Once a computer reaches 4+ years old, you will start to have issues with it. No matter how much TLC you put into it, it will break down at some point.  4 years old, sure fix it. Easy answer. The “fix” probably wont last another 4 years though. Maybe it lasts another 3. Probably only gets you another 2 years before the next break down.

Now what?

  • Fix it again? Probably
  • Replace with a few new parts? Maybe
  • Replace with all new parts? Definitely Not
  • Sell it to someone and let them fix it? Shame on you
  • Get a new one? Maybe

OK, whats the correct answer? Depends. Every situation is different.

To even start to answer this question, I have a few questions:

  • What’s wrong with it?
  • Is it the same problem as before?
  • Does it still suit your needs?
  • Is it still “Fast”?

If the problem is a new problem, then i would fix it. If its the same problem, i would find out whats causing it, and how likely it is to happen again.

If its a virus problem, then GET IT FIXED. It’s a waste of money to buy a new pc when yours is only a few years old and it has a virus problem. You will probably get viruses on the new one you just bought. Then you have the cost of the new pc + the same repair cost as fixing the virus problem anyway.

Replace with ALL new parts? Just buy a new one. That’s what you’ll end up with anyway. All new parts =  new computer.

It is still suiting your needs? are you running the same applications as the day you bought it? Then get it fixed. It should still be plenty fast for your usage.

Have you become an all pro scrapbook-er, family tree maker, dvd copier, home movie maker? Then it may be time for an upgrade or a new machine. If you are doing fun and exciting new things, and you don’t have time to wait on the computer, then upgrade or buy new.

Sell it to someone and let them fix it? How mean.

Unless its family ( just kidding). Unless you tell the person what they are getting into, and, AND ( first and more important than the second one) they understand. Telling a non techie person how easy it is to fix the problem, isnt enough. How come you just didn’t get it fixed then?

Contrarily, if your pc is 8 years old, moves at the speed of smell, has parts falling off, Windows Millennium Edition, and a cdrom drive? Time for a new one. It’s not really worth it to upgrade. You run the risk of the non upgraded parts failing, and then you end up spending the same amount just over time, plus the added headache to boot.

Replace some of the parts? This is usually the best option. The P in PC takes a lot of work to achieve. Settings, favorites, installed programs, you spent all that time, getting your computer just the way YOU like it. If you get a new one, you’ll have to start all over.

If your system isn’t more than 5 years old, replace a few key parts, and viola! Almost a new computer. You get the speed benefits of a new system at half the cost and without having to reinstall and re-setup everything.

I have upgraded my computer since the beginning. I have yet to buy a totally new system going on 11 years now. Each time i spend 1/2 as much, and spend no time on the re-setup.

I will admit I have re-installed XP 2 times in 10 years. Then I couldn’t upgrade from XP to Windows 7 so i had to do a new install 🙁