How Much Time is Enough?

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Knowing how much time to set aside can help you avoid some unexpected delays.

Whenever you’re planning on doing some type of upgrade, software install, or general repair on your computer it’s important to make sure you allow enough time to complete the process. Certain projects like OS upgrades can’t be paused once you start so it’s critical to make sure you really understand the requirements before you get started to avoid being stuck without a computer for an extended period of time.

As a general rule of thumb, I plan for about 50% more time than I would normally expect under ideal circumstances.

So what is the expected time for an upgrade that you’re doing yourself? You can consult the following table for an idea of how long certain computer repairs or upgrades may take:

Upgrade ItemIdeal TimeTime w/Contingency
RAM Upgrade15 Minutes30 Minutes
Adding a 2nd Hard Drive30 Minutes45 Minutes
Operating System Upgrade60 Minutes90 Minutes*
Operating System Clean Install60 Minutes90 Minutes*
Printer Install15 Minutes30 Minutes
Video Card Install30 Minutes45 Minutes

*For operating system upgrades/installs, you must also consider the time required to re-install all of your programs, printers, and other peripherals. You also must consider the time to back up your data prior to the install and then restoring the data back to the new operating system. The time can vary, but make sure you leave yourself open to spending multiple hours performing these tasks. If it’s too daunting for you, hire a professional.

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