mac computers got more popular, I also had to learn to repair Apple Mac.
When we had many requests for onsite services, I had to go to customer places to fix computers there as well. This is a common request from businesses that need networking setup and email troubleshooting.
I’ve worked on servers many times as well, from building one from scratch to fixing them.
Now you’ve understood different computer repairers specialise in different types of computers, let’s look at different types of repairs.
What type of repairs or services do you need?
Computer technicians are equipped with different sets of skills and tools that allow them to carry out certain types of repairs.
For example, if your laptop has water damage that does not turn on, a computer repairman who provides on-site services only, will not be able to repair it.
He can only outsource it to another technician who specialises in water damage repairs, or he may suggest you buy a new computer instead and offer data recovery.
Below are some different types of repairs on computers:
- Common repairs on Windows PC computers, and laptops: hard drive, solid state drive (SSD, or flash drive), RAM, power supply unit (PSU), video card replacement.
- Common repairs on Apple Mac laptops: hard drive, flash drive, RAM, screen repairs.
- More complicated repairs on Windows PC computers, and laptops: screen repairs, power charging socket repairs, keyboard, touchpad replacement etc.
- More complicated repairs on Apple Mac computers: keyboard replacement on Apple laptops with Retina display, Apple iMac screen repairs, Apple iMac power supply unit replacement etc.
- Very difficult repairs: Windows laptop motherboard repairs, or Apple logic board repairs. These are usually repairs on computers that do not turn on at all.
- Water damage repairs: water damages vary a lot. It could fall into any of the above repairs or even more complicated repairs.
- Recovering data from regular Windows computers, or from Apple Mac computers.
- Internet and network setup, printer setup, configuring emails in Apple Mail or Microsoft Outlook.
- Removing viruses, spyware from Windows computers, or Apple Mac computers.
- Do you need on-site computer services or you can bring the computer in for repairs: If you simply cannot bring your computer to a repair shop, then on-site service is your only option. This will limit your choices in picking a computer repairer.
Often there is a blurred line between these repairs. For example, a keyboard replacement for Apple MacBook laptops with Retina display could be considered very difficult too.
Which computer repairman is best to repair your computer
For each type of computer and type of repair, you’ll need a different type of computer repairmen.
If your computer is a Windows PC tower desktop computer
Most Windows PC desktop computers are easier to fix compared to laptops, and Apple Mac. Parts for Windows desktop computers are widely available and most computer shops have access to these parts.
Hence for common repairs on Windows PC computers as mentioned above (hard drive, RAM, video card, PSU replacement), data recovery, or removing viruses, or if you just want to speed up your computer, you have plenty of options to choose a computer repairer.
Unless your computer is under warranty, any local computer shops that you put in Google can help you.
You can go for one that I recommend below or one that you find suitable on Google by searching for “computer repairs near me“.
It’s simply a matter of which one you can get to easily (or which computer repairman is first available to come to you), and which one you feel comfortable dealing with.
However, if the problem is complicated, or if you need personal assistance with setting up your email, backup, the Internet and network, then you may need to opt for the most reviewed, experienced ones you can find on Google, or ones that I recommend below.
If your computer is a Windows laptop (including 2-in-1 laptops)
Windows laptops, such as HP, or Dell, Lenovo, ASUS etc are harder to fix than Windows desktop computers.
With common repairs such as hard drive, SSD, RAM replacement, virus removal, you still have plenty of options.
These are still fairly easy to repair, any computer repair shop near you or on-site technicians can help you.
Go for ones that I recommend below or ones that you find suitable on Google.
For complicated, or difficult repairs such as screen repairs, dead laptop repairs, or keyboard repairs you should opt for a local computer shop because repair shops have better access to spare parts and equipment.
It’s difficult for technicians to do such repairs onsite. He might outsource it to another repairer which adds up the final price you’re paying. Or, he may recommend you to purchase a new computer instead and offer you data recovery option.
