How much does it cost to repair a Laptop in Cape Town, South Africa?
The cost of repairing a laptop in Cape Town basically depends on many different aspects. There is no “one size fits all” laptop repair cost. Laptop repair issues differ in circumstances but there are some Laptop issues that are very common which I will get to later.
A Laptop is a complete unit that is not so easy for anyone to repair or disassemble. I would not recommend a DIY repair on a Laptop if you are not familiar with Laptop repairs. Compared to a desktop computer, which you can open up without special tools, Laptops require a great deal of repair knowledge because of their complications and depending on what is at fault. This makes the cost and the risk of repairing a Laptop much higher than a desktop computer.
What are the common Laptop repair problems–Hardware/Software?
1. Laptop screen repairs –cost from 1200
The screen of a Laptop is the most delicate part of a Laptop. The screen can break at any time hence making it unusable in most cases. There are cases where the Laptop owner is not aware of how the screen broke or got cracked. Consequently, there are causes that lead to a Laptop screen getting broken.
- In instances where the Laptop falls. It does not matter how hard it falls, any impact can lead to the Laptop screen breaking or cracking.
- Closing the Laptop while there is an object on the keyboard such as a pen or a flash drive. This can cause pressure pressing on the Laptop screen hence damaging it
- Accidentally stepping on the Laptop. We have had many instances where the Laptop owner accidentally stepping on the Laptop hence cracking it. This could happen when the Laptop is in or out of its carry case
- Hard closing of the Laptop. This normally happens when a user hurriedly closes the Laptop with more than necessary force by slamming it hard and the process causing it to break.
- Owner Cause. There are instances where the Laptop owner physically assaults the laptop screen in rage after an argument or just because they had a bad day! Resulting in the laptop paying the price.
Laptop screen unit fault.
- In some cases, the screen could fail for an unknown cause. This failure could result in the screen getting blank with a white or black background.
- The screen has one or multiple lines vertical or horizontal.
- The Laptop screen could have a dark background that makes it impossible to view anything on the Laptop
- The Laptop screen would start shaking or flickering on and off and at times this would disappear for some time and then back again. This is also a symptom of a failing screen.
The question of how much does it cost to repair a Laptop boils down to the actual fault. If the fault is a screen with the above-mentioned symptoms and could be some symptoms that I have not listed but associate with the screen, you will be looking at replacing the entire Laptop screen.
The above screen faults could be a result of a Laptop screen circuit board failure like any other electronic-driven appliance, a Laptop screen also has electronics that allow it to function on these can, unfortunately, get faulty rendering the screen unusable. The cost to repair a Laptop screen with the above-mentioned faults differs according to the size of the screen as well as the screen type.
TIP: Regardless or the screen fault, as long as it has the above-mentioned symptoms, the only solution is to replace the laptop screen.
2. Laptop Hard drive repairs –cost from R900
A hard drive is like your file cabinet where the computer keeps all your files. In this case, it will not be actual physical files but your data such as documents in word, excel, Pdf, music files, video, and your pictures. A laptop uses a size 2.5inch hard drive and the most common types are SATA hard drives and SSD hard drives. The former is quickly phasing out (am writing this in March 2021) and SSD hard drives have begun to capture much attention due to their efficiency. Most of the Laptops manufactured in 2020 comes with SSDs.
Common issues with Laptop Hard drives:
Before I get down into the Laptop hard drive issues, I would like to mention that the normal average life span of a hard drive is 5 years. This does not mean that after 5 years the hard drive will cease to operate. It rather means that after 5 years the hard drive will begin to weaken and would result in the following common issues to most hard drive issues:
- The Laptop will begin to slow down and, in most cases, it will freeze
- The Laptop will take more than normal time to load up or start windows or any other operating system
- The operating system will begin to crash on start-up and also while you are busy working on the laptop
- When the hard drive is in its last days, it will begin to heat up and if you carefully touch on the spot where the hard drive is installed, you will feel more than normal heat.
- In most cases, the hard drive will begin to give a tickly sound and if you carefully pay attention you will hear the clicks in the hard drive. This is a sign of a dying hard drive and a replacement is inevitable.
There are other symptoms of a malfunctioning hard drive but the above are the most common.
