Fixing things yourself is the least expensive way to go, but it can sometimes be time-consuming. If you're not able to fix things in a timely way, it can make sense to cut your losses and call in the experts.
Options include taking your computer to a local computer repair shop, using a remote tech support service such as PlumChoice Computer Help that attempts to fix things over the Internet, or having a support technician visit your premises from a service such as Rescuecom.
Recently, one of my kids trashed her PC. Trying System Restore, located in the System Tools folder of the Accessories folder, didn't help. Reinstalling Windows didn't help. I had to reformat the hard drive and start from scratch. My hair being nearly completely pulled out by then, I called in Rescuecom to reattach her PC to our home network.
Reid Goldsborough is a syndicated columnist and author of the book Straight Talk About the Information Superhighway. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or http://www.netaxs.com/~reidgold/column.