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Computer and Laptop Repair | PC Service | Upgrade

PCWorkspace is an established computer repair and broadband specialist offering computer and IT support for domestic and commercial, home and small business in Peterborough. Working in a mobile capacity and from home, clients who bring units can also benefit from a speedy diagnosis, and we will collect and return systems.

Where checks do not lead to a quick fix we may need to bench test to identify underlying faults. We make every effort to ensure client data is secured and remains confidential. Where appropriate we will partition hard-drives, include new features, safeguard and restore data free of charge subject to volume and condition of media.

Computer Repair


Many problems are software related, but we of course also diagnose for hardware issues, probe test main-boards, assess resources; replace hard-drives, power supplies, optical drives, laptop keyboards, screens, inverters and other components. We can also electrically test your equipment for safety, helping to ensure that your users are working in a safe regulated environment.


Software problems can amount to missing, corrupt, badly managed system, application files, drivers or components, possibly because of an aging resource or over-heating; but cannot exclude security vulnerabilities, conceivably, simply because the operating system and third-party components are poorly maintained.

Typically many software issues, including the removal of malevolent files, rogue software etc., can be resolved quickly (notwithstanding bench-time, essential advice), however compounding and/or insurmountable issues may warrant a system recovery.


Many repairs to notebooks, e.g. software and installation problems, upgrades and hard drive restructuring differ little to consumer units, consequently we are more than able to diagnose and undertake this kind of work as well as other types of repairs including:

•  Hard-drive repair/replacement…
•  Inverter (backlight) repair/replacement…
•  Keyboard repair/replacement…
•  Memory upgrades…
•  Power-jack repair…
•  Screen replacement…
•  Software issues/system recovery…

We may also work with other engineers or insurance companies; else recommend a specialist if we consider a laptop not to be beyond economical repair but nonetheless outside of our scope.

Main-boards may be removed, therefore can cost more subject to make, model and complexity. Genuine branded 'replacement' power-adapters start from £14.99, sauced appropriately, guaranteed safe. Replacement power-jacks starts from £59.00 plus part(s).

*Subject to laptop model and urgency, we may not carry out power-jack repair but instead recommend another company locally (please always provide model number via the online form on the home page). Clients might take into consideration the initial cost and age of a laptop before committing to this type of fix. As for screens, potentially high repair costs might otherwise go some way toward a new unit.

Repaired screen charges start from £69.99 for a 15.4in/15.6in subject to inspection, availability and supply (usually next working day). Replacement notebooks are also available through our distributor, and we are equally happy to freely advise or assist clients in their choice of laptop through a local retailer – the right laptop for your needs.

Laptop advice
When looking to buy a laptop or PC, an informed choice can help find the right model for the right price, but a cheaper unit does not necessarily mean an adequate resource.

Less expensive may be the right choice, but cheaper may also mean budget chip technology not ideally suited to a multi-user or broadband environment – a low performance chip may consequently generate more heat, shorten maintenance intervals or the lifespan of a unit and therefore ultimately prove a false economy.

When promoting a laptop, a retailer may focus on battery life and, at other times, on processor and memory. Beware also of marketing that boasts the latest operating system (OS), perhaps side-stepping a limited or redundant resource – typically the more recent the OS the better the processor will need to be.

Intel Buyer Guide

Intel SpacerAtom – Low powered for 'standard netbook' portable companion Internet devices. Intel Spaceri3 – Smart performance suitable for heavy use such as graphic design or video editing.
IntelSpacerCeleron – Suitable for basic computing needs such as email and word processing. IntelSpaceri5 – Smart performance with a speed boost. Automatically speeds up your processor.
IntelSpacerPentium – Dual-Core technology ideal for general broadband and multiple programmes. IntelSpaceri7 – Greater cache size and higher frequencies give you performance for the toughest tasks.
SpacerSpaceri7 Extreme – Greater cache size and higher frequencies give you ultimate performance.

Netbooks were initially XP only simply because their resource didn't support more enhanced software development such as Vista or Windows 7/8. Consider therefore that a unit supporting a newer OS may appear slow by comparison to XP for example.

When buying a new laptop, bear in mind that the power-jack plug and USB sockets are susceptible to stress. Batteries too will deteriorate, and can be expensive to replace. Regardless what type of notebook, best also consider purchasing a laptop cooler.

Replacement power adapters must be the correct voltage and amps, may otherwise cause damage to the unit. Genuine or compatible adapters typically make for a better replacement than a universal power supply.

