Computer Repair Services
We fix most models of laptops and desktops including Mac and PC manufacturers.
Whether it's a Window's or Apple system, we have extensive experience working with both, so you don't need to look any further for your local one stop computer repair destination. We strive to explain things to you in plain English and get you up and running in the most cost effective manner.
We service and repair most brands, makes and models of computers, PC's, notebooks, netbooks, laptops, including Compaq, DELL, HP, Gateway, Sony, IBM, Lenovo, eMachine, Acer, PowerSpec, Alienware, Apple. Meridian can also address any software issues you may be experiencing.
Is your computer running slow, freezing up, or crashing on you? Are you experiencing the dreaded blue screen of death? Are you simply tired of all those annoying, random pop ups that keep popping up making your computer barely usable? Is your computer simply refusing to turn back on and boot into Windows?
If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, let us perform a free diagnostic evaluation.
Free Diagnostics And Evaluation!
We will provide you with a free diagnosis and the cost to repair your device’s issue(s).
If for some reason we cannot repair your device, you will not be charged a dime!
We will also provide a free evaluation of your system to help you decide if it’s best to repair your PC, OR we can help backup your data and migrate to a new system.
New Computer Setup
Getting a new computer is exciting, but there are a lot of things to get ready before you can use it for the first time.
Let Meridian get your computer set up right, from the beginning.
Here are some of the things we can help you set up: windows activation, windows updates, user accounts, windows restore point, install ant-virus & anti-malware software, install office software, install QuickBooks and any other software you need, install additional memory, install drivers, uninstall unwanted programs and modifications.
Is your PC running slow? Does it seem to have a mind of its own? Has it been taking forever to log into Windows? Do you find yourself restarting your computer because it constantly freezes?
If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, it may be time to get your computer tuned up!
Computer Repair Topics And Discussions!
WHAT CAUSES A COMPUTER SYSTEM TO RUN SLOW?
To identify why your computer is running slowly you must first determine when the slowness occurs. You may experience slow performance while browsing the web, starting up the computer, starting a specific program, or because of a slow-responding browser.
There are a number of issues that can impede your system's performance.
- Reboot. If your computer hasn't been rebooted recently, try to reboot it before following any of the following steps.
- Delete temp files. As a computer runs programs, temporary files are stored on the hard drive. Deleting these temp files can help improve computer performance. There are a number of utilities you can use to cleanup and delete temporary files and other files no longer needed on the computer. Unfortunately, the Disk Cleanup utility in Windows may not delete every file in the temp directory. Therefore, we also suggest deleting temporary files manually. To do this, open the Start menu and type %temp% in the Search field. In Windows XP and prior, click the Run option in the Start menu and enter %temp% in the Run field. Press Enter and a Temp folder should open. You can delete all files found in this folder and, if any files are in use and cannot be deleted, they can be skipped.
- Free hard drive space. Verify that there is free hard drive space. This available space allows the computer to have room for the swap file to increase in size, as well as room for temporary files.
- Look for programs that are consuming all the system resources. A common cause of your computer running slow is a malicious process hogging up a large amount of CPU and/or memory resources. If your PC is suddenly running slower, a runaway process might be using a large percentage of your CPU resources. Or, an application might be experiencing a memory issue and using a large amount of memory, causing your PC to swap to disk. In addition, an application might be monopolizing the hard drive causing other applications to slow down when they need to load data from or save it to the disk.
- Optimize what programs are launched at start up. Most applications are installed and set to launch at startup. It may not be necessary for a number of these programs to run until needed. You can see some programs running in the system tray, or notification area. These applications tend to launch at startup and stay running in the background but remain hidden behind the up arrow icon at the bottom-right corner of your screen. Click the up arrow icon near the system tray, right-click any applications you don’t need running in the background, and close them to free up resources. To better optimize this process you should prevent those applications from launching at startup in the first place. This will reduce the demand on system resources, memory & CPU, not to mention speed up the login process.
- Scan your computer for viruses, malware, adware, spyware and rogueware. One of the main reason's your computer may be running slow, it could be infected with malicious software that's running in the background and slowing down your PC. These programs come in many forms, not all of them are viruses. However they do all fall into the category of Malware, since their objective is to perform some function without your knowledge or consent — it may be software that interferes with your web browsing to track what you click on and where you go on the web, and it can display unwanted advertisements, or popups. Irregardless they are unwanted and fall into the category of a PUP (Potentially Unwanted Program). For more info see our section: Virus & Malware Removal...
