Reasons not to buy or upgrade your PC right now.


Christmas shopping and end of the year business purchases tend to be reasons why people upgrade their PCs. Do you need some reasons on why you should consider NOT to buying a PC this year? Or some alternatives to upgrading the one that you already have? Check out the email I was sent for some helpful tips on fixing what you have now…

After all, money’s tight this year – according to some sources, average holiday spending budgets are down 15% to $750.

PCs, especially laptops, are at the top of the wish list for consumer electronics. But nearly 25% of the people who want one think they need one because their current computer is losing steam. (Facts from the CEA – parent of CES)

Combine this with a statistic from IDC stating that this year, the average price of a notebook ($888) exceeds the average person’s holiday budget, and it becomes clear that many people will be hard-pressed to fulfill that wish list.

Instead of buying something new, how about checking for symptoms of poor performance on the machine you already have, and finding some easy fixes.

Sluggish PC performance, frequent printer failures, overall PC weirdness after something was downloaded or installed … like upgrade to XP or Vista? Or, free stuff (free computer even) that just never worked right. In some cases old device drivers, outdated BIOS, or even – going deep tech here – registry gunk often creates these kinds of problems.

Here are some sites that can help you resolve problems with device drivers, BIOS and registry issues: (device drivers) (BIOS) (registry)

You can get a diagnosis of what you have in your PC that needs fixing and use these services or go to individual manufacturers (though in some cases, you can’t and will have to use a service). You can even get a Vista-readiness scan. Check them out.

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Tyler Puckett December 10, 2008, 4:57 pm

    For 90% of computer “sluggishness” problems, the remedy is reinstalling the OS, running all the updates, and upgrading the RAM or HDD, or both. Even Macs aren’t immune to this; I’d noticed my year-old MacBook Pro running rather sluggishly when doing mildly intensive tasks. I thought about buying a new MacBook when the Unibody enclosures were released.

    Instead, I spent $100 to upgrade my current MBP to 4GB of RAM and a 320GB HDD. $100 for that! Of course, it wasn’t a fly-by-night purchase. I spent a month or two researching and comparing prices. Finally, on “Cyber Monday” as they say, Newegg had both items on sale.

    My MacBook Pro should now last me for several more years.

  • Lloyd December 10, 2008, 8:09 pm

    Great article. Those 3 sites would’ve come in handy when I last reinstalled Windows on my aging PC. I’m hoping for a followup with utilities for helping keep computers perform well.

  • Jim Latimer December 11, 2008, 9:07 am

    I’ve used Driveragent and it is awesome…didn’t know that they also did Biosagent. BUT….DA has once in a while given me a bad driver. Not that big a deal….just roll it back. But what about a Bios oops…..

    For example, I have the lastest Bios for my HP pavilion ZV5410US from the HP site, but BA says it is not up to date, and it ID’s my laptop as a ZV5200. That makes me a bit nervous to apply the Bios. Will the installer tell me that this is the wrong Bios for my machine and then exit, or will it try to update and toast my system?

  • Julie December 11, 2008, 9:40 am


    Yikes! That’s a very good question valid concern! I’ll get some eyes on that question for you.

  • james braselton December 14, 2008, 7:28 pm


  • Tyler Puckett December 14, 2008, 8:17 pm

    The general rule of thumb for BIOS updates is “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.”

    The only reason to update your BIOS is if you absolutely need something the update provides. It’s not worth the risks to update it for something as meager as fixing a typo in the POST process, for instance.

  • DHaunt December 17, 2008, 12:02 pm

    And what good are utilities that you have to pay for in order to fix the problems listed? Aren’t there legal rulings against other programs that “find problems” only to sell you a fix?

    Granted, they can identify problems, but unless you want to pay for the programs to fix the problem, you will have to find free or open source alternatives or try to manually correct the errors.

    Also, programs like these do not take into account know problems with some updated drivers.

  • Lansur December 23, 2008, 1:24 am

    Like Jim Latimer, ran BA on my Netvista. As my BIOS would not initialize the two rear U.S.B ports, fronts are OK.
    1. BA recognized only two out of three HDDs.
    2. BIOS up to date according to Lenovo site. But BA states “bad”.
    So kind of cautious about committing.

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