But, if you find it hard to leave your house, by all means, hire a computer repairman to fix your computer at your place.
Or, if you need printer setup, or network setup, choosing a mobile computer technician is your best option too. I can recommend some good mobile computer technicians below.
Microsoft Surface laptops
I mention the Microsoft Surface laptop here because, if you bought the Surface computer and it needs repairs, you’re in bad luck.
Many Microsoft Surface laptops are unrepairable. I Fix It, a company that takes apart every new tech gadget and leads the charge for Rights to Repair, did a teardown on the Surface devices and rated it 0 out of 10 for repairability.
Unless your Microsoft Surface laptop has a virus issue that can be fixed by reinstalling Windows, it’ll be expensive or even impossible to fix any other issues with it.
Your options for choosing a computer repairer are limited. Onsite technicians are unlikely able to help you. Even repair shops, that have better equipment, may not be able to help you.
This is a huge problem for consumers and doesn’t help to reduce the soaring eWaste problem.
Microsoft has taken an effort and improved the design and repairability of its Surface laptops. I will update this post when I find it practical to repair Surface laptops.
If your computer is an Apple Mac, or MacBook computer
Not all computer technicians repair Apple Mac computers. Microsoft used to dominate the market at one time.
The good news is since Apple has become more popular, there are plenty of Apple Mac repairers now for you to choose from.
Apple computers are harder to be fixed, parts are more expensive. It’s not easy to repair Apple Mac at your place without spare parts and dedicated tools.
Apple MacBook laptops are even harder to repair compared to Windows laptops, or Apple iMac computers.
Perhaps, you should search for “MacBook repairs near me” instead of “computer repairs near me“. This way, you’re telling Google that “I’m specifically looking for a MacBook repairs provider near me“, not a Windows computer repairer.
Your best option is to find a local repairer who has a workshop to do repairing on Mac, MacBook computers.
Having said that, an onsite technician is a great option for personal assistance such as setting up emails, networks, data backup, and troubleshooting printers.
If you cannot bring your Apple Mac to a repair shop and at-home service is your only choice, then expect that the technician may need to take the computer away for repairs and then return it later.
Either way, many Apple Mac repairers can help you. You can go for a local, best-reviewed one you can find on Google or contact ones that I recommend below.
I used to go to customer places for many years to provide onsite computer services. This was a common procedure for hardware problems on computers, including Apple Mac.
If your computer is a Chromebook
Chromebook is similar to a Windows laptop, except that it runs on Chrome OS. Chromebook is often a lower price point.
Repairing Chromebook laptops is similar to repairing a Windows laptop.
The problem is that, because Chromebook is cheaper than most Windows laptops, many repairs are often not economical. The cost of repairing a Chromebook is often close to buying a new one.
For Chromebook, your repair options are limited. It’d be hard to find any laptop repairman that repairs Chromebook well and cheaply.
If your computer is an All-in-one computer
All-in-one (AIO) computers are computers that have all of their parts inside the “screen”. Apple iMac and Dell Inspiron 24 All-in-one are examples of this.
All-in-one computers are considered desktop computers. They are beautiful PCs and appealing to both homes and businesses.
Common repairs on AIO computers are hard drive and RAM replacement.
You can opt for onsite computer technicians or you can opt for bringing-in repair shops. Both can help you.
Keep in mind to choose between a Windows PC repairer or an Apple Mac repairer depending on which computer you have.
Onsite computer technicians can help you with email setup, Internet & network setup in addition to repairs. He will likely need to take the computer away for hardware repairs, and then drop it off after the repair has been completed.
If your computer is an iPad or tablet
Apple iPad and other tablets are personal computers, but they are very different from regular laptops or PCs.
Searching for “computer repairs near me” probably won’t give you the best options. Instead, you should search for “iPhone repairs near me”, or “iPad repairs near me”.
Most shops that fix phones will also fix tablets. These shops are much better at repairing phones and tablets than repairing computers.
