This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 30, 2008 2:21 PM. The previous post in this blog was Ring ding, your bell will ring. The next post in this blog is Have you seen your motherboard, baby?. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Wanted: hardware geek

I'm finding out that it's hard to find a computer repair person who even answers the phone these days. Anyone got a good source for such help somewhere in or around Portlandia? I've got a sick, old, cheap desktop computer that I'm willing to drive anywhere either to be fixed or to have its data recovered as best is possible.

Comments (22)

Belmont Computers helped me out in the past, with good results. been around for years.

There's a place on 39th, south of Hawthorne. fixmydeadpc.com. Don't have any experience with them. We might be able to help. Send me an e mail with the particulars.

I've had good luck with Computek, at SW 17th and Jefferson.

I second Mark on Computek. Just take the tower to them sans cables.

I second ecohuman on Belmont Computers. I've had good luck with them in the past.

I've had successful repairs using Chuck at Clean Systems - 503.253.2648 or chuck@cleansystems.com. Also had good service from Allwayz Computers.

At the suggestion of one of our IT guys, I took a CPU to Pacific Solutions at 5118 SE Powell (south side of street), ph: 503-236-2970.
They're on the web at:

They were very fair, gave a complete print-out of what they'd done to my machine, and guaranteed their work.


These folks did a good job on my laptop--great location near Widmere as well!!


If you want to recover the hard drive data yourself, one possible solution is to buy an external hard drive enclosure and install your desktop's hard drive into the computer. If the hard drive has no problems, then you can just transfer the data from it to another computer with USB.

Alternatively, you could buy a transfer cable that does the same thing. I don't think this would cost more than $25, and you wouldn't need to pay more money if something like this happened again. The one thing to look into is the kind of connection your hard drive has (SATA, IDE, etc.) when buying one of these cables/enclosures, though it's usually not hard to find out.

Burnt smell sounds like Motherboard or Power Supply. Get one of these: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=3249952&CatId=448
Pull out your hard drive and hook it up to your lap with it, and you should be able to recover all your files, and use the HDD as a back up storage.
I can step by step you through it by IM or land line.

I go to enuinc to get some parts, if I am in a hurry. They will test a motherboard too. They offer to install stuff that you buy into your box. 4912 NE 122nd

If you have a bad hard drive then you could still boot up from a live CD such as Knoppix.


If it is a dead motherboard then you will get to have fun asking MS to let you activate Windows on the new system, when it is ready.

Defenestration. Simple. Very gratifying.

Ah . . . the simplest solution first (from experience, but I always seem to forget) . . . bad smell -- get a NEW POWER SUPPLY.

As the very first check.

I've been a PC & A/V service tech for seven years now, working for Intel, Hollywood Entertainment, and now my company, Skyline Technology Solutions. If you need professional computer help feel free to shoot me an email. I'm sure we can diagnose this problem remotely, and I won't charge you a dime (unless you elect to have me fix it for you).

I understand the Portland office of the FBI does great work with hard drives. You can actually leave it in your home. They will come by and take a look at. You probably won't even know they were there.

One warning on Tiger Direct. Never, never, ever buy anything from them that has a rebate involved. They our notious for only honoring about 1/2 of the rebates they promise. I got 2 out of three rebates from them and they burned me for the one that was more than the other two combined. They were absolutley no help what so ever when I tried to get them to honor it. Basically they have a rebate firm that doesn't give the rebates and then they blame each other for the problem even though they are both owned by the same parent.

Greg C

Make sure you can still hear some cooling fans before doing more trouble shooting with it on. If it's the fans that went out you could cook some more stuff if you run it.

Report to your nearest Apple dealer (reseller) and live free.


call pam at the office and she'll give the number of mike thornburg, he will come to your home or office if desired.

keep up the great blog.


One warning on Tiger Direct. Never, never, ever buy anything from them that has a rebate involved.

The same goes for Fry's in Wilsonville.

Diagnosing the source of your ills and recovering as much data as possible from your hard drive should be simple enough. I'd gladly handle that task for you pro bono. Chalk it up as subscription fees.

Thank you, everyone! As of this evening, the situation appears to be under control. Still thinking about choices for a replacement computer, though...

Clicky Web Analytics