PC Replacement can be costly, but eventually, it is necessary. However, adopting my motto “Why Buy New When Repair Will Do?” may save you hundreds of dollars.
Is your computer running slow? Review the article Fix Slow Computer. Are you battling internet security issues? Learn more about viruses, phishing, and spyware. Not sure if you should replace or upgrade your PC? Call for an inexpensive computer analysis and clean-up. I will give you my honest, expert recommendations.
If you’ve come to the conclusion that PC replacement is your best option, this article guides you through the costs involved and the how-to of data transfer.
The major costs involved in replacing a computer are: 1.) New Hardware; 2.) New Software; and 3.) Data transfer or relocation.
Cost of Desktop PC Replacement
A good estimate of $350 to $600 will get you a very functional, up-to-date, new package that includes the computer, keyboard, mouse, and operating system.
You may find something between $200 to $350 if you look for a Used, Refurbished, or Returned system. These need to be evaluated closely but there may be a “Good Deal” out there.
The typical setup of a new PC takes about 1.5 to 2.0 hours of billable time. This includes installing basic software and virus protection.
Expect to pay $100 to $150 for a 17” to 19” Flat Panel. You also may be able to reuse your existing monitor. Of course, if you are purchasing a Notebook, this cost is not necessary.
Are you going to replace your existing printer? A new decent printer is in the $60 to $200 range depending on your needs. Most low-cost printers will end up costing a significant amount for ink cartridge replacements. This should be one of your checkpoints when looking at printers.
Look for a “Cost per Sheet” comparison if you can find it. Consider a Laser printer – the cartridges may be expensive but you can reduce your cost per page significantly.
Do you really need that Photo Printer (that you end up using once every 2 months while having to replace your color cartridges because they dried out) – or – can you take that photo you want printed to a Print Store? For example, Walmart’s photo department has machines that scan non-copyrighted photos (and saves them to a CD) – as many as you want for under $4. You can order prints for pennies.
This can range from costing you nothing to costing several hundred dollars. Can you use your old software on your new system? Do you have a legal right to install your existing software on your new system? – or – do you even want your old software? I know that you may like Word Perfect 5.1 but really, it might be time to upgrade. I also know, first-hand, that Lotus 123 Release 5 will not run on Windows 7.
Conversion of your old data. This is the area that is the most ambiguous. If you do this yourself, there is no cost involved except for your time. My time is billable and can be 2 to 5 hours depending upon what is necessary.
How do you get all your documents, photographs, music, videos … from your old system to your new system? Windows 7 has a great utility that will accomplish this for you. You will need the new system set up and running and your old PC up and running. You will also need an external hard drive with enough capacity to hold all of your existing data (why not get a large capacity one and then reuse it for backup functions).
Your new system configuration should be as complete as possible. Install all the software you will need before you bring the data over to the new system. This will ensure that there is a place for the data to go.
Windows Easy Transfer
This application comes with a Windows 7 PC and is located under “All Programs | Accessories | System Tools”. Basically, you connect an external hard drive to the new system and start the process. Windows 7 will copy its Windows Easy Transfer Utility to the external drive, connect the drive to your old system and re-start the process.
The process will copy your settings and data. Connect the drive back to your new system and continue the process. All of your settings and data will be integrated into your new system. It really is that simple. I recently added a new Windows system which included going from an Office 2000 suite to an Office 2010 suite. I was able to move my information from an older XP system and the only thing I had to do was to put in my password for my Pop Email service.
The data files were where they were on the old system, my Email folder structure and content were the same. Both “Users” data was as expected.
Most computer users should be able to accomplish the data transfer process without professional help – but if you do need help, contact an independent consultant (like myself, thank you) as the Big Box stores are not cost-effective in this area. A typical consultant will play, tweak, retry, backup, and take all those little extra steps that personalize the service – at a very reasonable cost.
Again, if you are considering PC replacement, review other articles on this website and do some research. If you can fix a slow computer, remove viruses and other internet security issues, or upgrade – it may be worth hanging on to your existing PC a couple more years.