Therefore, when it comes to the hard drive issue, the question of how much does it cost to repair a Laptop the answer lies in the solutions below:
- If you are concerned about the budget for replacing the hard drive which I will get to later, you could try to buy some time on the hard drive by a hard drive format. This will reset the hard drive internal mechanism and remove most of the redundancy that could cause inefficiency but this workaround is not sustainable. It could just give the Hard drive (HDD) some more short working time while you make a plan to replace the HDD.See-> how to replace a Laptop hard drive
- The best and recommended solution is to replace the Laptop HDD with a new one. If your Laptop came with a SATA HDD, you could replace it with a SATA replacement but in 2021 I would recommend replacing the SATA HDD with an SSD HDD.See the difference and the importance of upgrading from SATA to SSD hard drive
Replacing a hard drive comes with advantages and some challenges.
You will get your system back to life with efficiency. If you replace it with an SSD hard drive you will get a fast system that you will have joy using.
You will have to back up your data first then, re-install your operating system and applications. After that process, you have to restore your data back to your newly installed operating system.
3. Memory repair or upgrade – Cost from R450
Laptop memory or normally called RAM (Random Access Memory)
When this memory is not working, the Laptop will not give you a display, the keyboard or the mouse will not work. In some laptop models, if the memory has issues you will hear beeps on start-up and this simply alerts you that there is a problem with memory (RAM) – Check the beep codes
Additionally, most Laptops are shipped with a minimal amount of memory and an upgrade would massively improve the overall performance of the Laptop. Note that Laptops have a limited number of memory slots and a maximum capacity. In most laptops, there are just 2 memory slots.
When it comes to how much does it cost to repair a Laptop’s memory, you are looking at options of how much memory can your Laptop take as well as how many memory slots your Laptop has.
4. Laptop keyboard Repair -Cost from R650
If you are looking for how much does it cost to repair a Laptop keyboard then read along. A Laptop keyboard is not a very common Laptop repair. However, like any other part of the Laptop, the keyboard is also not immune to damage or faults.
Common Laptop Keyboard Faults
Laptop Keyboard keys:
With time these keys wear off hence losing the print on the keys (digits or numbers). This is very common with gamers and heavy typists. Additionally, the keys could get pealed out while cleaning. Pets also are very common suspects of pulling out Laptop keys. There are other instances of keys being pulled out by kids especially toddlers. I find that it is very rare to get these keys separated hence a complete keyboard replacement might be the option.
The keyboard getting exposed to liquid.
We all love working on our Laptops while sipping on our favorite drinks. Though this is cool, it could turn costly if you accidentally pour your drink on the Laptop keyboard. Such accidents might actually turn into a catastrophe resulting in damaging the Laptop motherboard.
If you are lucky and find that it just the Laptop keyboard damaged, the following symptoms would confirm:
- The Laptop keyboard would not be responsive. In most cases, the liquid would damage mostly the keyboard part where much of the liquid was spilled.
- The entire keyboard might completely stop working due to the liquid damage in rare cases, the keyboard would get damaged while doing an internal cleaning service to the Laptop. If the person doing the service is not experienced they could damage the keyboard ribbon cable that connects it to the motherboard.
Therefore, the answer on how much does it cost to repair a Laptop keyboard depends on:
The make and model of the Laptop
Some laptop brands are known to be more expensive than others. Therefore cost of repairing or in this case will be replacing your Laptop keyboard varies but the range in 2021 is from R650 (part supply) plus labor to install it if you are not comfortable doing it yourself.
5. Laptop Motherboard Repair – Cost from R650
Without a doubt, a motherboard repair is the most painful repair on a Laptop. It is painful both in terms of the cost as well as the duration of the repair. So, how much does it cost to repair a laptop motherboard?
Before I get into the answer, let’s first find out when it is needed to repair the Laptop motherboard.
Causes of a Laptop motherboard fault:
- One of the causes of a Laptop motherboard fault is water or liquid damage. Because a laptop is electronic and you know from basic physics that water or liquid with electricity doesn’t party together. Therefore, if your Laptop is exposed to any type of liquid, it might render your Laptop motherboard unusable.
- The second cause of a Laptop motherboard failure is using the wrong DC charger. Sometimes we lose or misplace things like a laptop charger or it could get damaged and we would borrow a charger from co-workers or a neighbor. This could result in burning your motherboard if you use a charger that has higher power input than what is recommended for your laptop. Therefore, before you use any change other than yours be mindful to check the power intake of your laptop and compare it with your laptop`s intake
TIP: Power inputs are mostly printed at the bottom of your laptop in most laptop brands.
