Computer fix or pruchase or replace?

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David Althaus
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Computer fix or pruchase or replace?

Post by David Althaus » Wed Mar 04, 2020 2:07 pm

4 year HP Envy I love. (cue and uu (key letters spelled phonetically) no longer function. Could try to have fixed but not sure any value in that. Simple computer needs at my age. Should I just replace? HP laptops on Amazon more than ok sell for less than $600.

All the best

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Watty
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Re: Computer fix or pruchase or replace?

Post by Watty » Wed Mar 04, 2020 2:20 pm

What have you tried so far to fix it?

The are lots of Youtube videos that will show you how to try to fix it.

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_ ... eys+laptop

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Sandtrap
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Re: Computer fix or pruchase or replace?

Post by Sandtrap » Wed Mar 04, 2020 2:23 pm

New laptop.
More joy.
j :happy
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sunny_socal
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Re: Computer fix or pruchase or replace?

Post by sunny_socal » Wed Mar 04, 2020 3:05 pm

On behalf of the Bogleheads community, I hereby give you permission to buy a new computer.

Skip your morning latte for the remainder of the week as penance.

MarkBarb
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Re: Computer fix or pruchase or replace?

Post by MarkBarb » Wed Mar 04, 2020 3:14 pm

Keyboards are cheap and usually easy to replace. My son replaced his on his Dell (after he broke it trying to make a DVORAK keyboard, sigh). If it does everything you want it to do and you know how to use a screwdriver, why not give a $30/repair a try instead of dropping $600 on a new computer and spending all the time and trouble to get it configured they way you want it.

michaelingp
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Re: Computer fix or pruchase or replace?

Post by michaelingp » Wed Mar 04, 2020 5:58 pm

I have a 5-1/2 year old HP Envy laptop and it's a good computer. Except for the keys working I doubt you'll notice any difference in a new laptop. Oh, and the battery might be going on your old one, but you can just plug the charger in. In fact, you may find the new $600 computer lacks some things you find useful, like an optical disk reader and an adequate number of USB-A ports. You may find you have to buy adapters for peripherals you already own, like external disks. If it were me, I would watch the YouTube videos on fixing the keys and if you can find a good one that applies to your computer, assess if it's in your technical ability and tool collection. Next step would be watching videos on replacing the keyboard. Laptops vary considerably in how difficult this is, from quite easy, to "not worth the trouble". Even if you have to pay the local computer whisperer to do the work, I think you can easily get another 4 years or so out of your current laptop.

bob60014
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Re: Computer fix or pruchase or replace?

Post by bob60014 » Wed Mar 04, 2020 7:09 pm

Keyboards are easy to replace. If you are not comfortable doing it, do you have any tech savvy relatives or kids in the neighborhood?

nguy44
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Re: Computer fix or pruchase or replace?

Post by nguy44 » Wed Mar 04, 2020 11:25 pm

If you like to tinker with things and have the patience, I would recommend replacing the keyboard. My son brings me non-working laptop folks have discarded (he works part time for 1-800-Got-Junk), and 90% 0f them I have gotten working again with simple repairs.

Depending on how where you use the laptop, is a USB or wireless keyboard an option? I have an wireless keyboard connected to one of my laptops that has a finicky keyboard, and that works well for my needs.

If those two options are not appealing, then yes, perhaps buy a new one. At $600, if it lasts you 4 years, that is only $12.50 a month. :happy

michaelingp
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Re: Computer fix or pruchase or replace?

Post by michaelingp » Thu Mar 05, 2020 10:57 am

nguy44 wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 11:25 pm

If those two options are not appealing, then yes, perhaps buy a new one.
And send the old one to nguy44!

TheOscarGuy
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Re: Computer fix or pruchase or replace?

Post by TheOscarGuy » Thu Mar 05, 2020 12:36 pm

David Althaus wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 2:07 pm
4 year HP Envy I love. (cue and uu (key letters spelled phonetically) no longer function. Could try to have fixed but not sure any value in that. Simple computer needs at my age. Should I just replace? HP laptops on Amazon more than ok sell for less than $600.

All the best
I would highly recommend someone like you to spend a bit more and switch to apple.

I question why folks here keep spending on cheap laptops every so years, when they can spend a bit more and get something more reliable and that lasts a long time.