- Uninstall programs you don't use. Another way to speed up your PC is to uninstall programs you don’t use and don’t need from your PC. This can help speed up your computer, as those programs might include background processes, auto-start entries, system services, context menu entries, and other things that can slow down your PC. It’ll also save room on your hard drive and improve system security — certain programs become a security risk if their not used and kept up to date.
- Your hard drive may be failing. Whether you have a solid state or mechanical drive there is always a chance the device is failing. Regardless of the type of drive, your computer usually will show subtle signs of a pending disk failure. Paying attention to these signs can save you from unexpectedly losing the data stored on your drive. For more information on hard drive failures, see our article called "5 Signs Your Hard Drive is About to Fail". Some of these issues may be causing your computer to run slow, and may be early signs of a pending hard drive failure.
- Memory upgrade. If you have an older computer, you may need more memory. Today, we suggest computers have a minimum of 4GB of memory (RAM) for 32-bit system and 8GB for a 64-bit system. By having enough memory for programs to run within memory, your computer will not need to swap information stored in memory to the swap file. If the hard drive light is constantly active, it can be an indication the computer is frequently swapping information between your memory and hard drive.
- Hard drive upgrade. One of the biggest bottlenecks of a computer is the hard disk drive. For anyone with a slow computer or just looking for the best component to upgrade, upgrading from a hard drive to a Solid State Drive (SSD) can significantly improve the performance of a computer.
- Hardware issues. If your computer is still slow after trying all of the above recommendations, there may have a more serious hardware related issue, such as a failing component in the computer. This could include a failing or bad hard drive, CPU, RAM, motherboard, or another component. You can run hardware diagnostic tests, some manufacturers include these utilities. This utility provides many diagnostic tests that you can run and determine if your computer has a bad piece of hardware.
- What is the age of the computer? If your computer has an older processor, this could be the cause of the slow performance. As more advanced software programs are released, they are optimized to run more efficiently on newer processors (newer technology). Older computers are not able to run these new programs as well, which can cause them to perform more slowly. We recommend that you consider purchasing a new computer or accept the speed of your current computer.
- Third-party browser tool-bars or plug-ins? Most tool-bars, add-on's and plug-ins provide very little benefit to your browsing experience. In most cases they only serve to slow down the browser, hence slowing down your browsing speed. Unless there is a specific need for the tool-bar, add-on or plug-in, you would be better served by removing any of these add-in's.
- Multiple Security Programs? Running several antivirus programs at the same time will really slow down your system, why? They will continuously try to stop and compete each other. Because antivirus programs search your system for programs that are monitoring and sending information about your system, a competing antivirus program that is monitoring and sending information about your system tends to look like a virus, so it will attempt to block it and remove it. In addition, They will fight over viruses. When an antivirus program encounters a virus, it removes it and quarantines it. But if a competing antivirus program sees that quarantined file and wants to remove and quarantine it in accordance with its own objectives, then it will repeatedly send reports and notifications about this virus that it is detecting, even though it is no longer actually a threat to your system. You don’t want to continually get false positive warning messages, this will consume valuable system resources. Antivirus programs use a lot of your system memory to conduct system scans and other related operations. If you have two of these operating simultaneously, your system’s effectiveness can be greatly diminished or completely wiped out altogether, and without any benefit, since the two are performing redundant operations. When it comes to protecting your computer, more protection by itself is not better. Take some time to layer several programs that work well together to fight various categories of threats. Choose an antivirus that will combat the latest known virus threats and a program that will manage the latest malware threats that may fall outside the scope of a traditional antivirus program.
- Recently installed software updates or drivers?
Frequently asked questions?
How much does it cost to look at computer and see whats wrong with it?
Nothing, we do not charge a fee to look at and diagnose your computer. We will provide you with a FREE estimate before we begin any work!
I spilled liquid inside my computer. Is it possible to repair the damage?
It depends on how much liquid was spilled. If the computer no longer turns on you may have a damaged motherboard. Damaged motherboards are often very expensive to repair. If the computer can turn on, but the keyboard and/or touchpad or other buttons don't work then the damage may be limited to those components and they can be replaced.
I accidentally dropped and damaged my computer. Now it's having problems. Can it be repaired?
