Computer malfunctions can range from a minor setting that is incorrect, to spyware, viruses, and as far as replacing hardware and an entire operating system. Some technicians provide on-site services, usually at an hourly rate. Others can provide services off-site, where the client can drop their computers and other devices off at the repair shop. Some have pickup and drop off services for convenience. Some technicians may also take back old equipment for recycling. This is required in the EU, under WEEE rules. When possible, computer repair technicians protect the computer user’s data and settings. Following a repair, an ideal scenario will give the user access to the same data and settings that were available to them prior to repair. To address a software problem, the technician could take an action as minor as adjusting a single setting or they may implore more involved techniques such as: installing, uninstalling, or reinstalling various software packages. Advanced software repairs often involve directly editing keys and values in the
Windows Registry or running commands directly from the command prompt.
A reliable, but somewhat more complicated procedure for addressing software issues is known as a system restore (also referred to as imaging, and/or reimaging), in which the computer’s original installation image (including operating system and original applications) is reapplied to a formatted hard drive. Anything unique such as settings or personal files will be destroyed if not backed up on external media, as this reverts everything back to its original unused state. The computer technician can only reimage if there is an image of the hard drive for that computer either in a separate partition or stored elsewhere.
On a Microsoft Windows system, if there is a restore point that was saved (normally saved on the hard drive of the computer) then the installed applications and Windows Registry can be restored to that point. This procedure may solve problems that have arisen after the time the restore point was created. Finally, if no image or system restore point is available, a fresh copy of the operating system is recommended. Formatting and reinstalling the operating system will require the license information from the initial purchase. If none is available, the operating system may require a new licence to be used.
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