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Watty
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Re: Computer fix or pruchase or replace?

Post by Watty » Thu Mar 05, 2020 1:02 pm

There is absolutely not reason to replace a 4 year old laptop just because there a few keys that are stuck.

If you do not feel like trying to fix it yourself then have someone do it for you.

swordandscales
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Re: Computer fix or pruchase or replace?

Post by swordandscales » Thu Mar 05, 2020 4:23 pm

If you decide to buy, I believe there is no better *laptop* for the money than a refurbished MacBook Air. I have owned my current one nearly 8 years and it is 10 years old total. It runs like the day I bought it.

I use https://macofalltrades.com, but there are other options.

On the other hand, stuck keys - depending on the cause - can be fixed. With that said, laptop repairs are never inexpensive.
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lazydavid
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Re: Computer fix or pruchase or replace?

Post by lazydavid » Thu Mar 05, 2020 4:27 pm

TheOscarGuy wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 12:36 pm
David Althaus wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 2:07 pm
4 year HP Envy I love. (cue and uu (key letters spelled phonetically) no longer function. Could try to have fixed but not sure any value in that. Simple computer needs at my age. Should I just replace? HP laptops on Amazon more than ok sell for less than $600.

All the best
I would highly recommend someone like you to spend a bit more and switch to apple.

I question why folks here keep spending on cheap laptops every so years, when they can spend a bit more and get something more reliable and that lasts a long time.
So instead of replacing the broken keyboard on his current laptop, he should buy a new $2500 laptop that comes from the factory with keyboard that doesn't work? :mrgreen:

inbox788
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Re: Computer fix or pruchase or replace?

Post by inbox788 » Thu Mar 05, 2020 4:44 pm

TheOscarGuy wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 12:36 pm
I would highly recommend someone like you to spend a bit more and switch to apple.
LOL. [Out of the frying pan into the fire. Disclosure: I own Apple stock too as part of TSM]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLNHJMHIne8
https://youtu.be/hajnEpCq5SE?t=34
https://www.macrumors.com/guide/butterf ... rd-issues/

OP, you don't need a new keyboard. The keys you're having trouble with are the least used consonant and vowel. Just use Alt 85 for U and Alt 81
for Q. Can't remember the last time I needed Q before today.

https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/600 ... -list.html

Seriously, first bang on the bad keys and shoot some compressed air and see if you loosen something...

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Dust-Off-Dis ... n/15079082

You could try cleaning the keys... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWYNxVlW8Nk

And if that doesn't work, then try changing out the keyboard. Or do some troubleshooting...

https://support.hp.com/us-en/document/c03738933
https://h30434.www3.hp.com/t5/Notebooks ... -p/5121766

tibbitts
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Re: Computer fix or pruchase or replace?

Post by tibbitts » Thu Mar 05, 2020 5:07 pm

bob60014 wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 7:09 pm
Keyboards are easy to replace. If you are not comfortable doing it, do you have any tech savvy relatives or kids in the neighborhood?
I am not a professional repair person but have replaced a bunch of keyboards on most major PC brands. I disagree that they are generally easy to replace. It's easy to break parts on the process, since many components are plastic and snap together. In fact I broke the case on my newest laptop by just picking it up with one hand. I would say that typically the task ends up in the middle-difficulty range.

MathWizard
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Re: Computer fix or pruchase or replace?

Post by MathWizard » Thu Mar 05, 2020 5:17 pm

I highly recommend that you get an SSD in it.
You'll never go back to a spinning drive.

I still have plenty of spinning drives where I work for
PetaBytes with of bulk storage, but we are installing
tens of TeraBytes of SSDs for the areas where we
need fast access to small files.

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Computer fix or pruchase or replace?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Thu Mar 05, 2020 5:25 pm

inbox788 wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 4:44 pm
TheOscarGuy wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 12:36 pm
I would highly recommend someone like you to spend a bit more and switch to apple.
LOL. [Out of the frying pan into the fire. Disclosure: I own Apple stock too as part of TSM]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLNHJMHIne8
https://youtu.be/hajnEpCq5SE?t=34
https://www.macrumors.com/guide/butterf ... rd-issues/

OP, you don't need a new keyboard. The keys you're having trouble with are the least used consonant and vowel. Just use Alt 85 for U and Alt 81
for Q. Can't remember the last time I needed Q before today.

https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/600 ... -list.html

Seriously, first bang on the bad keys and shoot some compressed air and see if you loosen something...

