FAQs

General Computer Services
What should I do before I bring my computer in for service?

Make notes about what is happening with your computer.  Be specific: note what you were doing when the problem occurred, what accessories were attached to your computer at the time, any new hardware or software that has been recently installed.

 

Make a backup of your data, if you can.  Not every repair will affect your data, but you will not have access to your computer for several days.  We can provide data backup service for you at an extra fee and you will be advised if we plan to do something that may jeopardize your data.

What do I need to bring in?

If you have a PC laptop or an All-in-one PC, please make sure to bring your power supply. If you have an Apple computer or a desktop (tower) PC, you do not need to bring any cables.

 

Please do not bring any bags, keyboards, mice, speakers or other cables unless these items are causing the problem with your computer. For example, your mouse is acting erratically, then bring both the computer and the mouse.

Do I need to make an appointment for computer repair?

No, you may drop your computer off for repair anytime during business hours. No appointment is required.

How much do repairs cost?

We charge a deposit at the time of drop off. PC deposit is $65, and Mac deposit is $75. That deposit will cover the diagnostics for your computer.  You will be given an opportunity to approve any additional charges before the work is completed.  Should you decide to have your computer repaired, the deposit will be applied to the final labor charge.  Your deposit can also be applied to the cost of migrating your data to a new computer, should you decline the repairs.

How long will the repair take?

The techs will look at your computer and call you with a diagnosis within 2 business days. Beyond that, the time can vary depending on whether parts have to be special ordered.  The technician will be able to give you an idea of the time frame when they quote your repair.

What forms of payment are accepted?

American Express, Visa, Mastercard, Discover, Cash, Personal Checks (with a $300 limit), Traveler’s Checks (no limits), Cashiers Checks (no limits), Charlotte Street Computers Gift Cards.

 

Identification is required for credit card and personal check payments.

Do you guarantee your repairs?

Yes, we guarantee our repairs for 30 days.  If your computer experiences problems within 30 days of service, please bring it in to the store for diagnosis.  Your deposit will be waived.  If the problem is determined to be related, it will be repaired at no charge.  If the problem is unrelated to your original repair, it will be addressed and billed at the normal rate.

Do I have to bring my computer to the store to get it repaired?

Some repairs are able to be done onsite at your home or business, please call our Onsite Coordinator to make an appointment, 828-209-6606.

Should I get my computer repaired or just buy a new one?

We can repair most computers, no matter the age.  However, sometimes older computers are not worth the cost of the repair.  While you may be attached to your computer, sometimes it is in your best interest to upgrade to a new system. If it’s time to upgrade to a new computer, we are happy to help you select one that fits your needs and to get your data moved from your old computer to the new one.

 

For PC users, if your computer uses Windows XP operating system (or older), then it is definitely time for you to get a new computer.  As of 2014, Microsoft no longer supports Windows XP; therefore, machines that run on that operating system are much more susceptible to malware and attacks.  Unfortunately, older systems were not made with the correct hardware to support the newer operating systems, Windows 7 and Windows 8.

 

For Mac users, if your computer has the G4 or G5 processor (pre-2006) it is definitely time to start thinking of a new Mac.  The G series is limited to running OS X 10.5 Leopard, which is at least 5 major versions out of date, and will not run the latest secure version of Flash for web browsing.

 

The 2006 and 2007 versions of the Intel line are also feeling dated now. Most of the 2008 and later Macs can run 10.11 El Capitan, but should be upgraded to SSD storage to avoid excessive slowness.

Apple Service Questions
What repairs are covered by AppleCare warranty? (for computers, Apple TV, iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle)

Only hardware defects are covered under warranty.

 

The warranty does not cover accidental damage, like drops and spills, or data loss and recovery.

 

Software issues are not covered.  However, you can contact Apple directly for free software support at 1-800-MY-APPLE.

What is covered by AppleCare Plus (for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch only)?

Hardware defects are covered under warranty.

