Friday, July 17, 2015

What to do, What to do

My Dell Inspiron 545 desktop, which I purchased in early 2009, recently developed a problem starting.

I like to shut my computer down every night and not leave it running all the time. I noticed about 10 days ago that it wasn't turning on right away when I pushed the button. After I hit it a second or third time, though, the computer would boot up.

Then Sunday it wouldn't power up for the longest time. Finally, after one desperate plea, it powered up. I went online to the Dell site and chatted with an agent, who suggested I needed a new power button. This comes in a front panel called a bezel. It was $18 so I ordered it.

My husband and I last night installed the new part. The computer powered right up. But this morning it took a few hits on the button again, and this afternoon when I returned from an outing, it took quite a number of pushes before the computer kicked on. The problem is not fixed.

Best Buy will look at the computer for free but the fellow on the phone said it was probably either the power supply or the motherboard. While the GeekSquad won't charge me to look at the computer and make a diagnosis, to fix it would cost labor plus parts, with a low estimate of $150, probably more.

I can purchase a new Dell tower for anywhere from $325 to $600. But Windows 10 comes out July 29. The new tower would have Windows 8.1 on it and I'd have to do an upgrade.

So do I purchase a new tower and not do much to it until I do the Windows 10 upgrade? Or do I keep fiddling with this older computer? I wasn't planning on a computer purchase this year, but it would be kind of nice to have a new one. Do I wait and see if on Sunday there's a sale on computers with Windows 8.1?

Generally my rule with computers has been if you have to start messing with it because something is wrong, replace the thing and be done with it. I've tried fixing them in the past and it simply eats money. I've already wasted $20 trying to fix this one.

Then there is disposal. What do you do with an old computer? The last ones I gave to Goodwill didn't work because I removed the hard drives. Those I gave to my husband and told him to use them for target practice. I don't want my old hard drive getting out into the public, reused on reconditioned computer where some smart kid can figure out what used to be on the thing.

Six years out of a computer is not bad. I wish they lasted 10 or 15 years, but that is asking too much with technological changes. I've been very happy with this tower and this set-up; it has worked for me. I like having a desktop and am not keen to switch to a laptop for my permanent work space.

So what do I do? Fix the old one, or buy something new and spend all the time it will take to set it up, reinstall programs, probably have unexpected expenditures on software because something won't work, or what?


  1. Buy new. If you don't already have everything backed up to an external hard drive, do so now. Then take the external drive with you when you buy the new one and have the seller transfer everything, make adjustments, etc. Before you buy, try out several computers in the store to see how you like them.

  2. I hate decisions like this! Good luck, whatever you decide.


I enjoy your comments and always appreciate the opportunity to visit the blogs of my readers. I hope you have a great day!