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Dust-Off-Dis ... n/15079082

You could try cleaning the keys... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWYNxVlW8Nk

And if that doesn't work, then try changing out the keyboard. Or do some troubleshooting...

https://support.hp.com/us-en/document/c03738933
https://h30434.www3.hp.com/t5/Notebooks ... -p/5121766
About the tenth time I had to use Alt 85 or Alt 81 I would bang on the bad keys with a claw hammer and shoot some .38 hollow points into the keyboard to see what loosened up :twisted:

I do agree that it is certainly worth troubleshooting the sticky keys prior to replacing. In fact, I have done that with a laptop--albeit unsuccessfully--in the past.

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sunny_socal
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Re: Computer fix or pruchase or replace?

Post by sunny_socal » Fri Mar 06, 2020 7:25 am

HP computers are crap. I can say that even about the 'business' laptop that I have for work.

The Macbook Pro 16" is on sale everywhere right now, $250 off. Do yourself a favor and upgrade:
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... gLRI_D_BwE

They put back the 'old' (good) keyboard from the 2015 MBPro 8-) Aside from the Thinkpad range, they're best keyboards in the industry.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Computer fix or pruchase or replace?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Fri Mar 06, 2020 10:23 am

I sure can't recommend any laptop. I've got an HP that gets hot enough to shut down playing a game. It's my second....actually was my mom's that I got after my first one bricked.

On the other hand, my son's Macbook pro battery went nuclear, melted the keyboard and track pad. Apple initially told him to pound sand until he got a new CSR and mentioned that he was "burned". They immediately offered to completely fix it for the cost of a battery. Apparently, this isn't uncommon.
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TheOscarGuy
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Re: Computer fix or pruchase or replace?

Post by TheOscarGuy » Fri Mar 06, 2020 10:42 am

lazydavid wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 4:27 pm
TheOscarGuy wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 12:36 pm
David Althaus wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 2:07 pm
4 year HP Envy I love. (cue and uu (key letters spelled phonetically) no longer function. Could try to have fixed but not sure any value in that. Simple computer needs at my age. Should I just replace? HP laptops on Amazon more than ok sell for less than $600.

All the best
I would highly recommend someone like you to spend a bit more and switch to apple.

I question why folks here keep spending on cheap laptops every so years, when they can spend a bit more and get something more reliable and that lasts a long time.
So instead of replacing the broken keyboard on his current laptop, he should buy a new $2500 laptop that comes from the factory with keyboard that doesn't work? :mrgreen:
lol. Are all apple laptops that costly? I work in tech, I buy apple laptops once every 10 years or so. And even I dont need that powerful a machine. Apple air starts at 1K, mac mini starts at $800.
That or you keep buying new laptops, or try to fix cheap laptops with cheap components.

tibbitts
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Re: Computer fix or pruchase or replace?

Post by tibbitts » Fri Mar 06, 2020 10:45 am

MathWizard wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 5:17 pm
I highly recommend that you get an SSD in it.
You'll never go back to a spinning drive.

I still have plenty of spinning drives where I work for
PetaBytes with of bulk storage, but we are installing
tens of TeraBytes of SSDs for the areas where we
need fast access to small files.
Not sure if you mean "it" being a new computer, but I'm assuming a new computer? Again I've replaced a lot of hard drives with SSDs and the difficulty varies greatly between models. I've virtually never had the data transfer software that the manufactures often provide with many new drives work.

MathWizard
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Re: Computer fix or pruchase or replace?

Post by MathWizard » Fri Mar 06, 2020 11:04 am

Yes, SSD in a new computer.

I have replaced several, and it is usually easy, but my netbook was quite the challenge.
One of the screws holding the motherboard to the back of the case was glued in. I had to
break a small hole out of the case to get the netbook apart. I was trying to up the
RAM from 1 to 2GB so I could upgrade the OS.

Unfortunately, the netbook would not boot with the larger RAM DIMM (though it should have).
I replaced the drive with the SSD anyway, and let the computer swap.
Much better doing that than with a spinning 5400 RPM drive.
The netbook was great for travelling, weighing about what an iPAD would,
but I could present from it like any other laptop.

