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Your Computer's Warranty
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This page explains the warranty on your new computer: what it covers, what it doesn't cover, and what this means to you.

There are two main components to your computer: hardware (the parts, such as the monitor and the hard disk) and software (the programs and files stored on the hard disk).

Most new computers come with a hardware warranty that covers replacement of any parts that fail.
When you have a problem, you may have a tough time figuring out whether it is caused by software or hardware. You may need to call the company's support line, and the help you get may vary widely in quality. The bottom line is, if you can convince the company that your problem is caused by a hardware failure, the company should replace the part.

There is also an implied software warranty, but it is much less than most users expect.
No computer company guarantees that the computer will do everything you want it to do, or work with every software CD you bring home. No computer company guarantees the integrity of your data, or even of your settings.

Once you take the computer out of the box, everything you do to it -- from setting up your Email to copying your vacation photos onto it -- is outside the warranty. If you are suddenly inundated with pornographic pop-up windows, or you can't get your Email, or if your digital camera software causes your computer to crash, the computer company probably won't care. Their support technician may try to help you resolve the problem, but they don't have to.
This is similar to the "guarantee" that you get when you drop off your vacation film for processing: their liability is limited to providing a blank roll of film.

There is only one thing that the software warranty requires them to do:
Every computer vendor provides a way to restore your computer to the way it was before you opened the box. This will solve any software problem, but it will cost you all of your files, data and settings.
If you don't have a backup of your documents, photos, and downloaded E-mails -- and few home users do -- this information will be lost forever when you "restore" your computer.
(If the hard disk fails, and the company replaces it under warranty, your data will be gone for good).

How can we help you with warranty issues?

Digital House Call can help you determine what kind of problem your computer is having, before you spend hours on hold with the manufacturer's support technicians. We can also make the call for you, if you prefer, and demand warranty service much more quickly and convincingly than you ever could.

Digital House Call can usually recover and back up your data before you restore your software, even if the computer doesn't run.
(If the hard drive fails, we may not be able to recover anything... please visit our Avoiding Common Problems page before this happens to you).

Digital House Call can remove spyware and virus infestations, and solve complex software problems, that the manufacturer's support technicians can't help you with.

The bottom line: You paid for the warranty, and for the tech support, when you bought the computer.
Use them, but don't hesitate to get a second opinion.


Send mail to bob@digitalhousecall.net with questions or comments about this Web site.
Last modified: 10/08/05