Good PC repair shop in Vienna VA?

It seems my video card needs replacement (serious ghosting!) and my DVD-ROM drive is refusing to read DVDs (also probably needs replacing). Anyone know of a trustworthy place in close-in Northern VA where I can have these items taken care of without breaking the bank?

Don’t want to try replacing things myself because I’m just not confident fooling around inside there (especially with the video card).

And while I’m there I should also have my CD-RW drive fixed (DOA, machine doesn’t see it, door doesn’t open so perhaps a bad cable). Never had that done before now because I didn’t want to be without my PC for however long it took to have it fixed.

Thanks for any help!

I live in Vienna (well, Tysons really, but I have a Vienna mailing address), and I was about to refer you to the last place I got my computer serviced when I realized that I have done my own work for as long as I can remember, except once I took my PC into CompUSA (Tysons) when I had a serious hard drive issue caused by a virus (boot sector hosed). That must have been 10 years ago. They recovered it for me. I have no idea of their reliability or quality today, though.

Recently I took a scanner in for warranty service to a place in Herndon that seems pretty good but I don’t know if that’s too far for you. They’re at Herndon Pkwy & Elden Street, not far off the Toll Road.

PTC Plus
(703) 456-1860
299 Herndon Pkwy
Herndon, VA

I’m thinking you can find something much closer to home; Yahoo Yellow Pages shows lots in Vienna plus lots more in McLean and other close-by areas.

What kind of computer do you have? Getting all the work you describe done in a shop could be expensive, and could outweigh the value of the machine if it’s not new. I have replaced lots of hard drives, a couple of CD drives and a DVD drive, it’s not hard. Diagnosing whether you really need to replace them might be more difficult, and I wouldn’t crack open a drive itself to try to repair it. Do you know if your video card is on the motherboard? If so that could be more problematic, otherwise it’s just slide out, plug in. There could be other problems that might cause video ghosting; I’m not well-versed in video issues.

Anyway, you can email me at my user name I’d be happy to help but wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t trust soem nut from a Web board. :wink:


I think you might get better opinions from IMHO.

I’ll move it for you.


I have an HP Pavilion 8500 from 1999. It’s getting old, true, but up till now it hasn’t given me a single spot of trouble (Other than the CD-RW not being recognized). My video card is an NVidia Riva TNT2. Top of the line back in those dim dead premillennial days.

The ghosts extend all the way across the screen. Gray shadows extending from lines of text and image borders. I thought it was my monitor going south (my 24" Acer I just got four months ago!) but they’re still there on my old 15" Sony CRT.

I have also a thread on HardwareCentral about this.

I’m worried that since things have started to go wrong, that maybe my HD will be next to pack up.

Have you considered going to the geek squad?

They’re the ones who come right to your house? Aren’t they really expensive?

If they come to your house, that’s a service I’ve never heard of. A friend of mine took his PC to them, and they diagnosed pretty thoroughly. The recommended changes weren’t cheap, but they were thorough.

Lacking personal customer experience with them, I dunno that there’s a lot more I can say.

Well… look at it from a cost perspective. If your PC is circa 1999 it’s a probably a 500-600 mhz machine and paying anything over 50 to get it back up is (IMO) not a great use of resources. To have a shop obtain and replace a video card will likely cost around 150 or so. with labor and hardware. That’s a substantial percentage of the cost of brand new PC that’s superior in almost every respect & that you could get from Circuit City for $400-$500.

BTW I have worked on HP 8500s and they are sometimes a PITA to get into for Motherboard and PS replacement, but just replacing a legacy video card you could get on ebay for $ 5-10 or so should not be a difficult service issue. You should be able to unscrew & remove the old one and put in a new one without too much drama. The machine should have either a PCI or AGP 4X slot.

I have seen the Geek Squad PT Cruisers in the area. They will come to your house but you can also carry in. Their web site shows no locations in the Vienna area but they do show that they operate the service desks in the Best Buy stores, so you might try that. You are probably familiar with the Best Buy at Gallows & Route 7, next to Borders and Bertucci’s.

They charge $39 to do a hardware installation at Best Buy, according to their web site.

So to replace DVD-ROM and replace video card you’re up to $78 plus the cost of the hardware. The CD-RW is another issue, but I will betcha it will be cheaper to replace than to diagnose and repair. But you don’t really need it if you replace your DVD-ROM with a DVD-RW. So let’s say you’re talking $300 total. You’d have to really love that 1999 computer to sink $300 into it. And who knows what will break the week after.

I was going to suggest Micro Center . They are on Nutley in Fairfax.

However, having seen that your computer is from 99, I am going to third the suggestion that you get a new one.

I recommend getting ahold of a 2nd hand video card and replacing it yourself. Alternately, most used PCs available these days will be as good if not better than your current PC, at less than the price of repair.

IIRC they charge $179 plus parts for a housecall.

I’d be happy to do it but the out of town charge for your area would be a little steep.

Check your phone book, if its anything like there there are places charging as little as $35 an hour for house calls, something like a dvd/CDrom swapout and a video card upgrade/swapout should be about a 1 hour job.

All told you might be looking at $150 total for the whole job if you can find a reputable onsite place at those rates.

Thanks! You all have convinced me that it’s a better bet to get a new PC; I was looking on Newegg and hadn’t realized they’d gotten that cheap.

I guess I’ll also get a USB flash drive to transfer my files over. (I didn’t realize these things existed either; just haven’t kept up with tech news the past few years!) Much easier and less bulky than the Iomega zipdisks I had to use last time.

But I think I’ll wait until Acer has fixed or replaced my monitor. (A bad video card can’t break a monitor, can it? Or vice versa?)

Yeah, dude. After that whole Internet thing came, technology just went, like, bang and stuff. I’ve had a jumpdrive for three years now.

I don’t have any computer advice, I just wanted to mention that I live in Vienna, VA too – small world! :slight_smile:

Come to think of it, I have taken computers to CompUSA a time or two to have viruses purged, and been satisfied with their work.