JHU ALmuni
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Re: Computer fix or pruchase or replace?

Post by JHU ALmuni » Fri Mar 06, 2020 1:11 pm

Get new computer with SSD. Bought refurbished one from Amazon for $200 or so few months ago and very happy with it. Looks new and super fast. Otherwise I was going to spend close to $100 just to figure out what was wrong with my older PC.

lazydavid
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Re: Computer fix or pruchase or replace?

Post by lazydavid » Fri Mar 06, 2020 1:45 pm

TheOscarGuy wrote:
Fri Mar 06, 2020 10:42 am
lol. Are all apple laptops that costly? I work in tech, I buy apple laptops once every 10 years or so. And even I dont need that powerful a machine. Apple air starts at 1K, mac mini starts at $800.
That or you keep buying new laptops, or try to fix cheap laptops with cheap components.
The air actually starts at $1100, but is about $1500 for one with midrange specs, and tops out at $1900. An "entry level" dual-core laptop with a $1500 price tag and a one-year warranty, just think about that for a second. The Mac Mini.....isn't a laptop. We're talking about laptops. Are you sure you work in tech? :P

You definitely don't need a very powerful machine if a 10-year old Air suits your purposes. I have a completely maxed out iMac desktop that's 10 years old and has been literally painful to try to use for anything beyond basic web browsing for several years now. It also required a hdd replacement to the tune of $500 halfway through its lifespan--something I would normally do myself, but the process of dismantling and reinstalling the screen is pretty involved.

That iMac is probably 4-6x the horsepower of the Air available at that time, which was essentially an aluminum-bodied Netbook. The newer ones are admittedly much better, except for the horrific keyboard.

Turbo29
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Re: Computer fix or pruchase or replace?

Post by Turbo29 » Fri Mar 06, 2020 2:15 pm

I got a new keyboard for my HP laptop for $25. Found a YouTube video on how to replace it. It took me less than five minutes.
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UncleBen
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Re: Computer fix or pruchase or replace?

Post by UncleBen » Fri Mar 06, 2020 5:45 pm

We just repaired my same vintage computer with a $6.99 power jack from Ebay, an hour of time, and a couple of YouTube videos. I recommend you try. We had to disconnect the keyboard in the process and it was not that difficult. If you mess it up you are only out a few dollars. Your part looks like $12-15ish on Ebay from US sellers

TheOscarGuy
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Re: Computer fix or pruchase or replace?

Post by TheOscarGuy » Fri Mar 06, 2020 8:43 pm

lazydavid wrote:
Fri Mar 06, 2020 1:45 pm
TheOscarGuy wrote:
Fri Mar 06, 2020 10:42 am
lol. Are all apple laptops that costly? I work in tech, I buy apple laptops once every 10 years or so. And even I dont need that powerful a machine. Apple air starts at 1K, mac mini starts at $800.
That or you keep buying new laptops, or try to fix cheap laptops with cheap components.
The air actually starts at $1100, but is about $1500 for one with midrange specs, and tops out at $1900. An "entry level" dual-core laptop with a $1500 price tag and a one-year warranty, just think about that for a second. The Mac Mini.....isn't a laptop. We're talking about laptops. Are you sure you work in tech? :P

You definitely don't need a very powerful machine if a 10-year old Air suits your purposes. I have a completely maxed out iMac desktop that's 10 years old and has been literally painful to try to use for anything beyond basic web browsing for several years now. It also required a hdd replacement to the tune of $500 halfway through its lifespan--something I would normally do myself, but the process of dismantling and reinstalling the screen is pretty involved.

That iMac is probably 4-6x the horsepower of the Air available at that time, which was essentially an aluminum-bodied Netbook. The newer ones are admittedly much better, except for the horrific keyboard.
Entry range iMacs are totally appropriate for most light weight usage, which I think is what OPs use qualifies as. Sure mini doesn’t have keyboard and monitor and that is potentially extra expense. You can buy both used but point taken. Yes I do work in tech 🙂
In my experience Apple computers tend to last a long time and without needing any repairs. I am surprised your “maxed out” iMac has been useless beyond just basic browsing. I have a HD iMac that’s same age as yours and is quite good even now.

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