It may be possible to repair, but we will have to diagnose it and assess the problem(s) involved. We'll also need as much information as we can get about the circumstances that caused the damage and what's happening with the computer now. Don't use your computer if it's damaged as that may make the damage worse.
When I'm watching a video or playing a game my computer gets a blue screen or shuts down. What's wrong with it?
Often times this is a sign of a bad video card or memory module. You may also have dust inside the computer or a faulty fan. If you can't replace the parts or clean it up safely, contact us and we can help.
I noticed my CD/DVD drive does not read discs anymore or won't eject. Do I need a new drive?
Most likely yes. Sometimes this condition can be repaired, but for the most part the drive may be a lost cause. If you have a PC you are in luck because replacement drives are inexpensive for the most part. Apple drives are usually more expensive so it may be better to get an external drive.
Why does my computer shut itself down all the time?
Sometimes this is an indication of overheating or it also may be a faulty hardware component, such as a power supply, memory module motherboard or video card. If the system feels hot you can try to clean out the fans. We're here to help if cleaning it isn't enough.
Can you repair or replace laptop keyboards?
Yes, we can replace and repair any issue provided the parts are available.
My laptop's screen is shattered. Can you fix it? How long will it take? Is it worth repairing?
We can repair broken laptop screens within two to three business days provided the LCD screen is available. Most Laptops are generally worth repairing unless the system is experiencing other issues. It's important to note that we only use new replacement parts that are typically the same part being replaced.
So you are worried that your hard drive could fail at some point? Well, you should be, the truth is, all hard drives will fail at some point, it's not a question of "IF", it's a question of "WHEN"! One thing you can do is always keep backups of your data on a second hard drive. The probability that both drives will fail simultaneously are a lot less but no zero. With that said, things do happen that are beyond our control. An example would be natural disasters like floods or fires. We always recommend you backup your valuable data offsite, preferably to a backup cloud service (our CloudDrive is an example).
Anatomy Of A Computer
What is a CPU?
A CPU is the computers processor, central processor, or microprocessor, the CPU is the Central Processing Unit of the computer. A computer's CPU handles all instructions it receives from the hardware and software running on the computer.
The CPU is the brain of the computer. However, it is more appropriate to refer to software as the brain and the CPU as a very efficient calculator. A CPU is really good with numbers, but if it wasn't for the software it wouldn't know how to do anything else.
The CPU chip is usually in the shape of a square or rectangle and has one notched corner to help place the chip properly into the CPU socket. On the bottom of the chip are hundreds of connector pins that plug into each of the corresponding holes in the socket. Over the years, there have been dozens of different types of sockets on motherboards. Each socket only supports specific types of processors and each has its own pin layout.
What is a Motherboard?
Over the years what we know now as a motherboard has been called many names, mainboard, backplane, main circuit board, planar board, system board, or a logic board on Apple computers. The motherboard is a printed circuit board that is the foundation of a computer, located on the back side or at the bottom of the computer case. It allocates power to the CPU, RAM, and all other computer hardware components. Most importantly, the motherboard allows hardware components to communicate with one another.
What is memory?
Computer memory is a physical component capable of storing information temporarily. Computer memory also referred to as Random Access Memory (RAM), is a volatile memory that temporarily stores information on an integrated circuit used by the operating system, software and hardware.
It is very common for new computer users to confuse memory with disk space. Although both the hard drive and RAM are memory, it is more appropriate to refer to RAM as "memory" or "primary memory" and a hard drive as "storage" or "secondary storage." Disk storage (hard drive) is where the computer stores information to be recalled for later use. RAM is dynamic and will be lost when the computer is rebooted or a program is terminated, any data not written to the hard drive will be lost.
When someone asks how much memory is in your computer, it is measured in GB's (Gigabytes). RAM can be anywhere between 1GB and 64GB or higher depending on the system your using. Whereas a hard drive can contain hundred's of gigabytes of storage or now even up to 10TB (Terabytes) of hard disk drive storage.
A typical PC today comes with a 64 bit operating system and will have 4GB of RAM installed. The typical user would be best served to have 8 GB of RAM.
What is a Hard Drive?
A hard drive is a disk storage device that permanently stores and retrieves data (information). There are many types, but the most common types are internal and external drives, which come in two sizes, 3.5" and 2.5" for desktop and laptop computers respectively. A hard drive consists of one or more platters on which data is written, all inside of an air-sealed casing. Internal hard disks reside in a drive bay, connect to the motherboard using a SATA cable, and powered by a connection to the system's power supply unit.
