Computer repair in Pittsfield?
June 8, 2007 6:23 AM   Subscribe

Anybody know of a good computer repairman/shop in or near Pittsfield, Mass? My wife's Dell desktop has developed an alarming hum (sometimes loud, sometimes soft), and she'd like to have someone take a look at it, but it would be nice not to have to play throw-a-dart-at-the-Yellow-Pages.
posted by languagehat to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
Response by poster: OK, I'm an idiot. My wife was on the phone when I wandered down to look at the computer, so when I saw "Dell" on the monitor I ran with it. Turns out the computer itself is a Gateway HV 300X (2002 model). Many thanks to the two non-members who have already e-mailed me suggestions (one of whom repairs Dells for a living!)—I'm newly impressed with the reach and power of AskMe. But it's a Gateway. And I am an idiot.
posted by languagehat at 7:44 AM on June 8, 2007

Does it sound like a fan or a disk drive?
posted by dance at 8:04 AM on June 8, 2007

I don't know the range as far west as Pittsfield, but Tech Cavalry is reputed to be good.
posted by plinth at 8:36 AM on June 8, 2007

My bet is on the fan. I've developed several "alarming hums" in my PC lifetime too. Try unscrewing the CPU fan and clearing out the junk, especially anything in the fan blades. It's really really easy to screw it right back in and worth a shot before forking out any money. A drive is another matter altogether...
posted by theantikitty at 8:41 AM on June 8, 2007

Yeah, a harddrive tends to make more of an alarming whine, or get the click of death.

The only moving parts in the thing are fans and drives, so it's one of the two. If I were in your situation (I'm assuming the hum occurs all the time when the computer is on) first I would open up the case and listen with the machine on. You could actually touch each fan (except the one in the power supply, since it's kinda hidden away) and stop it briefly to see if that makes the noise go away.
Or, to further rule out drives, you can remove the power cables to the drives (the chunky white connector with the 4 wires that are yellow, red, and black wires,) then boot 'er up.

Complicating it somewhat is that Gateway (as of my last experience with them) deliberately makes a lot of their crap use weird sizes and weird connectors, so if you did figure out what it was, god knows if you could buy a replacement on the open market, no matter how cheap it should be. (My last, and last-ever experience with them was when we scrapped my GF's Gateway when a 2 cent clip holding her heatsink broke, and we couldn't get a replacement heatsink because they used a non-standard motherboard hole spacing, so they would have wanted us to buy a whole new motherboard and cpu. Fuckers.)
posted by blenderfish at 9:38 AM on June 8, 2007

Best answer: Have you tried taking a can of compressed air and blowing it out? That usually fixes a lot of noises that could be going on in your machine.
posted by mphuie at 1:56 PM on June 8, 2007

Response by poster: She took a can of compressed air and tried blowing it out and it seems to have helped a lot, so I'm marking mphuie's as Best Answer, but you're all great. If the problem recurs and we decide we need outside help, we may try TechCavalry!
posted by languagehat at 3:37 PM on June 8, 2007

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