FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Housekeeping

Do you service my area in Japan?

Yes, all of Japan, actually. I do a mail in service: you send me the PC, I do the work, and send it back. Convenient and reliable. My location is in central Japan, near Nagoya; it helps keep shipping costs low.

I have an urgent situation, do I have to go through the “Contact Me” form?

You can call me on 080-3073-0096 if it’s really really a matter of life and death. Free if you’re on Softbank white plan. No hidden numbers please. If I can’t take your call there is a reason, and will get back to you ASAP. You can also Skype me on “sandorandmisato”.

What is your address?

I’m in Aichi prefecture, near Nagoya. I took the address off the site to prevent people sending me stuff without contacting me first. I’ll give you my full address once we touch base.

Can you come to my home or office?

I prefer to focus on what I’m best at, which is fixing problems. I let the post office fight the traffic; that’s their specialty. Send-in only please.

How can I pay you?

Transfer to Post Office Bank account, amazon.jp gift card, or Paypal (add +4%) are all OK. Cash in special registered mail is also fine.

I’m outside Japan, can you help?

I can, however make sure you’re ready to cover the shipping costs. On the plus side I can do remote stuff at no extra cost.

I want to buy a new PC, can you help?

Advice is free and yes, I do have some I recommend and some I will warn you against. I don’t, however, sell new PCs at this time. I do plan on compiling some information and publishing it on this site though.

I want a cheap used PC, can you help?

From time to time I will have some cheap re-built PCs. All properly tested, cleaned and set up, ready for use. Check my “blog” for relevant entries.

Are you going to charge me through the nose for a simple repair?

No. My aim is to keep my services affordable and the whole experience stress-free. Some services I have set prices for. These include standardized tasks such as Windows (re-)installation. See full price list here.
The rest of the services I charge based on the actual time spent on it, keeping what we discussed during the Free Consultation in mind.
I always point out during the Free Consultation if repair costs are likely to exceed the computer’s value. Can happen sometimes with very old computers and physically damaged units.

 

Language

My PC has Japanese Windows, are you OK to work with that?

No problem. I speak Japanese, plus have a Japanese wife on standby. 😉

My PC has Japanese Windows, and I want to change it to English (or other language), can you help?

Absolutely. Use the Contact Form and include your current version of Windows.

I have a Japanese friend who’s PC needs attention, can you help?

Definitely. I speak Japanese. While I have no Japanese site at the moment, feel free to call me in Japanese on 080-3073-0096. You’re also welcome to fill in the Contact Form in Japanese.

 

Data

My hard disk or my PC is dead. I have important data on it, can you help?

Definitely. If the hard disk is OK it’s easy as 1-2-3. I’ll transfer it over to the destination of your choice for a set price.

If the hard disk is dead or the data on it is garbled I can give you an idea of how bad it is. I’ll provide you this assessment for free.

Then – if your data has high monetary value – I’ll lend you my connections to the best professional data recovery specialist company on planet Earth. To give you an idea; professional assessment is around 20,000 yen. The actual recovery charge ranges from 75,000 yen up to 190,000 yen. It is, however, time dependent, which in turn depends on the complexity of the problem. Large hard drives (over 1TB) and RAID clusters can increase cost and time involved.

In any case, no data – no recovery charge. This does not apply for the assessment fees.

Important! If you hear unusual noises from the hard disk, such a repetitive clicking noises or spin-up and spin-down sounds following each other in quick succession, keep your PC off. Further operation, or attempts to restore the data yourself will lessen the chances of successful recovery. Contact me immediately.

I don’t want data recovery. Matter of fact I want my data so securely erased that not even the above experts can restore it. What should I do?

No problem. Google “sdelete” and choose to overwrite all of the drive 35 or more times. Takes hours, possibly days depending on hard disk size and your setup. There is no lab or voodoo magic that’ll get that data back. You can re-use the hard disk safely afterwards. Contact me if you want me to do it for you. I can do this remotely for a small charge (providing your setup allows). This way you won’t have to send me anything or expose me to your super-secret data.

ETC

Do you deal with Macs?

Oh yes. Love Macs. Bring it on. I do lots of memory and hard drive upgrades on MacBooks in particular. (Sick of PC trouble and never want to do maintenance again? Get a Mac.)

I think I have a virus, can you help?

Sure. Get a free virus cleaner, such as AVG’s free version and do a scan. If it’s beyond repair, back up your data, and do a complete restore or reinstallation of Windows, including formatting the hard drive. Contact me if you get stuck or if you want me to do it for you.

My computer is really slow, can you help?

Sure. Go to the Contact Form and select the “Free Consultation” or the “Speed-Up” option.

My computer switches off shortly after I switch it on

If it’s a laptop, there’s not much you can do. Back up your data if possible, and Contact me.
If it’s a desktop, try to clean the fans. If you’re OK opening the case check if the CPU cooler is firmly in place. Contact me if no change.