A hard drive can be used to store just about any type of data, including pictures, music, videos, and text documents. Computers have a hard drive and use it to store files for the operating system and software that run's on the computer, as well as files created or downloaded to the computer by a user.
The amount of data a hard drive can store depends on the storage capacity of the hard drive. A typical PC now comes with at least a 500GB hard drive and some newer machines can have drives with several TB's in capacity. Advances in technology continue to expand the capacity and speed of hard drives. Western Digital just announced a new hard drive that is 10TB's, which is designed to be used on a server application.
Solid State Drives (SSDs) have started to replace hard disk drives because of the performance advantages they have over rotational disk drives, including faster access times and lower latency. While SSDs are becoming more and more popular for their performance qualities, traditional rotational drives continue to be used in many desktop computers largely due to the lower cost per GB over SSDs. However, more and more laptops are beginning to utilize SSD's over HDD's, helping to improve the performance of laptops.
What is a Video Card?
It is known as a display adapter, graphics card, video adapter, video board, or video controller, a video card is an integrated circuit or internal board that creates a picture on a display, generates a feed of output images to a display or computer monitor. Without a video card, you would not be able to display anything from the PC.
Video hardware can be integrated into the motherboard or the CPU. Both approaches can be called integrated graphics. Motherboard-based implementations are sometimes called "on-board video" while CPU-based implementations are known as accelerated processing units (APUs). Almost all desktop computer motherboards with integrated graphics allow the disabling of the integrated graphics chip in BIOS, and have a PCI, or PCI Express (PCI-E) slot for adding a higher-performance graphics card in place of the integrated graphics. The ability to disable the integrated graphics sometimes also allows the continued use of a motherboard on which the on-board video has failed. Sometimes both the integrated graphics and a dedicated graphics card can be used simultaneously to feed separate displays.
What is a Power Supply Unit?
A power supply unit (PSU) converts mains AC power to low-voltage regulated DC power for the internal components of a computer. Modern personal computers universally use switched-mode power supplies. Some power supplies have a manual switch for selecting input voltage, while others automatically adapt to the mains voltage.
Today most personal computer power supplies conform to the ATX specification, which includes form factor and voltage tolerances. The desktop computer power supply changes alternating current from a wall socket to low-voltage direct current to operate the processor and peripheral devices. Several direct-current voltages are required, and they must be regulated with some accuracy to provide stable operation of the computer. A power supply rail or voltage rail refers to a single voltage provided by a power supply unit (PSU). Although the term is generally used in electronic engineering, many people, especially computer enthusiasts, encounter it in the context of personal computer power supplies.
What is a Driver?
More commonly known as a driver, a device driver or hardware driver is a group of files that enable one or more hardware devices to communicate with the computer's operating system. Without drivers, the computer would not be able to send and receive data correctly to hardware devices, such as a printer.
If the appropriate driver is not installed, the device may not function properly, or at all. For Microsoft Windows users, a driver conflict or an error can be seen in the Device Manager. If problems or conflicts are encountered with a driver, the computer manufacturer or hardware manufacturer will release a driver update to fix the problems.
Let look at it another way, in computing, a device driver (driver) is a computer program that operates or controls a particular type of device that is attached to a computer. A driver provides a software interface to hardware devices, enabling operating systems and other computer programs to access hardware functions without needing to know precise details of the hardware being used.
The task of writing drivers usually falls to software engineers or computer engineers who work for hardware-development companies. This is because they have better information than most outsiders about the design of their hardware. Moreover, it was traditionally considered in the hardware manufacturer's interest to guarantee that their clients can use their hardware in an optimum way.
What is USB?
Short for Universal Serial Bus, USB is a plug-and-play interface that allows a computer to communicate with peripheral and other devices. USB-connected devices cover a broad range; anything from keyboards and mice, to music players and flash drives. USB may also be used to send power to certain devices, such as smartphones and tablets, as well as charge their batteries. The Universal Serial Bus industry standard was established in 1995, and then quickly adopted by many of the leading computer manufacturers. USB has effectively replaced a variety of earlier interfaces, such as parallel ports, as well as separate power chargers for portable devices.
Computer Repair Articles!
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