Is it worth repairing my laptop?

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At some time or another, accidents will happen. The classic scenarios we see are laptops trodden on after being left on the floor or stairs, laptop lids closed on pens or other items which crack the screen or glasses of wine or other drinks tipped over the keyboard.

So what can you do if this happens to you, and, if physically damaged, is it worth repairing your laptop or more economical to bin it and start again?

Liquid spills

Spillage on laptop keyboardIf you are unfortunate enough to get your laptop, tablet or phone wet, remove the power lead, if plugged in, and switch it off straight away – hold the on/off button in until it powers down, don’t worry about shutting down programs etc. as time is of the essence!

Remove the battery, mop up any excess liquid then leave it somewhere dry and warm to completely dry out but not right on top of a radiator or fire! A warm airing cupboard is perfect. It can take 2 or 3 days to completely dry. Don’t try to switch it on until you are sure it will be dry inside.

If you are lucky, once completely dry the unit will switch on and carry on as normal. If not, then it may be necessary to strip the unit down and clean the circuit boards, especially if the liquid was sugary such as wine or fruit juice.

If the unit is completely dead then it is likely that the motherboard has short circuited. In this case, chances are it will not be worth repairing and it would be more costs effective to claim on household insurance for a replacement.

Physical Damage

Laptop with cracked screenDepending on the age of the laptop, some hardware repairs are worth considering. Screens can vary from £60 – £200 depending on the age and type of laptop. Keyboards cost around £30 – £50 and we can even supply individual keys.

We regularly see broken power connectors where cables have been caught. Again, these can be replaced fairly economically. Replacement batteries and power supplies can also be purchased relatively inexpensively.

Motherboards and processors are generally not worth repairing unless the laptop is 12 months or less old.

Will I lose my data?

With liquid spills and most hardware failures, the hard drive should be OK. Don’t send the laptop off to an insurance repairer or assessor without getting a copy of the data first. This can be done by a local IT company or, if you feel competent in basic electronics, by removing the hard drive and connecting to another PC.

If the laptop has been dropped or crushed then the hard drive may have been physically damaged. Hopefully you will have an up to date backup on another drive or in the cloud but, if not, it may be possible to retrieve the data via more advanced methods. This can cost between £250 and £750.

See our laptop repair section for further details.

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