things to do in phoenix when your computer is dead
January 25, 2010 10:35 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a reputable computer repair shop in the Phoenix, AZ area. I lent my Compaq laptop (running vista) out to a friend and now it's totally owned by virii, and I don't have the time, patience, wherewithal to fix this level of problem. Is there a good, independent (not Best Buy) place in town to get this looked at and potentially fixed for a reasonable price? Again, I'm not interested in fixing it myself, I'd rather pay someone else to be frustrated for me.
posted by chlorus to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
Press cntrl+f11 or just f11 when booting up and it should boot in to the restore partition. It will erase everything but it's real easy if you don't need to backup anything.
posted by bravowhiskey at 10:46 AM on January 25, 2010

Response by poster: This is why I said I don't want to fix it myself. I have data on there that I need. I don't have the time to nuke it like that, I don't know Linux, and haven't fixed viruses or anything like that in a long time. I did not mean to sound rude in the question, but I'm looking for a reputable, locally owned business that can do it for me.
posted by chlorus at 10:50 AM on January 25, 2010

Best answer: I recommend Computer Renaissance. They have stores all over the country. I haven't used them, but my techie husband worked for them back in New Jersey and they're generally pretty reputable.

I have used SWS to get computer components. They were awesome and hooked me up when Radio Shack totally let me down. Maybe you could call them and see if they have someone in Phoenix they'd recommend.
posted by parilous at 11:23 AM on January 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I'd call the ASU Information Technology Dept (or whatever they call their in-house IT people) Ask if they know anyone at their helpdesk would do something like this on the side. I'd trust one of these folks over Best Buy or even a local computer shop. They probably deal with University users who bork their PCs constantly.
posted by teg4rvn at 11:23 AM on January 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I think those are both great ideas, but Computer Renaissance has an affiliate close to where I'm staying, so I'll try them first.

Thanks for the replies everyone!
posted by chlorus at 12:52 PM on January 25, 2010

When you're dealing with a virus, my personal opinion is that an independent tech consultant is a better way to go... albeit *I am* an independent tech consultant in NYC so, naturally, I am predisposed to feel that way! ;)

Virus removal is tricky and, in my observation, many larger shops or service outfits will just wipe your hard drive and reinstall Windows without attempting recovery. There are often good reasons to do this but, as often as not, it is just a time/cost-saving measure. Personally, I'm not a fan of the one-size-fits-all solution.

In Phoenix, someone like Steve Leitman (a.k.a., "The Phoenix Gadget Doctor") is probably what you're looking for... He's a 30+ year veteran of all things tech who now helps out people with problems like yours (and is a nice guy to boot!). You can email him at and he'll probably be able to help you find the approach that is best suited for your particular circumstances.

Best of luck to you!
posted by Veritrope at 12:55 PM on January 25, 2010

The best option when you're infected is to wipe the system clean and reinstall Windows. Be prepared to furnish a list of everything on the computer that you want to have backed up and restored if you don't want to do it yourself.
posted by zixyer at 1:00 PM on January 25, 2010

If you have a good backup of everything, a wipe and reinstall works, or check my profile for the Howitzer style instruction set.
posted by deezil at 1:22 PM on January 25, 2010

I had good luck with Southwest PC Repair when the power jack went out on my HP laptop. Prices were reasonable, compared to others I checked with, and the computer was picked up and dropped off at my apartment.
posted by lemonwheel at 4:24 PM on January 25, 2010

As a fellow fan of irregular plurals, I feel I should point out that it's "viruses", not "virii".
posted by Cogito at 6:10 PM on January 25, 2010

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