There are other causes but the above two are the most common and deadliest causes of a laptop motherboard fault. If you find yourself in such a situation with your laptop there are two alternative solutions:
- To repair the motherboard –this option can be economical if you find a reputable company or person with a great chip-level motherboard repair experience. Chip level means that the repair is done on the mainboard by finding the chip or chips that are faulty and replacing them. The cost of repairing a laptop motherboard varies from company to company. It also depends on damaged parts that need replacement.
- I have not identified any source of new motherboards suppliers. Therefore Laptop motherboard replacement will be a refurbished one. In most cases, these can be very expensive depending on where you source it.
How much does it cost to repair a laptop motherboard? The answer to this lays in the above two options (to repair or to replace)
6. Laptop Battery Repair Cost – R450
A bad or faulty Laptop battery can make the laptop’s usability so uninteresting. A laptop is meant to be used anywhere (mobile) and unfortunately, a bad battery that lasts a few minutes turns a laptop into a station. So, how much does it cost to repair a laptop battery?
Unlike other laptop parts, most Laptop brands use specific batteries only compatible with their brands meaning that you cannot use a battery of HP on a Toshiba laptop. These limitations make laptop battery repair or replacement a little more technical but let’s look at the causes of a Laptop battery failure.
- Age –with your laptop battery would weaken. However, there are known good practices for maintaining your Laptop battery life. I have seen batteries with 2 hour`s life on 5 years old laptop.
TIP : The trick here is to charge the battery and as soon as its 100% full, remove the charger until it drains again.
- The second cause is what I have briefly mentioned above.
Battery overcharge, it is very common to keep your laptop charger in the laptop for days and even after it’s fully charged. This however causes internal battery cell overcharge rendering them weak. Use the TIP above to maintain your laptop battery health so an extended period.
- The other cause that can lead to Laptop battery replacement is misplacing or losing the battery. Though this is rare, it could still happen. While you remove the battery from a laptop service or anywhere else, you might misplace it and end up not finding it hence a need to have a replacement.
- At times you might get errors or notifications such as “plugged in but not charging”. In some cases, this can be related to a software issue within your operating system and a simple software update would solve the issue. Otherwise, the battery might be dead.
- Another issue that could cause a problem with your Laptop battery would be the charger or the charging port. The charger might be at fault or worse could be the charging port commonly known as the DC power jack. With any of the two at fault, your battery will not charge.
See -> the problem with DC power jack
Therefore the answer to how much does it cost to repair or replace a laptop battery will be broken into two:
- If the Laptop battery is healthy and only needs a software update, could be ranging from R450
If the battery needs replacement, the cost varies depending on the brand but just to give you an idea of the cost, I will note that Laptop battery shipped to our South African markets comes in about 3 different qualities
- The original
- High copy or High duplicate
- Low-quality duplicate
- Original batteries cost from R850 for the externally mounted batteries.
These are easy to replace hence no cost of replacement. (You can replace it yourself)
However, there are batteries that are installed internally where you need to disassemble the laptop to have it replaced. The labor cost to replace these could range from R450.
- The high copy batteries range from R650 depending on where you buy.
- Then lastly the low-quality batteries will range from R450 also depending on where you are sourcing it from.
As a recommendation: – if you cannot find or afford a high-quality battery you are better off not buying the battery. These low-quality batteries will cause such as getting laptop overheating and I have seen low-quality batteries bursting into pieces in a laptop.
7. System Fan
As mentioned before and probably you are aware that a laptop is an electronic device with some moving internal electric parts. These parts accumulate heat as they function around the clock to give you the perceived output. This heat needs to be cooled down and this is what the system fan does.
This fan does not normally get faulty but when it does your entire system might cease to work. The Laptop motherboard has a heat sensor that triggers this system fan when the system gets hot. If the fan is not functional, and the heat sensor is triggered with no fan response the system will shut down or keep on restarting.
Signs of a failed system fan:
- The Laptop will get very hot. In many cases, it would get hot to the extent of causing a skin burn and this would imply a failed system fan.
- The Laptop will restart intermittently while you are busy working.
TIP: Most laptops would give you an alert or a system fan failure if indeed the fan is at fault.
