There is no secret formula, however, there is a cost benefit ratio to consider. How much should you spend to repair your current computer? How much should you spend on a new similar one? The first thing to consider is what is wrong with your current computer? A reputable computer repair company should be able to diagnose the problem within an hour. Depending on the problem, you will need to consider time and cost involved for repairs. For example, if you have a relatively simple problem like changing or adding RAM to your computer, the repair should take less than an hour and cost about $100 (approximately $50 for RAM plus one hour of labor). In this case, it might be worth your while to repair or upgrade your current computer. However, if you have a more complex issue such as a failing hard drive, you will need someone to recover your data (documents, pictures, music, videos, etc.), install a new hard drive, and load an operating system and all of your applications at the minimum. The cost of a new hard drive is around $75 and you can expect labor to be between $150 and $200. Considering that a new “middle of the road” computer costs around $400-$500, in this case it might make more sense to spend another hundred dollars or so and invest in a new computer all together. As you can see the repair costs can add up quickly. Remember to work with a reputable vendor who can guide you through your options and prevent you from getting sold into a computer you don’t need, or spending a fortune to unnecessarily repair your older one.