Ask a Tech

Are you curious about something computer related?  Do you have a question you would like ask a computer technician?  If you would like to ask a technical question, please send it to:  If you give us permission to use your letter and/or name, will post your question here for the world to see.

Q. Do those computer advertisements you see on TV work? The ones that promise to speed up your computer or double your speed?

V. Quinten

Houston, TX

A. While is it possible that those services do work, you have to be careful about what you are buying. Those services are usually not very transparent in their billing practices. If you listen carefully they say they will “diagnose” your system for free. They do. If they find something, (and they usually do), they charge for their service, on a monthly basis. These services tend to be subscription based services, a monthy fee will be charged to your credit card, when you sign up for their diagnosis. If your computer needs to be “speeded up”, we will do it and only charge you once!

Q. I have a 4 year old computer, is it worth keeping?

J. Howard

Atlanta, GA

A. If you have Windows XP or later, and everything basically works, yes, it is worth keeping. I recommend doing a “PC overhaul”. This entails re-installing the complete operating system (Windows) from scratch. We basically back up all your data, reformat your drive, install the operating system, install the necessary drivers, install all the Microsoft patches and security updates, install an anti-virus program and put back all your personal data. At this point, the computer would be just like it came from the factory. It was be just as fast as you remember it, without all the quirks you have now. You would however, have to re-install your printer and whatever programs you need to use. You get a new computer performance at a fraction of the new computer cost.