Cause Of A System Fan Failure:
The number one cause of fan failure is a lack of proper and timely service. Not servicing the laptop internally causes dirt to pile up. This dirt accumulates and settles within the system fan causing it to jam hence failing.
TIP: A Laptop should be serviced occasionally. Do not be deceived that there is no dirt in your location dirt will find its way into the laptop with time and it will pile up causing your device not to function.
How much does it cost to repair or replace a Laptop system fan?
Sometimes a system fan fault can be solved by a simple service to Laptop internal parts particularly. However, this repair service requires disassembling the Laptop and if you are not comfortable doing it, then you will have to find a reputable company or person to do it.
The cost of this repair service ranges from R450 (Service Only) as of 2021.
The worst case is if the Laptop system fan is completely faulty or dead. In this situation, you will need to replace the complete system fan unit. Unfortunately, system fans are also brand-specific hence need to find an exact system fan replacement. Cost or system fan range from R650 (part only) plus labor to have it installed if you are not comfortable doing it yourself.
8. Laptop USB Ports
This is not a very common Laptop repair issue but their instances when these Laptop USB ports get faulty.
How much does it cost to repair Laptop USB ports?
USB ports are used to connect other devices on a Laptop. The most common device that we normally connect on a Laptop is a flash drive but other devices such as a mouse, keyboard, printer, and many other USB devices can be connected on a Laptop through the USB ports.
What could cause a USB port to be faulty?
- One of the most causes that result in a USB port fault is forcing the device while wrongly inserting it. The USB device can only be inserted into the USB port one way. If you don’t get it incorrectly and try forcing it, this would result in damaging the USB port.
- Water damage can result in many defaults on a Laptop motherboard and USB ports can also be among the faults.
- Software conflicts; this is rare within the latest Laptop devices but it could be one of the USB port failures. A simple software update could easily resolve the issue.
How do you know that the USB ports do not work?
- Inserting in a device and not getting it recognized by the Laptop
- The USB ports feel lose and the device does not properly fit in.
Is it worth repairing the USB port?
With the increasing need for data and mobility, having a Laptop with no USB port usability can be very frustrating. However, repairing Laptop USB ports will mostly depend on comparing the laptop value and cost of the Laptop USB repair. On the other hand, most Laptops have more than one USB port so if you have extra ports you might not need to repair the faulty one(s).
So, how much does it cost to repair a Laptop USB port?
The laptop USB port is directly attached to the laptop motherboard. Therefore, to repair the USB port the laptop has to be disassembled to the motherboard level.
Besides the disassembly, the USB ports for Laptops are also brand dependant. An HP Laptop USB port might not be compatible with a Sony or Toshiba USB port.
Additionally, the USB port has to be carefully soldered on the mainboard. This process should be done by a competent company or person otherwise, this could end up damaging the entire motherboard if done incorrectly. The cost of repair of a Laptop USB port can be estimated at:
- USB port part only from R300
- Labor to replace the USB port from R600
9. Laptop Wifi Card
Connecting to the internet with WIFI is one of the most common and important usages of a Laptop. Wi-Fi capability is made possible by a Wi-Fi card inside a Laptop. This card is connected to the Laptop motherboard though not very common for a Wi-Fi card to be faulty but hey it is also an electronic device and anything could happen at any time.
When do you know that the Wi-Fi card is faulty?
- When you cannot find the normal access connectivity to Wi-Fi. This is a symbol that is accessible at the bottom right corner of your Laptop, however; this might not be only a physical Wi-Fi card fault. A missing software or an update could also lead to a Wi-Fi card disappear.
- In some Laptops there is a quick keyboard, key combinations, or a button on the Laptop side that you either press or slide that starts or switch off Wi-Fi. If these key(s) are pressed and the Wi-Fi is not activated and the software is updated, the Wi-Fi card could be at fault.
How much does it cost to repair a Laptop Wi-Fi card?
Though Wi-Fi cards are connected to the Laptop motherboard, most of them are not permanently embedded on the motherboard. Therefore you just need to get the Laptop disassembled, identify the card, and find an exact replacement. A reputable company should have a way of testing the card to determine that it is indeed at fault.
