Where can I get a Windows 7 Computer?

This is a question I hear frequently. If you are like me and prefer Windows 7 to 8 you are in luck (for now). Discount Electronics has loads of Windows 7 Laptops and Windows 7 Computers.

It doesn’t look like there is any relief in sight. Microsoft is replacing Windows 8 with Windows 8.1? Expect Windows 7 computers to become harder and harder to find. If any of you were around for Windows Millennium (ME) you know what I mean. 6 months into the launch of ME we had a wait list of customers looking for 98SE computers. I am hopeful the situation doesn’t get as bad this time around. But I have a couple Windows 7 laptops hoarded for myself just in case ;)

We here at Discount Electronics will do our best to keep an assortment of Windows 7 computers and laptops in stock at very affordable prices. And as always, each and every one will come with our now famous one year warranty.

Cryptolocker Ransomware


First there were viruses, then Malware and now Ransomware. If you have ever wondered why anyone would do such a thing the answer is now clear. Money. As of today it is estimated that Cryptolocker creators have cleared over $30M US.

Once the thieves behind Cryptolocker have encrypted your files you will have 4 days to $300 by Bitcoin. A popup appears on your screen with a countdown starting at 96 hours. The warning indicates that if you don’t pay up all your encrypted personal files will be gone forever. And that is an accurate statement.

How do you catch Cryptolocker? It is most often transmitted as an executable disguised as a PDF file. Customers have told us that it appeared to be an accounting report.

How does Cryptolocker work? Cryptolocker encrypts users’ files with asymmetric encryption. This type of encryption requires a public and private key. The most recent version, detected as WORM_CRILOCK or WORM_CRILOCK.A allows both the infection and encryption to access removable drives.

How do I protect myself from CryptoLocker? The most important thing to do right now is have incremental backups that are not attached to your PC or the web. There are several accounts of the encryption infecting DropBox and Google Drive. Not to say that you are at additional rick using these types of backups only that they do not protect you from infection or encryption.

Avoiding file sharing will limit the risk of exposure but as these executables are cleverly disguised it is impossible to be 100% sure you won’t trip over one as an email attachment.


Can I Customize a Refurbished Computer or Laptop?


Not that long ago, the answer to that question was ‘no’. We here at Discount Electronics were asked that very question so often that we had to do something about it because, well, we just hate to say no to our customers.

So now the answer is ‘yes’, you can customize a refurbished Dell PC or laptop. Want to double the memory, no problem. Want a second hard drive, sure thing. You want a dual video card and 2 monitors? Coming right up.

It took us a little while to get the website side of things up and running but the real tricky part was getting the equipment upgraded in time to get it in UPS trucks the same day you ordered. After all we are known as the fastest computer store in the West. But with a little schooling from Henry Ford and some trial and error we are now right on schedule.

Every custom PC or Dell Laptop you order before 3pm will ship the same day. That stands even if you want a bigger hard drive, more memory AND a wireless network card. Go ahead, test us.

What to do With Your Old Gadgets?

Sell Us Your Electronic Stuff

So you moved up to the latest and greatest iPad or or Android phone. Now what do you do with the old one? You could leave it in the kitchen drawer for a couple years, give it to a needy neighbor or turn it into that paperweight you always wanted. Or you could turn it into cold hard cash.

Discount Electronics will pay you on the spot for your old electronic stuff. We buy tablets, phones, laptops, monitors, computers, laser printers, computer parts, game consoles, electronics guitars and other instruments, LCD TVs and just about anything else with an on/off switch.

It’s easy. Just bring your stuff and your ID into any of our stores and we will make you a fair offer and buy it on the spot. Even if you aren’t close to one of our Central Texas stores Money Matt G will help you sell your stuff through UPS.

No matter whether you have one broken iPad or your company has 100 old laptops  we’ll buy them all. Just come on buy or give us a call at 512-459-0026.

Can I Upgrade a Refurbished PC or Desktop Computer?

Upgrade Before You Buy

One disadvantage of buying used or even refurbished laptops and computers was the fact that you couldn’t customize them as need to fit your use. Well that has changed. As of August of this year DiscountElectronics.com will allow you to upgrade the refurbished laptops and computers they sell. You can double the memory, add a bigger hard drive or even add a wireless card to your PC.

As much of our daily computing becomes web or cloud based refurbished computers and laptops make more and more sense. For most of us all we need out of a computer is a screen, keyboard, browser and an internet connection. Sure a big hard drive is great if you want to store your photos and music locally but with services like Google Music and Picasa some of us don’t even need that.

Truth of the matter is Facebook looks just as good on a $99 PC as it does on a new $500 computer. So why waste the money. The refurbished computers at DiscountElectronics.com have better warranties than those on new computers at Big Box retailers.

Where should I buy a Refurbished PC?

Refurbished Computers

You will find numerous retailers jumping on the refurbished computer bandwagon, all wanting to rid you of your hard earned money while shouting ‘go green’ in unison. Truth is they are just reselling refurbished computers and are not computer refurbishers.

Why does that matter to you? It matter because these big name, big box retailers will send you up stream when you have a problem. They are quick to broker the deal when it means taking your money but backing that transaction up with a warranty and customer service is not in the interest of their bottom line.

These big box retailers are not providing a service. They are just marking up the price. This is what makes Discount Electronics different. We refurbish, sell and warranty the computers ourselves. There are no middle men. That means a better price and a better warranty for you.

