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Consumer Alert - Scammers on the rise


General Information on Repairs

Before I start, I want to just mention a couple of things that as a consumer and a power user at computers I'd just like to point out:

- When you give the repair shop your computer tell them you don't want any repairs done till you are made aware of the exact problem.

- Don't get overcharged. In my book this is happening far too often. Make sure if you have a part replaced you look at the price of the part an easy google search on the Part Number will tell you exactly how much it will cost. Always remember it's fair to be charged, at max 10 euros for delivery of the part but make sure your not being fully ripped off.

A little price guide (may change from this post date if stocks are low / high etc)

- HDD's are averaging at around 60 - 100 euros for a decent internal HDD with a reasonable size (500 GB +)

- SDD's are more expensive ranging from 60 - 400 euros depending on the size

- DVD drive replacements would average from 30 - 60 euros depending on the type of drive. Samsung drives are pretty reasonable and can be as low as 20 euros, fitting takes around 10 minutes.

- Laptop Screen replacements including the part average from 100 - 200 euros depending on the type of screen fitting takes around 1 - 2 hours.

- Computer tune up / speed up would normally average from 40 - 80 euros for a common clean up.

- Virus repair and recovery (if windows is not being reinstalled) would average from 50 - 80 euros depending on how hard the virus is to get rid of.

- Virus repair and recovery (if windows is being reinstalled) would average from 70 - 100 euros if you have a genuine license underneath the laptop. Image of genuine sticker is below.

- Upgrade or fresh install to a new operating system / Programs: Average price for a genuine windows product (current prices below) + 3 to 4 hours labor

Windows 7 Home Premium: €95

Windows 7 Pro: €139

Windows 7 Ultimate: €183

Windows 8: €88.57

Windows 8 Pro: €139

When you get an upgrade / new installation make sure you get a sticker like the following, or the box for the OS so you can confirm it's authenticity.


(HDD) Hard Drive Repairs

The most recent case which has come to light is a laptop that came to me with issues booting, around July 2012 it had a hard drive replacement and the user was charged 120 Euros. To keep myself and the consumer protected I will not be naming this local store. The laptop was not booting due to a faulty hard drive.

After contacting the friend who came to me he told me it was just replaced. Under further investigation the harddrive was second hand? How do I know? Well let's just tell you a couple of things about all harddrives.

ALL harddrives have a manufacture date, this tipped me off instantly. The harddrive that came out of this laptop had a manafacture date of 12 OCT 2007 and it branded a HP sticker instantly tipping me off that this came out of a older HP laptop.

So, my first topic. If you have just had a HDD (Harddrive) replacement be aware that you get what you pay for. You don't want a second hand harddrive that will fail simple.

So what's the easiest way to check if the HDD is new?

- Download and install Speccy

- After installation open up the application and click on the harddrive link on the left hand side

- Check the Power on Time (as shown in the image below), if it's new it should report less than around two days.


Installation of Windows / Linux

There has been countless times where people have contacted me and has issues with a fake copy of windows when they have paid out a lot of money for a supposed genuine copy. Beware with this one.

So to begin with check you have a sticker at the bottom stating your version of windows. If you have a sticker stating a different version of windows than you have be aware. All upgrades / new installs should come with this sticker. (Re-installing to the same operating system won't need a fresh sticker since it's okay to use the same license. Just make sure they don't charge over 60 euros for reinstalling. (unless backing your data up, installing other programs for you)


Sometimes, you may not be aware that even though you have a genuine sticker you may not have a genuine operating system, the most common form of tampering is through a Windows 7 Loader. To check if you are genuine download the following update:

Download link for Win7 32 bit (x84)

Download link for Win7 64 bit (x64)

The above updates are updates to windows activation technologies which after installation and a couple of reboots if you have been fooled into purchasing a fake copy of windows you will get a notification about the operating system is not genuine. When this happens, take it to the place you got the installation of windows and ask for either a refund or ask them to give you a genuine copy.

N.B. Make sure you are never charged for a linux license, linux is free ware and community driven.

Hope this helps some consumers, if you do need advice / help feel free to contact me at jamie(at)jrnetwork.net / via a comment below and I will assist you.

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