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Computer Log #14 for Feburary 11, 2010

Well today I am going to talk about warranties and what to look for in the electronics industry and if a warranty pays or not. Over the years I have purchased thousands of dollars of equipment and parts. My most expensive piece was a Motorola Service Monitor used to tune and align Two-Way radios and it cost me a real pretty penny many years ago. It is still in service and I dig it out once in a while to do some radio repair. It had a nice warranty and I never really had to have it serviced. Today I have purchased many parts and devices as well as help people purchase computers and never really had any service problems with my parts supplier until now.

Warranties in most computers have two parts, software and hardware. Most computers that are purchased have Microsoft Windows as an Operating System and if you have problems with that part, it is maintained by the hardware maker and only for 90 (ninety) days. Any other software installed on that computer is the responsibility of the software writer or company. Hardware is usually pretty sturdy unless you own a laptop then you will have to consider the brand of the laptop and what warranty you get. Most companies who sell laptops will have an extended warranty plan for the hardware. I consider it a pretty good idea to have a hardware warranty for a laptop. There is always a good side, a bad side and an UGLY side to hardware warranties especially extended warrantees.

The Good Side: You will sleep better even if you do not need your warranty even if your hardware does not die on you. Most repairs in laptops and desktops are usually software related usually due to viruses, spyware and mis-configurations of your software.

The Bad Side: If your computer needs repairs and it is hardware related. I personally have had my laptop repaired once a year because something always goes wrong with the hardware. I personally will not purchase an Avertec Laptop again! I have not, until recently, had my laptop tied up for repairs for long, it usually takes less than three weeks.

The UGLY: When a warranty service company keeps a computer more than necessary to get the repair done. I am right now waiting for my laptop to be returned from service as it has been down since December 31, 2009, I am not getting any satisfaction from the service company. Now here is the thing, do you blame the company where you purchased the computer from, or do you blame the hardware insurance company on whose shoulders the service rests. The blame has to stop some where, so this week I am waiting and trying to figure out who to blame! More on this story later.

I will say that most computers I repair, be they desktops or laptops are due to moving parts (fans – drives) wear or software. Most computers I get usually need some basic TLC like defragging, software tweaks or more memory, because the Windows OS has become so bloated with security patches and other fixes. Windows XP ran fine using 64 gigs of ram years ago, it now needs two gigs of ram to make it feel like new. Depending on the brand of the computer and amount of ram needed, will not cost that much vs replacing the computer. I will see what Windows 7 brings to the fray in the months and years to come.

Franklin S Werren is a computer technician and runs Chautauqua Lake Hosting and Franks Radio in Sherman NY. And can be found on the web at and via e-mail at or and yes I do play the Bagpipes.

Disclaimer: “Franklin S Werren” or the “Chautauqua Star” have not received any money or promotional items in anything talked about in this column.

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Page last modified on February 13, 2010, at 10:49 PM EST