repairs

Why does Dell use used parts for repair?

Episode 1479

David from Hollywood, CA
amazon.com

David is a filmmaker and uses an Alienware computer for editing. But after six months it's having issues, and he's had to replace the motherboard, battery, and now he's having other issues and Alienware wants to replace it with a refurbished laptop. He also found out they've been replacing his parts with used parts. Leo says that's a common practice since they get computers back for return and can't sell them as new. So they use the computers as parts to repairs. The parts are still perfectly good. But they should tell you that is what they are doing.

Can I repair my TV?

Episode 1407

Sheila from Ontario, CA
Samsung HD TV

Sheila's TV died right after her warranty went out. They wanted several hundred dollars just to diagnose it. She can't even have a local place do it because they've gone out of business due to not getting any parts. Leo says the trend is now to make it albeit impossible to repair products, and there's a Right to Repair movement in many states to make repairability the law. But the sad fact is, in most cases a TV just isn't repairable or worth the money to fix. She'll be better off just getting a new one. However, Sheila's Samsung may be subject to recall.

Is it worth it to fix my Thunderbolt display?

Episode 1397

Don from Los Angeles, CA
Apple Thunderbolt Display

Don has a Thunderbolt display that turns off randomly. He hears that it's an overheating issue. Jason says that a Thunderbolt display is like its own computer, and if the fans have become clogged or defective, it could be turning off. It may be an expensive fix, to the point where it would be cheaper to just buy a new one. Finding a local guy who could fix it may be the most affordable option.

How can I find a reputable tech?

Alan from Hunting Beach, CA

Episode 1261

Alan wants to know how to find a reputable computer tech. Leo says thats the conundrum, because there are a lot out there. It's also hard to find because it's hard to make good money. All the good guys are getting swooped up by startups. There is Geek Squad and Nerds On Call. Leo's heard bad stories from the Geek Squad, though. The Apple Store works by design, because they keep it all in house. Leo says that the prices are so low on computers now, it's almost not worth it to have them fixed. There are better choices for the home user like a Chromebook or a tablet.

How can I fix my laptop screen?

Romano from New Jersey

Episode 1238

When Romano turns on his laptop, he can't see anything. The screen is black. Leo says that if Romano can still barely see an image, that means that the backlight has burned out. Older laptops used a florescent backlight and they can die over time. The down side is that by the time it burns out, the laptop is usually so old that it's not worth spending the money to fix. But Romano's laptop is only three years old. If it's not the backlight, it could be the inverter. One place to look for fixing stuff is iFixit.com.

Is my laptop worth fixing?

Episode 1233

Sandra from Los Angeles, CA
Apple MacBook Pro

Sandra has a MacBook Pro and some liquid spilled on it. Is it beyond repair? Leo says the first thing to do is remove power. But even then, once that liquid gets in there, the keyboard is ruined and the liquid has likely seeped into it and shorted it out. The computer itself is likely dead. But that doesn't mean she's lost her data. If she has to replace the computer, she can pull out the hard drive and get the data off it.

Why does my laptop display look weird?

Beth from Laguna Woods, CA

Episode 1196

Beth's laptop display is acting up. She turned it on and the display went weird with the colors being off, and the orientation being portrait. Leo says it could be a corrupted video driver. It could also be the ribbon cable in the laptop hinge. It's a cheap fix, but she'll need a technician to repair it. Beth can plug in an external monitor to see if it works. If it does, then she'll know it's a faulty connection. She should ultimately take it in to someone for repair.

Should I repair or replace my MacBook Pro?

Episode 1121

Jerry from Corona, CA
MacBook Pro

Jerry bought a MacBook Pro and the motherboard has gone bad. Is it worth taking to Apple to repair it? Leo says that Apple is the only place that can repair it. Is it worth it? Well, that depends. If it's not out of warranty, of course. But if it is, then he'll have to decide if the age of the laptop makes it worth laying down money to repair it when the cost may be as much as half or more what he paid for it. But if it's just out of warranty, then it probably is worth fixing.