Buy your refurbished computer direct from Discount Electronics for as little as $99 and get a real one year parts and labor warranty. This isn’t a sideline for us, this is what we do. Since 1997 we have been refurbishing end of lease computers from Fortune 500 companies and selling them to individuals and small businesses all over the US at a fraction of the original price.

We have been on the Inc 5000 list of fastest growing companies in the US for 6 years in a row and win the coveted ‘Best of Austin’ award year after year for best computer store. We have 8 retail locations in Texas and 100+ employees. Discount Electronics knows computers and understands the economics of small business. Whether you need one or one hundred refurbished computers we are here to help.

Can I get a replacement key for my laptop keyboard?


That depends. How much time do you have? Although a replacement keyboard is easy to come by the keys are much harder to find. Even though all of the replacement keyboards for a particular laptop look alike and connect to the laptop in the same way, the method used to connect the keys to the laptop keyboard is very different keyboard to keyboard. That is because one model laptop may have as many as 6 different keyboards. They all look the same on the surface but each is different when it comes to keys.

The Dell Latitude D620 keyboard is a great example. The keyboard itself is simple to install and any keyboard from any Dell Latitude D620 will easily fit another D620. They keys are not nearly as interchangeable. There are 6 models of keyboard for the D620. Each keyboard has completely different keys giving you less than a 17% chance the key you get will fit.

You are much better off buying a complete replacement laptop keyboard. They are much easier to find and install.

Should I buy the extended warranty?


Let me answer that with another question. What’s wrong with the warranty that came with the computer? Many big box retailers are charging in excess of $100 for in store warranties. One sales associate described it to me like this. ‘If you don’t buy the extended warranty you are at the mercy of the manufacturer and we all know how that can be.’ While his statement may have been accurate it was not reassuring.

Why is it that goods can be sold with such flimsy warranties? Big box retailer #1 will stand behind the computer or laptop you buy from them for 14 days and then either you pay big bucks for the extended warranty or take a hike. I asked specifically, ‘If this laptop’s hard drive fails 6 weeks from now could I return it for an exchange?’ ‘Absolutely not.’ The clerk says. ‘If you have paid for the extended warranty we will fix it. If you didn’t buy the warranty you will need to take it up with the manufacturer.’ Then he ads ‘I’m not sure they’d cover a hard drive, since there is software on it.

I think there is something inherently wrong with all of this. That is why Discount Electronics includes an in store warranty on every product we sell at no additional charge. You never need to go back to the manufacturer. Every Computer and Laptop we sell comes with a year long parts and labor warranty. If that PC or notebook fails withing a year we will fix it for you for free. And we’ll do it right there in that store, fast. If you bought it online our Wall Street facility will preform the repair.

I am often asked why Discount Electronics is so successful and why the stores are always so busy. Service after the sale is the answer I always give. Buy one computer or laptop from us and you will never buy anywhere else again. Why would you? We can sell you quality Dell equipment at a fraction of the original cost and give you a warranty better than the one you pay for at the Big Box retailer. Many of our computers and laptops are so cheap that you will pay less for the computer and the warranty than you would pay for the warranty alone at the other store.

So the answer to the first question is NO.

Where can I find replacement Alienware parts?


Over the past couple years we have been asked about Alienware parts quite often. When Dell first bought Alienware it was difficult to find used and refurbished Alienware parts. Well we finally have good news. Now that Dell has fully absorbed Alienware and is manufacturing the high end laptops such as the M11x, M14x, M17x and M18x parts are becoming available. A quick search of DiscountElectronics.com for Alienware returns over 100 matches. Now Alienware users can get great prices on replacement parts too.

Is the PC Dead?


Is the PC dead?

Not by a long shot. The worst numbers I’ve seen indicate a 7.6% decline in PC sales. Some people would have you think that many of us are throwing our laptops and desktops into the landfill and replacing them with tablets and smart phones. That simply is not the case.

The slowdown in PC sales is the result of a couple things that have nothing to do with the world abandoning their computers. For one, most of us have computers. There are very few first time buyers left. Secondly, the computers we have work just fine, and if they don’t, we can get them fixed or upgraded. There just isn’t anything out there to make a person desire a new PC right now.

It is going to take some new technology that my PC doesn’t have to make me buy a new one. Some analysts thought that would be Windows 8. Clearly, it wasn’t. There are some things on the horizon that could spark a surge in upgrades. Google’s fiber network is one. (fiber.google.com) I don’t think you will get those gigabit download speeds on your (not so) Smartphone.

The thought that a Smartphone can replace a computer is ridiculous. Yes these gadgets do many of the same things you were doing with your PC, but there is just too much you can’t do efficiently with a touch device. I often wonder what devices these bloggers are using to write their ‘Death of the PC’ stories. My guess is they are using a good old fashioned computer keyboard.

PC and automobile sales are similar in that they both started out a luxury item and became a necessity. After WWII, when automobile production began again, automobile sales grew year after year at steady pace until 1967, when the number of unit sales dropped in the US by nearly 10 percent. The pent up demand had been met and fewer people needed cars. That wasn’t the death of the auto industry. Although there is no longer explosive growth in US auto industry there were 50% more new cars and trucks sold in 2012 than in 1967.

Smartphones are to computers as bicycles are to cars. 20 years from now you will still have some form of computer in your home and your office. To quote Michael Dell ‘Overwhelmingly, PCs are still how business gets done around the world.’