 

Two instances of accidental damage will be allowed that varies by device. Please see our AppleCare document for pricing.  In cases of accidental damage, you will receive a replacement, refurbished iPad, so you should make sure to backup all of your data before bringing the iPad in for repair/replacement.

 

Broken or defective iPads, iPhones and iPods must be shipped to Apple for replacement. In most cases, the replacement will arrive one business day after the diagnosis has been made.

 

Software issues are not covered.  However, you can contact Apple directly for free software support at 1-800-MY-APPLE.

 

Only hardware defects are covered under warranty.

 

The warranty does not cover accidental damage, like drops and spills, or data loss and recovery.

 

Software issues are not covered.  However, you can contact Apple directly for free software support at 1-800-MY-APPLE.

Will AppleCare pay for my data recovery?

Unfortunately, no.  If your computer is under warranty only the hardware (i.e. hard drive) will be covered.

Do you work on all Apple devices?

Yes and no. As a Premium Service Provider and Premier Partner we can facilitate repair or replacement of all Apple products, including Mac, iPad, iPod, iPhone, Apple Watch and Beats headphones.

 

We do all of our Mac repairs in house, unless it benefits you the customer for us to send it to Apple for a flat rate repair.

 

Certain iPhone repairs are done in house, while some issues require Apple’s involvement, which we can facilitate.

 

Other products will be sent to Apple for replacement.

Onsite Service Questions
Do you charge for the technician's drive time?

No, our billing begins when the technician arrives onsite and ends when they leave.

When can I expect my technician to arrive?

When you schedule your appointment, you will be given a one hour window during which the technician will arrive.  Sometimes things are delayed at an earlier job site.  By giving extra time when needed, we ensure that our technician’s do not leave the job half completed to make it to the next appointment.  Be assured that you will receive the same undivided attention during your appointment.

The technician has already been onsite recently for the same problem, will I be billed twice?

We give a 30-day warranty on our onsite labor.  If the technician determines the return visit is related to previous service then any labor charges will be waived.

 

Any parts that malfunction onsite are subject to manufacturer’s warranty policy.  We can facilitate warranty replacements/repair for these parts on your behalf, but will have to charge our normal hourly rate for the service call unless your visit falls within the 30-day warranty period.

My computer is covered by AppleCare. Will Apple pay for my onsite visit?

Unfortunately, no.  AppleCare covers faulty hardware only.  In the event you have trouble with your covered Apple device, please bring it into our shop for warranty repair.

What is your cancellation policy?

If you must cancel your appointment, please call 828-209-6606 at least 24 hours in advance of your scheduled appointment time.  Cancellations made with less than 24 hour notice and no-shows will be subject to a $50 cancellation fee.

Data Backup & Recovery Questions
If I have a data recovery, will my programs still work?

Data recovery is aimed only at documents, photos, videos and other content you have stored on your computer.  Programs will normally not be recovered.  You will need to have the disks and license keys to reinstall any programs that you use.

Why do hard drives fail?

The most common causes of data loss are:

  • Mechanical failure of the drive caused by being dropped, bumped while in use, or manufacturer defect.
  • Data corruption or directory damage caused by forgetting to eject disks before removing them, computer crashes, viruses, power loss, or plain bad luck.
  • Accidental deletion of files by emptying the trash, reformatting the hard drive, or reinstalling the operating system.
  • Environmental disasters like fires, floods, power surges, or extreme heat & humidity.
Should I be worried about a clicking noise coming from my computer?

This is a good warning of an impending hard drive failure.  Please backup your system immediately and bring your computer in for diagnostic service.

What do you suggest I do for data backups?

We recommend using both an external hard drive and a cloud based backup service for total protection of your data.

What is Time Machine and how does it work?

Time Machine is backup software that is integrated into Mac OS X. The Time Machine software is included with every Mac, but it requires a physical place (a Mac-compatible external hard drive or Time Capsule) to store the information.  Time Machine maintains an exact image of your computer’s hard drive by making incremental backups as you add, delete or change files.

 

If you purchase your external drive from us, we will gladly set up your Time Machine backup at no extra charge.