Money Back Scheme – Donate or Recycle your old System

Maybe donate your 'old or broken' laptop (Windows 7+), or perhaps instead recycle a 'working' computer, and we can maybe service, upgrade and sell-it-on for you? PCWorkspace may also be happy to accept salvage in-lieu of payment for data recovery, file retrieval, e.g. systems conceivably considered BER, beyond economical repair.


Free Diagnostics
Bring in your netbook, notebook or PC for a FREE 'no obligation' evaluation, regardless whether you think your computer may need repair(s), a service, upgrade or disposal. An option to have a system health-check at home may incur an engineers' fee, if for example a client opts not to go ahead with essential maintenance or service. An engineers' fee may also apply if a system is left with us and/or requires a more extensive assessment and a customer subsequently opts not to go ahead with recommended repairs.

Rapid Service
A rapid service only £10.00. Expedient maintenance coupled with no-nonsense advice while you wait; optionally available at your home or office from *£15.00.

*£ Peterborough only.

Quick Fix / Expedient Service
A quick or extended service can be completed while a customer waits, or on-site at the clients home or office for a small additional fee. Perhaps instead drop off your system for a quick fix or service and collect the same day – issues resolved, your computer configured, updated and optimised with good no-nonsense advice from £15.00.

An extended service from £22.50 will include a minimum hour of dedicated expedient maintenance in addition to unattended bench time and/or on-site recommendation. Systems collected, serviced and returned from £20.00/£25.00 subject to location.

Quick – Extended Service
What might a quick or extended service include?

•  Clear prefetch files…
•  Clear temporary files and Internet cache…
•  Install/Repair drivers…
•  Remove fake/rogue software…
•  Repair browser…
•  Resolve download issues…
•  System defragment/optimise…
•  Update third-party components…
•  Virus removal…
•  Windows/Program integrity check…
•  Windows/Program updates and repair…
•  Other diagnosis/solution…
•  Advice/Recommendation…

If you require an early start for drop-off and collection the same day, please arrange the day or evening before. Subject to commitments a base-unit brought in early for a full service can often also be completed, Internet ready, later the same day, i.e. drop off on route to work, collect on the way home – problem free!

Full Service
What might a full service include?

•  System clean and hardware inspection…
Chassis (inside/outside (consumer unit only)); ports; trays.
•  Clone existing hard-drive…
Where a replacement drive is required: image existing to new, restoring factory recovery options and applications – not always possible.
•  System and application software checks…
Scan; repair; update and optimise.
•  Address and advise…
Best practice; concerns; induction; moving forward.


•  System clean and hardware inspection…
Chassis (inside/outside (consumer unit only)); ports; trays.
•  Evaluate resource and disk use…
Processor; memory; capacity; ratio/volume assessment.
•  Windows file integrity and hard-drive checks…
Assess for corrupt and malevolent files.
•  Reclaim 1hard-disk…
Uninstall malevolent, redundant and superfluous software.
•  Reclaim 2hard-disk…
Defragment; remove data; partition; replace data; configure.
•  System, application software and registry checks…
Scan; repair; update and optimise.
•  Address and advise…
Best practice; concerns; induction; moving forward.


•  System clean and hardware inspection…
Chassis (inside/outside (consumer unit only)); ports; trays.
•  Recover operating system/factory settings…
Secure data; partition; re-install; make ready; components; features; updates.
•  Address and advise…
Best practice; concerns; induction; moving forward.

A typical fee for a full service, optionally re-installing a system (to factory default, updating third-party, Windows components and added-value features) is £29.75 (£35.00 standard price (less 15% web discount; up-to 30% returning customer/second unit)) including back-up subject to precise volume of data and/or media files.

Where appropriate, installations are Microsoft Office 2007/10 and Internet ready. Operating systems are fully configured, and updated with the latest Service Pack, e.g. XP SP3; Vista *SP1/SP2; Windows7 *SP1, and essential third-party components such as Adobe Acrobat and Flash, but will exclude as standard other third-party software including Microsoft Office ('02 (XP); '03 (Please provide discs and product key/licence)).

Please note: Where software and licence (product key) are not made available, Microsoft Office for example, it may nonetheless be possible to extract the key from the system installation/registry. However, it cannot be assured that, a) support software will be available to re-install the previously installed/pre-installed product (where no disc(s) has/have been made available) or, b) that a subsequent installation of the product meets the licence agreement and will therefore subsequently validate (where the client perhaps did not purchase or own the software originally installed).

Peterborough and Eye

£035.00 Full service…
£---5.25 Conceivable web discount – please mention that you visited the website.
£005.00 Collect and return… £5.00 includes 50% off within 5 miles; 6-10 miles: £10.00; 11-15 miles
£034.75 Conceivable total, excluding any third-party works.
£015.00 Evening and weekend fee does not apply to units bought in by client. Also see: call out.
£049.75 Conceivable total, excluding any third-party works.

*For early Vista, Windows 7 systems with pre-service pack recovery options, please allow two hours additional bench time and £2.00 per service pack.

Supplementary Components / Charges and Added Value

Install Adobe AIR / BBC i-Player (Optional). NA Free
Install Adobe Flash. NA Free
Install Adobe Reader. NA Free
Install Adobe Shockwave (Optional). NA Free
Install Java. NA Free
Install Media Player 11 (XP). NA Free
Install Microsoft Office '07/'10 (Optional Pre-install). NA Free
Install Microsoft Security Essentials (Standard). NA Free
Install Windows Live (Optional). NA Free
Install additional/third-party applications, other Microsoft Office… (One/Workshop (Else 2.00)). NA Free
Install service packs (Older recovery options may not include service packs/up-to-date service packs, e.g. Vista SP1, SP2, Windows 7 SP1 (Rolled back recovery partitions (upgrades from 8 to 8.1; 7 to 10) – additional bench time may be needed). EA 2.00
Power: Mains power is important during maintenance however laptop batteries are only removed for specific testing and dismantling. An additional module cost may therefore apply where batteries are not fully charged, consequently charged during bench testing and/or routine repairs. NA 2.00
Professionally clean base unit, including inside chassis; remove dirt build-up (Free with full service). NA 2.00
Recover licence, product key, install product. From… EA 2.00
Remove password(s). NA 2.00
Set up additional profile(s). EA 2.00

Key elements in rebuilding the Windows platform
01  Assess, recover and safeguard data…
02  Clone/Partition/repair and format hard-drive…
03  Install and/or configure operating system…
04  Install and configure system drivers…
05  Install Internet security, make Internet ready…
06  Install third-party components and added features…
07  Activate and validate software…
08  Install updates and service packs…
09  Check, optimise and restore…
10  Reinstate data…

When performing a full system recovery on a unit with a separate 'factory installed' data partition, none of the files located on the data partition will be deleted 'by PCWorkspace' during our recovery process. Files (data and/or media) will otherwise be secured subject to exact nature of the problem and condition of magnetic media.

Note: It is good practice in the home as well as in business, to have a secondary partition (compartment) allowing documents and large format files, e.g. music and images to be diverted away from the root drive to: a) help sustain system resource and b) *safeguard important files.

*High volumes of data should nonetheless be moved off, and data of value backed-up to removable media, e.g. an external hard-drive.

Some Console Destructive Recovery options (XP, Vista, Windows 7) will delete a partition and therefore any data stored to it. Consequently while we will create a second and third partition on an XP as well as a Vista and Windows 7 system (hard-drives larger than 80Gb (XP)) to encourage best practice and to help sustain system resource, backed-up files may otherwise be re-instated temporarily to the systems (C:\) drive, and an additional internal or external USB hard-drive recommended.

Laptop Batteries / Chargers / PC Power Supplies
Please enquire directly for replacement power supplies. Compatible and/or quality bespoke laptop batteries and power adapters are sourced from £14.99 including mains utility lead.

ATX power supply (PSU) replacement including standard part, coupled with diagnosis to determine cause and best practice, software checks and cleaning is £25.00 – £30.00. A home/office *visit from £35.00 (Mon-Fri, 9-5 (Other times, please see: call out)).

Special Offer
An extensive software service at your home or office resolving issues. We will spend an hour plus problem solving and optimising your system coupled with user advice for a one-off fixed fee of *£20.00. Bearing in mind some limitation in the home and time contraint, if we consider that your PC requires more extensive bench testing or a full service, we will of course recommend that it is returned to the workshop with us – where a client chooses/opts not to go ahead with essential bench repairs, a lesser engineers' fee may instead apply.



Main-board upgrade: cost-effectiveness
A new main-board replacement would almost certainly require a replacement processor as well as newer, different type or frequency RAM. In addition, a replacement multi-core processor is unlikely suitable for many existing chassis designs, i.e. a new main-board built into an old chassis may experience problems with heat dissipation moving forward. A replacement main-board supporting redundant drives and cards will also almost certainly have a limited capacity to accommodate conceivable expansion, higher volumes of RAM.

Memory upgrades, early XP machines for example, possibly supporting ten plus years of development (service packs and updates), third-party software and high volumes of data, can very much benefit from a memory upgrade. Perhaps coupled with restructuring and partitioning, or maintenance and simple advice, including a conceivable change in best practice – please telephone: (01733) 777878 – laptop, PC RAM prices for different frequencies may differ slightly from time to time.

Modules fitted to dual-channel boards should be paired (identical), either single or double-sided, but not mixed. Mixed frequency is not recommended, however, where main-boards support both frequencies, systems will operate at the lower frequency.

DDR3 is not used widely at this time, is a higher frequency and more expensive than DDR2 modules. DDR1 will not fit DDR2 main-boards, DDR2 will not fit DDR3 main-boards and vice versa, less where the main-board is a transition board intended to support both module types at the expense of capacity to expand the memory.

Memory modules generally have a life-time warranty and will seldom fail, however those opting to handle and/or fit modules should ensure that they discharge any static build-up, and also be aware that compatibility issues may cause a system to simply 'initially' fail or 'subsequently' malfunction causing or leading to system instability.

Note: Those users installing 4Gb or more of memory may notice that the total amount of available memory showing is less than 4Gb. The amount available depends on the system configuration and the way the operating system addresses physical memory.


Memory – laptop example

£010.00 1Gb PC2 Branded laptop module 667MHz…
£010.00 Second 1Gb PC2 Branded laptop module 667MHz…
£000.00 Plus other conceivable works e.g. fit RAM modules… (Workshop (Else 2.00)).

Economics / Beyond Economical Repair

Economics is not merely about the financial outlay, time constraint is also an important factor, perhaps more so where an individual or enterprise is working from home. A user may simply not notice a gradual increase in the demands of an aging resource and the consequential, compounding problems that this might cause.

Notwithstanding that the system will also need to meet the increasing weight of third-party software, updates and service packs, perhaps consider too the sustained impact maintaining a PC may have on any given venture, ongoing and future needs.

An in-place upgrade (installing a newer operating system on an older PC) is not recommended, and is usually where problems begin. If you are thinking about this, perhaps consider professional advice before going ahead.

A decision to classify a system BER must take into account the outlay to repair but not necessarily upgrade, but nonetheless considering whether or not it is viable to upgrade. It may simply not be cost effective, and therefore appropriate to repair an ageing system given a limited capacity to bring it up-to-date – a conceivable cost of repair, albeit much less than a replacement, may nonetheless go some way toward purchasing a much more modern and technically equipped computer.

An example of a unit classified as BER might be a PC four, five or more years old, perhaps with no licence adhered to the chassis, possibly requiring a replacement, redundant technology, hard-drive and/or PSU, software licence and service charge, altogether well in excess of £100.00.

A computer system may need to be assessed as to whether or not it is economic to repair; moreover findings may not necessarily or simply be a matter of replacing expensive hardware. It is increasingly seldom worthwhile repairing and/or restoring a resource tailored for some operating systems, e.g. Windows '98, NT, 2000, ME, and some early XP (XP online support extended until 2014). Reasons might include:

•  a service provider may not support the software…
•  an end to support from the manufacturer or software developer…
•  incompatibility with newer third-party software, hardware or peripherals…

Why might an Internet Service Provider not continue to support an operating system?

•  a limited service may be detrimental to, or reflect badly on the provider…
•  the platform may not support essential security updates or critical service packs…
•  updates may not be cost effective given increasingly fewer older platforms…

An example might be a Windows ME PC without Ethernet, running from an old USB modem, supporting a maximum bandwidth of 512Mb. Older machines, particularly those that have had an in-place upgrade, e.g. XP on '98 or ME, may simply not have the resource needed to process updates and third-party components.

Disposal / Waste

In response to the WEEE Directive that came into force in 2007, educational establishments, local authority bodies and UK businesses are obligated to recycle all redundant computer and IT equipment. Consequently, the correct disposal, refurbishment, recycling of computers and computer equipment has become an all important part of our waste policy.

As a small business we do not have a dedicated waste facility, nor do we produce the volumes of waste necessary to achieve a cost effective private solution. However, we are able to provide an extended service, disposing of BER or Faulty equipment on behalf of domestic clients in line with local directives.

Disposal is charged from £7.50 for the first unit or £5.00 with works e.g. data/disaster recovery. A levy of £3.50 is applied for disposal of power supply units.

Business clients might like to contact us more directly on: Peterborough 777878 to discuss a waste solution more tailored to conceivable needs, or perhaps instead enquire with Peterborough City Council as follows:

For more local information about collections of household and commercial waste, general recycling and bulky items, email:, or telephone Peterborough City Council on: (01733) 453570.

Collecting Repaired Systems
Systems in our charge for assessment or repair must be collected within a specified period else may be dismantled for salvage or disposed of after six weeks, unless alternative or prior arrangement has been agreed.

Clean Install / Software Upgrade

Installing or upgrading Windows on top of an existing platform is not uncommon. We clean install – that is assess and safeguard data of conceivable value, re-structure / repair and format the hard-drive, re-install and update the operating system, drivers, third-party components and security elements, further recommending memory upgrade if considered essential, and advising our clients regarding currency, licence and best practice.

Improved performance can also be an added benefit of cleaning the hard-drive, restoring volume back to a level appropriate for system resource. However, one should never consider an in-place upgrade of the operating system (OS) on an aging machine, e.g. XP (System) to VISTA / Windows 7. Installing a later version of Windows as a cure to a problem in reality is usually when problems become much worse!


Microsoft systems must include a licence and it may be appropriate for us to ask a client that they check and confirm licence details to help identify the operating system in use, to make certain that it marries, to further ensure that the installation is appropriate for the hardware resource and conceivable impact on the PC or Laptop.

To verify that you have an installation that is compatible with the hardware as well as a genuine Microsoft Windows operating system, look for the Certificate of Authenticity (COA) affixed to the body of your computer (in some cases inside the netbook or laptop). COAs cannot be purchased separately. Each pre-installed Windows COA features the Microsoft product name printed near the top of the label and a 25-character product key.


For Windows software that comes pre-installed by a system manufacturer (also known as an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM)), the COA should be affixed to the body of the computer or beneath the laptop. The COA includes the 25-character product key which may be required if a new installation is necessary at a later date.

Unreadable Licence, Certificate of Authenticity (COA)

Quite common-place today paper COA labels adhered to the base of a laptop will rapidly wear thin and become illegible. It is important therefore to take steps to avoid this happening and conceivably also record the 25-character product key printed to the licence should it be required at any time.

From a technical perspective, to retrieve a product key from the hard-drive is not always doable, and in any event in the case of system software, this might prove to be a unique batch key automatically installed by the manufacturer that may not activate a new installation. This bearing in mind too that it's not always possible to clone or repair a damaged installation or partition and, where needed, original recovery disc sets embedded with the matching licence may not be available. In some instances, in liaison with Microsoft Licensing, PCWorkspace will perhaps be able to issue a new product key subject to a small nominal fee for consultancies with Microsoft.

Where a recovery console or a disc set is damaged or missing and a Windows support disc is to be used, or a disc set obtained elsewhere is to be used in-lieu of missing support software, e.g. some DELL systems, it is regardless important to subsequently up-date the embedded licence with the product key printed on the COA adhered to the system unit, be it a consumer unit or laptop. If you are concerned about your licence, please call.

Important, Second-user
From time to time a client may purchase a second-user computer, perhaps through the Internet or from a shop, conceivably unawares that a consumer unit may not have its original licence installed, or may have originated from a corporate or educational environment, for example – that is it may have been a part of a network and the operating system therefore installed as a component of a multi-user licence agreement; and/or it may simply have applications installed that are not licensed to that unit, that might otherwise have been removed.

Why might this be important?
A) A licence is of some value to the client and should reflect the price paid for a computer; not simply a matter of legality, but essential to validate an installation, ensure ongoing critical updates and sustain operational stability.

B) A system that is/was part of a multi-user licence is not transferable as a stand-alone unit; moreover a second-hand computer may soon require a professional service at which time the operating system may need re-activating. Consequently a unit without the obligatory Microsoft label (with 25-character product key) adhered to the chassis may be subject to the additional cost of replacing both system software and licence.

C) Beware of aging computers, laptops that boast the latest operating system, e.g. 'installed with Windows 8'. Note that an in-place upgrade is not always appropriate, moreover it's completely conceivable that an installation may not be genuine and consequently may be stable for a limited period only. Again, it's also important appreciate that a genuine installation married to the licence adhered to the unit will reflect in the price paid for a second-user system, so don't get caught out. If you can't see the COA, it may be beneath a laptop battery or in exceptional cases may be inside the unit, e.g. a netbook – do check!

D) We of course do not encourage the use of software that isn't licenced, cannot support the use of, or warranty against repaired systems installed with, subsequently installed with counterfeit or un-licensed software.