Your PC crashes, your MacBook stopped working, your mobile phone won’t call out. Any number of problems can lead you to put your expensive hardware aside and try to carry on without it or else call a very expensive number to go through some repetitive steps to establish the cause of the fault before arranging for repairs.

While these repairs might come under warranty, there is always the chance that the fault that your computer hardware has developed isn’t covered. If this is the case, and your device has gone beyond its return period, then you have two choices:

  • Hire a local expert to fix the problem
  • Go it alone

Both options are viable – but which should you go for?

Hiring a Local PC Repair Man

This is the most popular option under such circumstances, but the real problem here comes with the limits of the repair man’s expertise. Most technicians specialize in computing and networking, and even this expertise might be limited to resolving errors on a Windows machine rather than a Mac.

If you suspect this to be the case then you will need to ask some questions about the engineer’s ability with non-Windows systems. After all, Mac OS X and Linux are very different from Windows, and as such techies often charge by the hour you don’t want to be waiting for them to try and work out how to run a system update on your Mac!

Going it Alone

The other option is for you to attempt to resolve the problem yourself.

You might have noticed that we’ve changed direction here at The Gadget Monkey, and we’re now focussing on critiquing various aspects of the tech industry and consumer electronics, highlighting particularly cool new games and hardware and embarking on a series of tutorials.

These tutorials intend to have one clear aim – to share knowledge, and empower our readers to fix problems, achieve tasks and generally maximise the potential of their Windows, Mac or Linux PC or their mobile phone or tablet.

Going it alone in this respect therefore requires you to find an Internet-enabled device with a web browser (perhaps a laptop, netbook, second PC, mobile phone, tablet or media center) and use this device to search for the answer to the question you are looking for.

For instance, if you’re trying to work out how to update your Mac to the latest version of OS X, then you should use “lion update mac osx” to find the answer.

While there might be some quite technical problems that cannot be easily resolved, the majority of faults can be fixed without spending any money at all. Over the coming weeks and months this website is going to be showing you just how easy this can be…

However: taking matters into your own hands is not recommended for everyone. If you’ve never taken hardware apart before, then you might want to get a friend in to help you. Self-repair is certainly not for beginners, and you should be absolutely confident that you are able to succeed and take matters into your own hands.