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Computer hardware problems

Computer hardware problems can be anything from very minor annoyances to total, full-blown grief.  You might be able to live with the fact that the "F9" key on your keyboard sticks when you push it down, but if you're trying to load something from a CD that you just slid into your CD drive, and Windows says you don't have a CD drive, that's a problem of a different magnitude.

What causes computer hardware problems?

Overall, computers are incredibly fast and reliable devices.  The typical personal computer can perform from several million to several billion calculations in a second, day after day, year in and year out.  They achieve all this speed and reliability with solid state technology.  A solid state device uses the electrical properties of semiconductors and avoids using moving parts or relying on the electrical properties of a vacuum.  Probably the best known solid state device is a transistor, although there are several others.

Although solid state technology is both fast and reliable, it can and does fail.  Solid state devices are sensitive to excessive heat and voltage levels, and when a failure occurs in a solid state device it can many times be traced back to either an overheating or power surge event.

Computers, however, are not 100% solid state.  There are moving parts involved; the most obvious example is the keyboard - although mice, hard drives and optical drives (both CD and DVD) are other prime examples.  Anything with physically moving parts can wear out, get jammed, etc.

By far the computer component with the most moving parts, and therefore the most prone to failure, is the keyboard.  Luckily they are also one of the easiest things to replace (unless it's a laptop keyboard). 

The second most common area for hardware problems is the hard drive.  The hard drive is both packed with electronics and at the same time a mechanical device, so it can be damaged by either excessive heat or power surges, or it can just wear out.  Fixing problems with a hard drive or replacing it can be tricky simply because the value of the hard drive lies in the data it holds - all your pictures, downloaded music, word processing documents, tax returns and whatever else you've stored on your computer through the years.

Hard drives / hard drive crash

You should be backing up your data regularly.  Many people make the mistake of thinking about backing up their data after they have a hard drive problem, which could be too late because hard drives, as mentioned above, are the second most likely computer hardware component to fail after keyboards.

What can go wrong with a hard drive?  Plenty.  Probably the most common term associated with hard drive problems is "crash," as in "hard drive crash."

Inside your hard drive is a rapidly spinning platter coated with a thin layer of magnetic material.  There are also magnetic read / write heads that skim along only a few thousandths of an inch above the surface of the platter whose job is to read the data off, and write the data onto, that layer of magnetic material.  If one of those heads hits the surface hard for some reason, it can gouge the magnetic material rendering the data stored there inaccessible.  This is a what is referred to as a hard drive crash.

Although many people refer to any severe problem with a hard drive as a crash, there are other things that can go wrong, for example:

bulletThe drive's electronics can be damaged so it can no longer interact with the rest of the computer
bulletThe drive's motor could be wearing out and not able to maintain the constant speed needed for data to be read off / written onto the drive
bulletAnother device in the computer could be interfering with the drive's ability to interact with the rest of the computer

No matter what the cause, hard drive problems can be very unnerving because they make you realize like nothing else how important your data is.  If you experience any of the following symptoms you may have a problem with your hard drive:

bulletYour hard drive makes a clicking sound
bulletYou are getting messages saying there are CRC (cyclic redundancy check) errors when you try to open a file or a program.
bulletIf your computer can boot, the drive does not appear in "My Computer" in Windows
bulletYou get a blue screen
bulletYour computer won't boot at all

We realize how important your data is to you.  If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above contact us today.  Let us ask you a few questions to better understand your situation and we'll provide you with a free estimate.  We'll work hard to recover as much of your data as possible and either get your drive up and running again or replace it if necessary.

Devices not working correctly or at all

One very frustrating computer problem is when you have some device that either doesn't work correctly or doesn't work at all.  There are two categories of problems here: a new device that you can't get to work in the first place and a device that used to work but has stopped for some reason.

If you have a new device that you can't get to work usually your best course of action is to contact either the store you purchased it from or the manufacturer.  Many times the issue is that your new gizmo will never work because it either isn't supported on your current PC hardware or your current version of Windows.  If that's the case the only option is to find your receipt and return the item.

If, however, your new device is supported on your PC and your version of Windows, then things are no different than if you had a device that used to work but stopped.  Here is a partial list of what might cause this:

bulletThe device may actually be broken
bulletYou may not have the correct driver, or the correct version of the driver
bulletYou may need to put an update on Windows
bulletYou may have put a different device into your PC which is causing a conflict with the device that isn't working
bulletYou may have installed a new piece of software, updated a driver, or installed a Windows update that is causing your device to not function properly
bulletA configuration setting may have been changed for some reason

Whether it's a new device or something that has been installed in your computer for years, if it's not working contact us today, we'll diagnose the problem and let you know what needs to be done to get your entire system up and running the way you want it to.


Contact us:
Oakland Solutions, LLC
55 East Long Lake
PMB 371
Troy, Michigan  48085

Phone: (248)689-1439

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From our customers

"Julia & I are very satisfied with the high quality of your work.

Our Dell Desktop Computer recently had a problem that was beyond us to solve. You handled the diagnostics in a professional manner. And solved the problem.

About six months ago, our Dell was slowing down, to a crawl. In that incident, we met over the over the telephone, for the time you requested to make a comprehensive & remote diagnostic assessment.

You then came to our home, & added the long-overdue memory boards to the computer, & performed other "fine-tuning."

Dave, you have permission to use my name, as a satisfied customer, in your computer work with Oakland Solutions, LLC."

Frank & Julia Wilson - Berkley, MI


"I want to offer this recommendation of the services of Oakland Solutions LLC. I use my computer for a side business and cannot afford to have it go down for long. It went down and would not boot one morning. I called around and found that the big name repair shops charged on an hourly basis with no firm final estimate. They said that if they take 4 hours to fix it, I'd be paying them $400! Oakland Solutions was willing to quote me a firm price in my case, since it was a standard type of problem, and he stuck to it. That sold me on the idea of using him. He fixed it in two days, even though he was busy with other work. I'll use him again.

Bill Griffin - Royal Oak


"Our business relies on our computers operating well. Oakland Solutions has been very helpful to keep everything running smoothly. They have been dependable, reliable and knowledgeable and they have fixed problems that other computer techs couldn’t fix. They’re the best!"

Linda Hodgdon,
QuirkRoberts Publishing - Troy, Michigan


"Just a note to say 'Thank you!!' for getting my computer to work properly again. As you are aware, my unit was - how did you put it? - a total mess without the help of a virus. I had someone else out who was supposedly a 'pro' and 'knew what he was doing.' This other not only charged a literal 'arm and a leg' but - in my opinion - left my unit in worse condition. I am glad to have found you and I must say your price was both reasonable and fair. I will be sure to recommend you to anyone who needs help with their computer."

Al Rubin
Southfield, Michigan


"I was having a cryptographic problem and some updating problems on my computer. Had a competitor come out, said the hard drive was starting to fail. So I called 3 yellow pages computer experts, all were extremely close in price, but Dave Webber of Oakland Solutions made me feel the most comfortable. He replaced the hard drive, transferred some data, had it back in 3 days, and it works just perfect. After checking some settings and installing some downloadable programs, the computer is like brand new again, especially now that Windows updates works again, and all programs are up to date now. If ever a problem arises again (hopefully not!), Dave will be the one to fix it. Thanks for all your help."

Dave Eldon
Rochester Hills, MI


"I would highly recommend Oakland Solutions to anyone that is having computer issues. In the past I have taken my computer to well-known service centers for repair. I don't know what was worse; being without my computer for 3-5 days, or never knowing what I paid for when the job was done. After working with Oakland Solutions, I will never experience that again! Oakland Solutions came to my house and fixed my computer on the spot! I was never without my pc, and I gained a thorough understanding of the problem. In my opinion, this is the only way to have your computer serviced. Thank you, Oakland Solutions!"

Namron Cesarz - Warren, MI


“We contacted Oakland Solutions shortly after the 7 year old hard drive in our Dell computer failed. We were most concerned about losing data since the computer was no longer able to boot up. But Oakland Solutions asked all the right questions and explained how they would be able to help. They was courteous, knowledgeable and prompt to respond, and even came to our house to pick up the computer. They were able to use some special tools to recover over 14 Gigabytes of data from the failed harddrive and delivered that data back to us on a USB flash drive along with the computer. They then offered to help if we needed it in replacing the harddrive and restoring the computer to operating condition. Oakland Solutions charged us based only on the time actually spent working on this computer and at a very reasonable hourly rate. This was a really good experience, and I look forward to working with Oakland Solutions again next time the inevitable computer crisis strikes."

Glenn & Patty O'Connell - Troy, MI


"I just want to thank Oakland Solutions for everything they have done for me.  I know for me, these repairs could not have been done by myself. I in no way have the computer savvy or knowledge base to keep my home computer and laptop as healthy as it is today. It's nice to know that there is someone that can always help me with these issues, as well as keeping me up to speed with all the latest technology! thanks so much Oakland Solutions!!"

Lori Mandarino. - Troy, Michigan


"If you discover, as I did one recent Friday night, that your computer is doing things its never done before or is in total lockdown and your report is due the next day, then I encourage you to do what I did: call Oakland Solutions. The service is prompt, professional and patient (with the customer AND the computer!). Your computer problem will be surveyed, repaired, and explained and best of all you will receive suggestions to help avoid similar crises in the future. You will be be glad that you read my comments and decided to call Oakland Solutions. My previous fix-it experience reminds me that not all computer "experts" are as knowledgeable and technically proficient as this one. I highly recommend this company and its expertise. Great Work!"

Donna Bielecki - Troy, Michigan



The Oakland Solutions Guarantee - If You're Not Satisfied, You Don't Pay!