Buying used computers in a down economy update


used pcThis is the latest update in my Buying a used computer in a down economy series. Last December I began earnestly searching for a replacement PC, figuring to cash in on all the returns that would be coming in from dissatisfied holiday buyers

But all these PCs had Windows 8 installed. I don’t like Win 8, having given it a test run It has a clumsy feel that’s not very user friendly. Other folks may like Icons plastered all over their monitor. But I’m not one of them.

Decisions. Decisions. To buy a PC or repair the car…
About the same time as I was searching for a replacement, my old PC took a nose dive about the same time as my car. I needed a quick fix for both. But I either had cash to repair the car or the PC.

My wife made that decision easy.

The money I had saved went for car repair. Now I was forced to wait till I had the cash to buy a replacement PC. I didn’t want to nor could I wait.

I was talking with my auto guy about computers in general. This is the same guy who once bought an all-in-one PC which he still doesn’t like. One reason: it has Win 8 installed

I asked who he used for PC repair and he referred me to a guy named Fred, currently employed by a high tech company interested in doing his on-the-side PC business full time.
Enter the tech guy
Fred said he could repair my ailing EMachnes, old as it was, making it once again usable for about $100. He’d remove spyware and malware, clean the hard drive, remove Win XP and replacing it with Win 7.

“Deal!” But I didn’t think I had any spyware or malware issues since I had protectionEmachines PC installed.

Fred picked up the PC and took it to his garage shop. The result: pages and pages of scrolling malware and spyware code revealed by his spyware killer tool.

I was stunned to hear this. After all, I had anti-spyware resources installed, primarily IOrbit System Care. I had a few bad customer experiences with them in the past, but still continued to use their product. Fred advised that IOrbit was nothing more than a spyware portal, allowing in tons of unwanted stuff that fouled up the works. Out went that software.  Fred finished and added a couple of goodies.
Welcome Windows 7
win 7I didn’t know much about Windows 7, but Mark considered it a solid performer. He doesn’t like Win 8 either and said that Microsoft was planning to ash can it, that a new systems was already in the works to replace it.

Mark worked about an hour to complete all the tasks. He returned fired up the PC and it worked!

For three days my system kept cycling, restarting and updating Win 7. But eventually that ended and I eagerly fired it up.
Man, am I a happy camper!
Restarts and system cleans only take 2-3 minutes, compared to the previous Win XP/IOrbit combination which took about 30 minutes. That’s a huge savings of time.

It took a few days to get the hang of using Word and Excel 2007 software with Win 7. There are some differences. But despite the learning curve, things began running smoothly. Productivity increased big time. I can now accomplish in four hours what it took eight hours or longer to do previously, since I was forced to restart every hour or so. You do the math.

The only downside is that video streaming is still slow which I had hoped Win 7 would have improved. Fred reminded me that it’s not Win 7, but the limited memory and power capability of my PC. Still, video is much smoother and the sync between moving lips and spoken words much closer than before.

So next I’m going to replace my EMachines tower with an older but upgraded Dell. This way I’ll still save by buying used, and get all the whistles and bells popular a few years back that dazzled buyers’ eyes.

What I recommend you to do
If you have contacts with local business owners who have their own shops and computers, ask them who their IT or PC guy or gal is. If they’re happy, they’ll give you a name. But if they aren’t, they’ll tell you why.

Make sure you get that name so you can avoid the tech down the road in case your referral moves on or away.

Any PC or IT tech who has his own business will go to great lengths to insure that his business customers are happy, because he knows that he has only one shot at making a satisfactory fix to a particular problem. If he screws up, burned business owners never forget and word of mouth will kill the tech’s business.

So it’s a safe bet to contact the good ones.

Guys who work out of their garages don’t have the high overhead associated with a shop space rental, nor does he have city required licenses, Certificates of Occupancy and out of pocket fees. So his rates will be lower. That’s why my repair was just $100. If you have a lot of junk on your PC that needs to be removed, add another $25 or so to your estimate.

Since the tech probably will pick up and deliver, he’s also safe, Because he’s had the experience of folks failing to pay for repairs, or “forgetting” to pick up their repaired PCs. These PCs become legally his after 30-60 days and he’ll sell them as used to recoup part of his loss.

So there’s your window for an upgrade. If you tech doesn’t have what you want on hand, he can tap into his network of techs who have supplies of parts and repaired computers for the same reason.

As for me, I’m sticking with Win 7
Next up for me is to replace my aged tower. I’m keeping Win 7. I really like it now. For whatever I need to learn, there are a ton of how-to videos on YouTube and articles online to further my own expertise.

I don’t even use but a smidgeon of Win 7’s capability for MS Word or Excel, but I;m learning. A lot of my business friends use Win 7 because it is easy to use.

Buying or repairing used is still a good deal
For about $100 my fix was a great deal. I don’t imagine the next update to be much more expensive. Will I continue to buy used in this manner? You betcha! Why pay new when used will do.

And here’s a goodie for you
Almost forget. One of the goodies Mark installed was a system cleaner called C Cleaner. It’s a great tool, fast and inexpensive. I have several links for individuals or businesses to use, so click whatever you need: Consumer, Business Edition and Network Edition. I highly recommend it.

Here’s a good source of used PCs
Computer Refurb

I bought a used Dell from them ’bout a couple years ago. Never had any trouble with it. This company provides excellent customer service. I am not affiliated with them in any way. Just wanted to pass on the info.