I recommend you search for these shops instead of searching for “computer repairs near me”.
Onsite repairs are not possible. Apple iPad and tablet repairs are difficult and cannot be done at your place.
If you’re looking for at-home phone repairs, it won’t be easy. Possible, but not easy. I don’t recommend it.
Large shopping malls such as Westfield are good places to find these shops. You may look for the nearest shopping mall instead. There is likely a phone and tablet repair shop in the mall.
If your computer is a server
Repairing server computers is a tough one.
The technician needs to be familiar with servers. Parts for servers are expensive, its OS is harder to install.
Though a repair shop may have better equipment, I recommend you to find an onsite computer technician instead.
Computer technicians who only fix bringing-in computers are often not exposed to server computers as much as onsite technicians.
Onsite technicians, especially ones who service businesses are more experienced in dealing with servers. They have been to many companies that have servers and can assist you better.
If your laptop has water damage
Water damage is difficult to repair. If your laptop has problems such as it’s not turning on after a water spill, it likely needs a major repair (eg motherboard repairs).
Many computer repairmen (and repairwomen) will write it off.
Onsite computer technicians are unlikely able to repair it for you. Many computer repair workshops cannot help you either.
Finding a local computer repair shop that is experienced enough to do this is much harder. I don’t think Google can help you much regardless of how many reviews a shop has.
Not only that, water can leak from one place to another causing more damage than initially expected. You should ask the technician what guarantees he offers for this.
And, you can forget about manufacturers or manufacturer-authorised repair centres. Manufacturers, eg Microsoft stores, and Apple stores will not fix water-damaged laptops.
There is no point in asking manufacturers for repairs if your laptop has water damage.
When our store started repairing water-damaged laptops, it took us a while to figure out how to do the repairs properly.
There are so many unexpected issues with water damage that it’s never the same. We had to develop a testing system, and guarantee policies that would cover unforeseen problems on computers.
Now, we’ve repaired thousands of water-damaged laptops that it’s nothing new anymore.
If you need someone to rescue your dead laptop
Rescuing a laptop that is completely dead is difficult. This is a major repair and most likely a very difficult one, sometimes even impossible.
The laptop rescue specialist will need to have dedicated tools and spare parts, spare parts and it takes more than a day to do the work. These repairs simply cannot be done at your home or at office.
In my 17+ years of working in IT, I’ve never seen any technician capable of rescuing a dead laptop at customer place (unless the laptop is actually not dead).
A workshop repair is needed certainly. You need to find a computer repairs shop that will actually do repairs, not retail and have the experience to do it.
You can see the list of computer repair shops below near you.
If you need Internet network setup, email troubleshooting
For this, onsite computer technicians are your best choice.
Computer repairers who work at bringing-in-only computer shops have limited knowledge of dealing with different Internet providers, networks and email providers.
An onsite technician is exposed to all kinds of different situations that he had to figure out at customers’ places. He will know how to set up your email correctly, set up your backup and printers, and network properly.
Not to mention, these problems often must be fixed at your place, not in a shop where it’s out of your home (or office) network.
Onsite computer repairmen often cover a larger area. Hence, they can drive 20 km to you if needed.
You don’t need to worry about how they arrange their schedule. As long as they can make it, you should go for it.
If you need data recovery from your computer
A computer repairman might be able to help you with recovering data from your computer. It depends on what’s damaged in your computer.
It’s a good start to get help from a computer technician first. The technician usually can remove the hard drive from your computer to attempt data recovery.
If the hard drive (or solid state drive) is badly damaged such as it’s unrecognised by your computer, or making clicking noises, this is often beyond a computer technician’s capacity.
When your computer hard drive makes clicking noises, you’d better off search for “data recovery lab near me” instead of “computer repairs near me“, because most computer technicians do not have a “lab” to help you.
If your data is critical, getting a computer technician to open up your hard drive to attempt data recovery without sending it to a lab can actually hurt the chance of saving the data.