My PC has been dead for some time. Can you take a look at it?

Sure. I’ll diagnose it for free so you’ll know in no time if a repair is feasible. If not, I’ll send it back or recycle it for you. Contact me for further information.

My PC is so slow that I can’t go on the Internet. I can’t even run an antivirus scan. What should I do?

Press the “F8” key when starting the PC. Select “Safe mode with Networking” from the Windows start-up menu. A limited, ugly version of Windows will load, slowly. Try to run the antivirus. This simple approach may not work depending on what’s ailing your PC, but it’s definitely worth a try.

My PC is slow (it has Windows Vista)

Vista is the slowest of them all, and is well worth getting rid of. I suggest an upgrade to Windows 7 or downgrade to Windows XP depending on your PC’s specification. I can asses the situation remotely, for free. Go to Contact me and select “Free Consultation.”

My laptop’s screen is dark but I think it’s working

Attach an external monitor. Borrow a monitor or take your laptop to a friend’s house if you have to. If you get a clear picture on the monitor it’s a problem with the laptop’s display (or more likely its control circuit, the “inverter board”). Back up your data, and Contact me.

My computer suddenly slows down during startup, or when loading applications

There could be many reasons, usually Windows trouble involving registry corruption. Fastest solution is to re-install Windows (see “I think I have a virus…”). Sometimes, however, this can be traced back to a faulty hard drive or even an over-heating CPU. Contact me if the re-install doesn’t help or if you want me to do it for you.

I think my PC could use a bit of cleaning, inside and out (I have pets)

Keeping the ventilation routes open is important. Blocked air intakes or exhausts lead to overheating. Overheating leads to sluggish performance, random shutdowns, and sudden death.
Laptops have very little margin with their cooling and are especially prone to the above symptoms. The best thing to do is to take them apart and clean the fans and heatsinks regularly. I recommend it at least once every 6 months. Contact me to arrange.
Desktop computers you can clean yourself if you’re OK to open the box. Unplug the computer and discharge yourself of static electricity by touching a grounded metal object. Then use an anti-static soft brush or a can of air around the fans. Do not use hard brushes, liquids, powders or any other tool or substance that may harm electronics. Contact me if in doubt or if you want me to do it for you.
In addition to cleaning, desktop computers can be cat-and-dog-proofed to a good degree by adding air intake filters and performing some other minor modifications. Contact me to arrange.

I have an other question you haven’t answered here!

Use the “Contact me” tab. Keep it within the context of PC repair, obviously.

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Who Am I?

Hi, Sandor here. Thanks for visiting. Computer trouble in Japan? You've come to the right place!


I am 34 years old, and have been fixing computers since 1994, since before I finished high school. Then I got a degree in Computer Science, had my own PC shop, worked at a top laptop maker in England. Then I came to Japan; it's what I always wanted to do.


I pride myself in providing the best service possible and by being honest about my work. I now service all of Japan by a simple mail-in system. Use the "Contact Me" tab on the top menu to get in touch.


Contact Me

Testimonials

Sandor is the best! If you are someone, like me, who needs to have computer stuff explained ‘like you are a 6 year-old’, then you have come to the right guy! I was having trouble with my wireless modem hookup and also needed to upgrade my RAM memory….Sandor very carefully explained what I needed to do, he even found me some videos on YouTube to help me along. If he thought my questions were silly, (and believe me, I’m sure they were!!), he was very polite and made me feel not so naive in the ways of the computer. Thank you so much Sandor…..I will share your name and this site with anyone who needs the help!! Debbie Kuroiwa, Nagasaki City, Japan


Hey Sandor thanks for the Mac advice and for getting me the hard to find parts for my iMac G4 so quickly. You really saved the day. Thanks again. /RF/ Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan


Hey Sandor: Just a quick note to say thanks for diagnosing fixing my computer so effectively (and so cheaply). I am writing you from my computer now, and it is still running strong! Much gratitude.

Doug Colbert from Anjo, Aichi, Japan


As a truly satisfied customer - I heartily recommend the services of Sandor to anyone having PC related issues. Of all the people I have dealt with regarding PC related issues in Japan – he is the best. Not only is he an expert in his field – but he aims for the most cost effective solution. I have truly benefitted from his good advice & constant updates and genuinely admire his integrity. What more can I ask for ?

Anirvan Mukherjee ( Vice President - Nomura Securities Ltd, Tokyo )


Hi Sandor! I must to say, we have never met as good computer expert as you are! You were the first, who solved our problems as we wanted to, as we needed to. Your work was always quick, professional and practical. And: you never wanted to organize our computer liking yourself! :-) Since you moved to Japan, we all the time hope, some time you will go back to Hungary!

Ági and Gábor from Budapest, Hungary


...He worked well within the team and his attitude and performance was of a very high standard. He was a very honest and reliable member of the team.

Neil Chauhan, my former boss at Rock Direct, UK


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