- Laptop wifi card range from R250 (part only)
- Labor to disassemble the Laptop and replace the Card range from R450
- If it is just a software installation update cost range from R450
10. Laptop Audio Jack
One of the coolest things is working on your laptop while listening to music using your earphone over the headset. Ideally, you could also be connecting to attend zoom meetings or watch videos while getting sound through the laptop audio jack. This is also very laptop repair but it happens in some cases.
How do you know if your laptop audio is at fault?
The laptop audio jack is also directly connected to the laptop motherboard. So if you are not getting any sound the following could be true.
- Could be that your earphones or headset is not working. Testing them on a different laptop or in a phone could get you to determine if it is working. *Check the volume if it’s low or increases it.
- A software conflict is missing sound software drivers that help. Communication between the audio jack and your operating system could also lead to a nonfunctioning audio jack.
- If your laptop accidentally falls while the headset or earphone was plugged in this could also lead to affect the audio jack especially if the falling impact was on the side where the audio jack is seated. This would result in forcing the plugged headphone or earphone to push the audio jack inside the laptop hence partially or completely detaching the jack off the laptop motherboard. Alternatively, due to the fall, the earphone or headset plug might break inside the audio jack and this could affect the laptop audio jack.
- If your laptop had water damage, this could also result in the audio jack malfunction. When a laptop is exposed to water or any other liquid internally, there are many components that could be compromised. These components help in the overall electronic communication among the devices on the motherboard. These components normally known as IC chips can malfunction if exposed to water or liquid and audio jack IC chips are not an exception.
How much does it cost to repair a laptop audio jack?
If indeed it is proven that the physical laptop audio jack is at fault, these are estimate costs of repair:
- Laptop audio jack part only R250
- Laptop audio jack Ichip part only R200
- Labor on disassembling the laptop and replace the audio jack with an IC chip from R450
Repair total estimate R700.00.
This repair must be done by a reputable Laptop repair company or a person. This is a high-risk repair process that could lead to damaging the entire laptop motherboard.
11. Laptop Mouse Pad
A laptop makes life easier and most important the mobility and compact ability. A laptop mouse pad is very essential and when it does not work, you end up having to plug in an external USB mouse or a wireless one. While there are many users that find the laptop mouse pad uneasy to use, most others have joy using it and its failure affects their user experience.
What would be the cause of a laptop mouse pad not work?
- There are common laptops that have a mouse pad trigger. This could be a keyboard key or key combinations that are pressed to activate or deactivate the mouse pad. Alternatively, some laptop models have this activation or deactivation ability on the actual mouse pad by simply tapping close to the mouse pad edge. There is normally an orange light on a mouse pad that notifies the mouse pad’s deactivation state. So before you scream at your laptop, please check the above.
- Software conflict or missing drivers with missing Microsoft windows constant software updates, sometimes there could be a software update conflict that might hinder your laptop mouse pad unusable. If this happens a common repair is to uninstall the mouse pad driver software through the device manager; restart the laptop and your laptop mouse pad could get back to normal.
- Laptop fall – A lot could go wrong if your laptop falls including a mouse pad malfunction.
- Water damage – if your laptop gets exposed to water or liquid, it could result in the water damaging the internal components on the laptop motherboard. The laptop mouse pad like other laptop parts communicates through electronic components commonly known as IC chips. When these are exposed to water or any other liquid, they might cease to function hence affecting parts like a mouse pad.
So, how much does it cost to repair a laptop mouse pad?
- If it’s determined that the mouse pad software is missing, this repair estimate is from R450.00
- If it is a physical effect, mouse pad (part only) estimate cost from R350.00
- Mouse pad I chip estimate from R250.00
- Labor to disassemble the laptop and replace the components range from R450
No doubt that the cost to repair a laptop can be somewhat confusing and this is because of many different faults that could happen to a laptop. However, I recommend that you look at your laptop value and compare it with the estimated repair cost. If you find that the repair cost is close to or over 75% of the laptop cost, then consider backing up your data if possible and get a laptop replacement.
Additionally, the laptop repair process could also cost you time and loss of productivity. Most repair centers take time to complete laptop repairs. It could take days to repair your laptop. If your business or job activities depend on the laptop, you may end up losing production.
I hope this article gave you an idea of what to expect in terms of the cost to repair a laptop. We are eager to learn about different experiences that people go through in repairing these devices that have become part of our lives. You may share any experience, comment, or question on the cost to repair a laptop.
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