Tips and tricks to repair phones and PCs

Jonathan Weinberg
Yahoo! News
Tips to repair broken PCs and phones

Britain is broken - or at least, our mobile phones, laptops and PCs are.

Many of us limp around with half-broken gadgets - with insurer Protect Your Bubble claiming today that a third of us have attempted makeshift repairs using sticky tape, elastic bands and chewing gum.

But there are genuine tricks that  can bring products back to life - from an overheating PC to a mobile phone that's taken a dunk in the bath.

You don't need to get out a soldering iron, either - you can often repair gadgets using home ingredients such as bowls of rice.

Here are a few tips that really work:

                                      [Related: How to repair household gadgets yourself]

Frozen iPhone
It's a common issue and one that takes seconds to sort. If your Apple mobile freezes you can perform a soft refresh by holding down the centre button and the one on the top together until it switches off and turns back on. You'll know this has worked when the Apple logo appears. It's a cliche to say turn it off and turn it on again but it often does work. Similarly, a restart of your computer can cure many ills such as slowdowns and crashing.

Soaked phone
This trick doesn't always work - especially with iPhones - but if you act quickly you can sometimes save a phone even if it's taken a dunk in the bath. Quickly take the battery out, and attempt to mop up any fluid.
Place the phone in the bag and leave it for at least 48 hours, long enough for condensation to form on the bag and the silica gel or rice to draw whatever moisture is left out of the phone.  If you can see water droplets or condensation on the screen, we’re afraid things just haven’t worked out.

Cracked/Broken Screens

Replacing a mobile or tablet display yourself is not for the faint-hearted. Although the parts are not expensive, you could invalidate any warranty you have by doing it yourself. There are videos on YouTube and DIY sites such as Instructables showing the steps to take but it is a fiddly process.

However, you do not always have to rely on having it fixed by the manufacturer. London firm fonedoctors are experts at mobile A&E and Carphone Warehouse also have their team of Geek Squad Agents who can carry out repairs at stores across the UK.

Stuck Buttons
Whether on a phone, a computer keyboard or any device where buttons have to be pressed, things do have a habit of getting stuck. Often the issue can be caused by a small bit of food or just a piece of dirt.

But a quick squirt from a can of compressed air can shift this easily and without causing damage. Often something soft like a cotton bud can release whatever has built up. Don't use sharp tools like a screwdriver or knife. It will only make things worse.

Overheating/Noisy Computers

Fans inside of computers can create a heck of a lot of noise if they aren't able to move around freely. And if they can't move around freely, they can't do their job of keeping the inside of your machine cool. Whether on a desktop or laptop, dust build up can cause a computer to overheat. This can cause the fan to work overtime and make noise.

But by simply removing the casing and blowing out the dust with a can of compressed air, you can solve this problem. Just don't get too close with the nozzle or squirt it for too long. Do it in short bursts with the machine on its side so the dust has room to escape.

Dropped or Slow Wi-Fi
There can be various reasons why your broadband suddenly slow down when used wirelessly. Often it can be caused by interference with your router. If it is on the floor, raise it up onto a table or a shelf. The higher it is, the easier the signal can move around.

Ensure it's not blocked by other objects or in a place where it is surrounded by lots of thick walls. Interference can also be caused by placing it next to other objects such as cordless home phones. It might also be affected by the Wi-Fi signal of neighbours or businesses nearby if they are working on the same channel as your router. To change this channel, consult your instructions and you will be able to log into the router's control panel through your computer and change this.