Here’s a simple trick to save money and aggravation the next time you have computer problems: Don’t wait!
“Don’t wait” What? That’s it? How does that save money? In fact, what does that even mean??
Okay, here’s the scoop… Pretty much on a daily basis, your computer updates itself. Programs like Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, AOL, Microsoft Office, Java, Adobe Reader, Flash, and more – all sorts of programs running the gamut from games to email to photo software to antivirus, and of course including Microsoft Windows itself, all have built-in updaters that go online periodically and automatically download and install the latest tweaks, patches, and updates for your computer and the programs on it.
Getting the latest updates is usually a good thing and is highly recommended by geeks the world over. These updates perform important functions like plugging security holes, enhancing functionality, and fixing bugs, but there’s a hidden risk to updates that can cost you plenty if you wait too long to fix a problem.
Let’s start with the basic premise that 80% of computer problems can be solved immediately after they first occur thanks to the built-in System Restore tool that has been a standard feature of Windows since Millennium Edition and is included in Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7. I’m not going to go into detail about what System Restore is, or how it works, but suffice it to say, it is a quick, simple, and often effective first approach to solving problems ranging from virus and malware infections to driver glitches and corruption, to inexplicable errors or loss of functionality. Mind you, System Restore is far from perfect, but for the average home pc user, it can often make the difference between a free self-repair and a costly professional repair.
But besides being aware of system restore or knowing how to use it, there is again, this matter of timing. When you address a problem immediately (immediately by my standards being within hours or days, definitely not weeks or months), you are far more likely to see that problem simply solved as it has not had the chance to become buried under layers of updates and changes (ah yes… that’s why the explanation about automatic updates earlier!) that can complicate or even aggravate the issue making it a bigger problem than when it first occurred. As a professional geek, I can tell you from personal experience with thousands of customer computers, that I can look at a job description and have a fair idea of how complex the issue is and how long it will take to resolve, but when I ask the customer how long they’ve had the problem and they reply “oh, a month or two” all bets are off.
So in conclusion, the lesson to take away here is that the quickest, least expensive and least aggravating, as well as voted-most-likely-to-succeed approach to take when you have a computer problem is DON’T WAIT! Whether you plan to tackle the fix yourself or plan on hiring a professional, act within hours or at most, a day or two, and chances are your issue will be resolved more quickly, painlessly, and at minimum cost.
_______________ o ________________
WAS THIS ARTICLE HELPFUL? PLEASE SCROLL DOWN AND LEAVE A COMMENT!
_______________ o ________________
This article was written by Andy Trask, Head Geek at Geek Housecalls, the New England area’s original traveling computer geeks, on the web at www.geekhousecalls.com. Geek Housecalls specializes in “anything computer” and, since 2001, has become the trusted in-home computer and technology support provider for over 15,000 families and small business computer users in eastern Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and southern New Hampshire. For help with your computers, gadgets, or network at home or at the office, click here to contact Geek Housecalls via the web, or call toll free: