To the delight of many of our customers, no replacement parts are needed for the majority of times
when their computers break down. The fragility of mechanical disk drives make them a frequent source of
malfunctions but more often than not the malfunction, though often caused by a physical jolt during
operation, does not render the disk to be physically broken and it is simply a matter connecting the
disk to our linux server to and re-establishing the disks integrity enabling us to reinstall your operating
system onto the same "no longer broken" disk. The cost of such a repair is only £40 (or
£45 if you need to have your user data restored as well*).
* The £5 pound charge accounts for a data recovery of up to half a terabyte
which is more than adequate for the purposes of restoring most levels of user data which most often
amount to no more than few hundred gigabytes. Our charge per terabyte for data recovery work is £5
per half a terabyte or £10 per terabyte.
In some situations we cannot recover your user data and the majority of these circumstances involve
situations where the disks integrity cannot be restored due to physical damage inside the disk. Where
this happens we will inform you that we cannot repair the computer without installing a new disk.
SSD Upgrades Recommended
If the disk is damaged to the point where it needs to be replaces, it is an ideal time to consider
upgrading the disk to the more resilient and much faster storage drives known in the industy as solid
state devices (or SSD for short). It is not only that an SSD is more shock resistant than a mechanical
disk which makes them a preferable replacement but the SSD will be at least three times faster than an
ordinary hard disk drive. Given that the time for an SSD drive to find a file to be pushed into the ram
is negligible, it is not only the 3X speed advantage which makes an SSD a good choice as in circumstances
where lots of files need to be put onto the ram at the same time (such as when booting up, startng up an
application or using applications which frequently need to refer to files on the disk, the speed improvement
of an SSD over a traditional HDD can be up to 100X faster.
The downside is that they come at a little extra cost to the traditional hard disk which are still being
shipped with most new machines today.
The optimal cost disk drive is a 1TB Mechanical HDD as prices are marginally more expensive per capacity
for hard disks which are smaller than this and hard disks which are larger than this. For this reason most
new machines will ship with a 1TB mechanical disk drive which is more than adequate to hold all the files,
applications, games, music, photos and videos that most users will have on their machines. More than
adequate in that a disk half the size would have room to spare.
For a marginal increase in the price of a disk, an SSD which is 3 to 100 times faster but only half the
capacity can be installed in your machine if your disk needs to be replaced. The price of disks are volatile
so it is hard to state a solid price on a web page intended to be around for a few months at least but at the
time of writing, a mechanical hard disk of 1TB costs around £40 and a ½TB SSD costs only £50. It makes
sense to fit the smaller much faster disk, albeit that costs can be reduced by replacing the disk with the
same as was there before.
You should call for alternative solutions if you are looking to reduce costs further as we can replace your
disk with second hand parts if you are willing to forgo the full years warranty on new parts we supply and fit
and there are often brand new disks of hard to predict sizes which are available to us at prices which may be
cheaper that normal.
User Data Recovery
The standard labour charge for a repair is £40 but this does not include the cost of data recovery. In alot
of circumstances, our customers prefer to have their user data recovered from their broken machines. There are
circumstances where this is not possible but in most situations we will be able to retrieve all the data stored
within the "User" folder of the root directory of your boot drive (or the mac or linux equivelent),
which is where all your downloads, documents, videos, music, etc will be stored by default for almost all
your applications. To repair your PC and restore your user data, excluding the cost of replacing the disk if
it is physically damaged, the cost will be £45 and this extra £5 charge takes account of user data levels
which do not exceed a ½TB. While your disk may be a whole 1TB in size, it is very rare that the user data
would exceed 300GB but in the unusual circumstances where you have every song in the galaxy stored on your disk,
the job becomes a data recovery job as well as a bootup repair and the charge for each ½TB is £5. This also
applies in the circumstances of recovering data from external storage devices including USB sticks.
While your disk may have a physical defect in it, this does not neccessarily mean we cannot recover at least
some of your data. The £5/½TB charge covers the cost of ordinary data recoveries but should you be in the
situation where your data is more expensive than your machine, you may want to consider more extreme forms of
data recovery which involve clean rooms and forensic analysis of the disk surface but these special forms of
data recovery come at an understandable premium cost. Only a very few organisations would have the kind of data
which would be worth paying for such extraordinary efforts to recover data so unless instructed otherwise, we
assume that the data is unrecoverable if it cannot be recovered by our standard data recovery procedures.
Installation Media for Installed Applications
A somewhat outdated term which still serves a purposes in conveying a meaning is the phrase "Installation
Media". Many computers are sold today without a CD-rom drive or floppy disk drive which were the traditional
means of reading the "media" (a floppy disk) that were needed in order to install a new program on a computer. As
most software can now be downloaded across the internet it could be argued that the internet itself is the install
media but more specifically, the exact website with the exact login credentials with the exact name of the program
to be installed is kind of what is being referred to by "installation media" in the modern day.
A big part of restoring an operating system when there has been a disk malfunction or some malware has been
allowed to run wild is that the old installation of the operating system is killed off to make way for a fresh
clean, virus free and fully functional operating system. The trouble is that a fresh operating system may not have
all the programs that you used to have on it before the malfunction occurred. Except for the programs that you used
which came as part of the operating system, every program beyond this will potentially need to be reinstalled and
what we need to know is whether you have "the installation media" for these programs so we can install them for you
as part of the service we offer.
We dont mind reinstalling your favourite browser, or anti-virus software as part of the operating system reset
but we will not have copies of every possible application and game that it is out there and there will be costs to
us involved in the downloading of such software which we will need to charge for at a price depending on how much
of a download it involves and how much we can just leave the installation to be something happenning in a fully
automated matter while we focus on other repairs and how much an installation will require our direct attention. An
ideal customer will be able to install the additonal software when they get their machines back but we are prepared
to do this for you at a cost but we are extremely wary about being asked to install software for which we do not
have the licence key or credentials to perform a legal installation.
CAVEAT EMPTOR We have came across circumstances where we have managed to fully recover the user data but
have been unable to provide the customer with a means by which they can read or edit that user data without the
purchase of a software license for software which they previously had installed. Having alot of experience amongst
the open source movement, in circumstances where an installation has been lost, there are a variety of software
applications for various different purposes we may be able to recommend as a free alternative but with the
exception of only a few programs such as The GNU Image Manipulation
Program or The Blender 3D Modelling Suite, many of these
open source alternatives will not be up to the standard of the paid-for software that we will require a license key
It may be too late now that you are looking into getting your computer repaired, but it is always a good idea to
keep a copy of downloaded installation files either in a folder within your downloads folder or on an entirely
separate external hard disk. Don't despair though, as many software houses provide online downloads of their software
and it is often the case that you can get an activation key simply by sending them an email from the email address
you used at the time of product registration.
This of course is applicable to fancy software applications which are beyond what would be involved in a standard
installation of Windows which now ships with Microsoft Office 365 as part of the operating system itself, video editors
and the various free and paid for software which is available on the windows store. Most users will not have specialised
applications installed on their machines and the only license key needed is the licence key for windows itself, which
being digitally signed will be automatically recognised as soon as you put in your microsoft credentials for the first
time (for example if you use outlook, windows store or log in to the edge browser). In the case of laptops, Microsoft
will have a record of your processers CPUID and will consider your new installation of Windows to be authentic as soon
as it has access to the internet.
Unactivated Windows Installations
You should also note that it is possible to use an unactivated copy of Windows with reduced functionality such as
being unable to change the back ground picture or the windows colour scheme or access the Windows Store. We will still
install a fresh installation of Windows even if your opeating system was not previously activated. We leave it up to
you to do what is needed for activation, whether that be logging in with microsoft credentials or buying a software
licence. If the latter is the case and you are not impressed by the reduced functionality of an unactivated Windows
installation, you should bear in mind that as dealers in second hand computers, Auranos.org can often provide
"second hand software licenses" at a fraction of the cost of a full retail license. We are also able to
install alternative operating systems which employ virtualization technology capable of running almost all Windows
Software at 95% of the speed they would work at on Windows and sometimes even faster!