FAQs | 500FIX

FAQs

(Frequently Asked Questions)

What to expect.

We are a service, designed to bring the benefit of computer repair into your home. Saving you the hassle and inconvenience of disassembling your computer, packing it into your vehicle, driving it down to your local Computer Superstore or repair shop, leaving it for diagnosis and after an expensive bill taking it home to set it back up again. Our service technicians will arrive at your home, diagnoses the problem and in minutes design  a plan of action to repair and fix the problems plaguing you system. 90 percent of the time the computer is working when we leave. There are rare occasions where you are given the option to have your P.C. brought into the shop for extensive repair or reconfiguration. We will Discuss those options with you and estimate the costs at that point. After repair's are made we will return and set the computer back up.

How Much does it cost?

We work for a flat hourly rate of $125. per hour, far below the current rate of most I.T. professionals and well below the rate for in store repair work. However with larger jobs we are willing to discuss discounts and payment plans. (please see payment below).

Us vs Them!

On many occasions we have seen the “Factory” fix a computer by simply Re-formatting & Re-Installing the operating system. This works just fine as long as you have all your System Drivers backed up or the original disks. This does not however, reclaim your user data. Favorite places, address books, important documents ETC... Data recovery is a costly venture, sometimes once its gone its gone forever. There are many precautions to help prevent data loss of course if your too late you may regret it. It is most advisable to have some means of backup in effect to insure you do not suffer data loss in the event of a catastrophe. (Fire, flood & power outages just to name a few) The reason we feel our service is so different is our approach. We try to repair the system that is not functioning, Not by re-Formating, but by painstakingly cleaning and tracing registry and application errors until your data and system are once again in sync and fully accessible. This is not to say that once our technician leaves, and you, the user, clicks on a malicious internet link or downloads a virus through an e-mail or spy-ware your system will not crash again. There is always that chance and therefore your responsibility to become educated in safe surfing and downloading practices for todays cyber world.

What we mean by Repair?

Our definition of repaired is a system that is working with the fewest amount of application errors possible. The fact is all systems are completely unique, no two systems hold the exact same data or application configurations. Not all computer hardware and software are always compatible. When a user runs programs, sends email or surf's the internet the data structure and system registry is altered. These changes directly effect the computer and the applications on it. When programs begin to “lock up” or “crash” there becomes a domino effect. Until the afflicted program is reconfigured or deleted, there may be a constant occurrence of troubles with the P.C.

What are Viruses & Trojans?

Computer Virus -- (a software program capable of reproducing itself and usually capable of causing great harm to files or other programs on the same computer; "a true virus cannot spread to another computer without human assistance")

Trojan Horse -- (An apparently harmless program containing malicious logic that allows the unauthorized collection, falsification, or destruction of data)

What is Spy-ware?

The term spy-ware refers to software that gathers personal information from your computer, sometimes without your knowledge. The information is often used for advertising purposes. Spy-ware may cause your computer to slow down or encounter errors. Spy-ware has also been known to cause unwanted pop-up advertisements, an inability to connect to the Internet, and problems printing.

Spy-ware applications can be bundled as a hidden component of free-ware or shareware programs that can be downloaded from the Internet. Once installed, spy-ware can monitor your activity on the Internet and transmit that information to a third party. Some forms of spy-ware can gather information about e-mail addresses, passwords, and even credit card numbers. A common way to get spy-ware is through installation of file-swapping programs that are used to download music and movies from the Internet.

What if I am Affected?

If your system contains any of the above mentioned programs, it can be an extremely difficult task removing them. Moreover there is no guarantee that once the computer is swept clean these will not return. It is important to have some kind of “Pop-Up blocker” in place, “Spy-ware detector ” running and most defiantly VIRUS PROTECTION. You must always be aware when surfing the internet, there are dangers that lurk on questionable sites. Remember, especially when sharing files, Music, Etc... Nothing is ever really FREE! It is most times, costly and time consuming to remove something as simple as annoying pop-ups from a computer system.

Software

Where can I get Cool Programs and stuff?

When repairing and Performing maintenance on computers, many people ask If “WORD” or “EXCELL” can be installed on their P.C., the answer is YES sure. If a licensed copy is owned, or if you are willing to purchase one, then defiantly we would be happy to install and configure it for you. Software installation can often be confusing and sometimes even cause problems if not installed properly. Unfortunately we, nor the manufacturers of the software on your machine, will support it, unless it has a valid serial number. When someone gives you a program, that belongs and is licensed to them, and you put it on your machine it is known as “Pirating”. We respect your confidentiality and treat installed software as O.E.M. (originally installed) However if a program is corrupt and has crashed due to any reason, we will not be responsible to reinstall it unless you have the original disk and a valid serial number. Please do not ask us for programs that you do not own. We Will NOT engage in unlawful distribution of licensed products. However we will gladly help you to install any software products and to obtain them at the lowest price without markup, we only charge our regular hourly rate. In the event that a new or refurbished computer contains software, it is the responsibility of the “end user” to register, activate and or purchase licenses to all those applications. Again it is NOT our practice to engage in unlawful distribution of copyright materials.

Hardware

We absolutely Guarantee all hardware and parts we sell & install. We sell all parts and systems at Cost, plus TAX. This allows you to get the lowest prices on New Systems and components and insures that we become the source for all you computer needs. When replacing defective components there will always be a labor charge. The reason this is done, we are getting computers and parts to you for well below retail price, and are only charging TAX to cover our obligation to the state for selling them. It is as if you acquired the parts yourself and we are simply installing them at our regular hourly rate. Defective parts will carry a manufacturers warranty. But remember we are a service, designed to bring to you the benefit of computer repair into your own home and expect to be paid for any work performed.

Fixing Old Computers vs Newer Faster P.C.‘s

The benefit of newer P.C.‘s is quite obvious. They are not only faster, they process quicker and possess larger capacity memory and storage capabilities. They also have the ability to run the newest software and operating systems. An average computer holds a life span of approximately 3-4 years. Todays technology advances at such a rate its almost impossible to keep up to date. What is new today is basically old news tomorrow. You can however prolong the life of your P.C. with Hardware updates and the latest software patches. Unfortunately there comes a time where, all the upgrading in the world, will not have the desired effect and we don't want to get caught up in the labor intensive task of trying to make an older machine run like a new one. It never will. Sometimes the decision has to be made, to continue trying to repair an old system and sink more money into it, or to cut losses and purchase a new system and transfer over important user data and documents. It would be our pleasure to help you make the selections for a new P.C. and to explore your options for a smooth transition.

Internet connection & Repair Work

The faster connection you have, can effect the work we do. Most times once the computer is repaired it is required to add service packs, patches & updates. These are provided by the operating system's support site. The faster the connection, the faster they can be downloaded and installed. The same also applies to virus definitions, program patches & updates as well. Please be advised if you are running a dial-up connection with a modem, our work will take significantly longer to complete.

Payment.

Payment is due upon completion of work. Please keep in mind we are keeping our prices as low as possible, and therefore expect to be paid for our services once rendered. For larger jobs, tutoring and multiple sessions credit may be extended if applicable. All New Systems and Web Design work requires a deposit. Please inquire about our Instruction, New Systems and Affordable Web Design.

There has been an error.

We apologize for any inconvenience, please return to the home page or use the search form below.