Questions about policies
Q: If I call to find out if you have something will you hold it for me?
A: No, we do not do holds over the phone.
Q: Do you do trades?
A: No, we do not do trades. You can however get a receipt and write it off on your taxes!
Q: Will you call me when a certain item comes in?
A: No, we are a thrift store and operate similarly to any other. If you are looking for something which is more sought after you’ll have to make regular visits.
Q: Can I install Windows on a computer I buy there?
A: Yes, and we understand that sometimes people need to do this to use a specific program for work or school. However we cannot provide any kind of software support for Windows, and you will need to be able to get it installed and running on your own. We will still guarantee the hardware on the system for six months.
Q: Are all the items in your store tested?
A: Many of the items we get in are tested, however we do sell certain items untested. Most are exchangeable for two weeks for store credit unless otherwise stated.
Q: I bought a hard drive from you and my computer won’t recognize it.
A: We wipe out all hard drives, you will need to format the drive before you can use it. Each operating system requires a different file system and utilizes different tools in order to put that file system on a drive. Additionally the file system will differ depending on what the drive will be used for: if you want to install an operating system, if the drive will be used to store files etc. If you are attempting to format the drive using the Linux OS we recommend a tool called G-Part-Ed. If you are still having problems with the hard drive you purchased from us, bring it back for an exchange or store credit.
Q: Can you fix my computer?
A: No, we can’t do work on any computer which hasn’t originated from Free Geek. We can give you recommendations on people to call in town, and we also have volunteer programs where you can learn all about building and fixing computers!
Questions about what we sell
Q: Do you have laptops?
A: Yes! Check out this page of our site or come in and take a look.
Q: When is a good time to check for more laptops?
A: There is no specific time we get laptops in stock. They come in throughout the day and with varying frequency.
Q: Do you have laptop power adapters?
A: Yes, we have may typical laptop adapters in stock. Laptop adapters vary in voltage, amperage, and even the plug style, soin order to make sure we have the right one for you bring your laptop in.
Q: Do you carry Mac laptop power adapters?
A: We have the older, non-magnetic style in stock pretty regularly. We currently do not carry any of the newer, “magsafe” styles. For those, we recommend either a Mac store or purchasing online.
Q: Do you have a new screen, motherboard, or keyboard for my laptop?
A: While we do carry some laptops which we sell for parts the stock is very minimal and in general consists of older machines. If you know exactly what you need, and are familiar enough with building laptops to replace it, come by and take a look at our stock. We will not be able to answer questions over the phone regarding specifics of what we have in stock.
Q: Do you have more memory for my computer?
A: We carry many different types, speeds, and sizes of RAM for both desktops and laptops. First you need to know what kind and how much memory your computer can take. A good place to check is the manufacturer’s web site or search a site like http://www.google.com the model of your computer and the words “memory upgrade.” If you do not have access to the internet, write down your computer’s model number and you can do research in our store.
Q: Do you have SATA drives?
A: We typically have 3.5″ (desktop) SATA drives in stock, but 2.5″ (laptop) drives are still pretty rare for us.
Q: Do your hard drives have anything installed on them?
A: No, we wipe all hard drives as part of the testing process and for data security. You will need to reformat any drive you purchase from us.
Q: Do you have external hard drives?
A: Every now and then we’ll see them come in. However they’re fairly inexpensive new, so if it’s a time sensitive thing we recommend you check out a local shop.
Q: Do you have LCD monitors?
A: We have a large stock of tested monitors in a range of sizes.
Q: How big are your LCD monitors?
A: Most of them start at 19 inches, although we will occasionally see some larger, and some wide-screen styles.
Q: How much do LCD monitors cost?
A: It depends on the size and quality. They are generally priced between $40 and $90.
Q: When will you have more LCD monitors?
A: We usually get in LCD monitors each day. However like the rest of our stock, it fluctuates. We have no way to predict when we will get more.
Q: Do you have LCD power adapters?
A: Yes, but we have a limited selection. The best way to make sure we have the right one is for you to bring your monitor in.
Q: What type of power adapters do you have?
A: We keep most of our power adapters behind the counter. In the case of standard wall warts, they are arranged by voltage and amperage. If you are looking for say, a standard 12 V 1 A power adapter chances are we might have it. Bring your device in to be sure. That way we can see what size the plug needs to be and make sure of the power it needs. The same applies for laptop power adapters. While we do have many, there’s also some fairly common ones we never get. We never see newer Mac laptop (“magsafe”) power supplies. A lot of times we have to buy laptop power supplies new from the manufacturer, or on Ebay just to meet our testing needs.
Q: Do you have wireless cards?
A: Not always, but often times we do. When in stock, we will typically see wireless-G, but do get in wireless-N cards from time to time. Stop by to be sure.
Q: Do you have wireless routers?
A: We try to keep a stock of these, but do tend to run out from time to time. Stop by to be sure.
Q: Do you have cable modems?
A: No, almost all of these modems are locked out of their service after the original owner’s contract expired. As a result, almost all of these devices no longer function as advertised.
Q: Do you have DSL modems?
A: No, we do not stock these devices as most of them do not function by the time we receive them.
Q: Do you have USB flash drives?
A: We see them come in, but they’re not very common. You can find 4 GB flash drives online or in stores for around $10 – $15.
Q: Do you have digital tv converter boxes?
A: We do see these come in, but they’re rare. If you make frequent visits you may find one someday.
Q: Do you have computer speakers?
A: From time to time, we have in solo computer speakers, but we give these away with each system we grant, so we do not have a surplus to sell. However we typically have computer speakers with sub woofers as a set. These are bulkier, but have a nicer overall sound.
Q: Do you have copies of the Windows or Mac operating system?
A: No, we cannot resell any copies we get donated. Additionally we support open source software like Linux. Want to learn more? Stop by or check out http://www.ubuntu.com.
Q: What the heck is Linux? And what is Ubuntu?
A: Linux is an open source operating system. Just like Windows or the Mac OS it is a fully functional operating system, except it’s free and you don’t have to worry about getting viruses! Ubuntu is just one flavor of Linux, and is fairly intuitive for new users. It’s also endlessly customizable for your preferences. Interested in learning more? Stop by and we’ll take you on a tour on one of our demo machines. Alternatively you can check out http://www.ubuntu.com.
Q: But isn’t Linux older and out of date?
A: On the contrary, Linux and especially Ubuntu Linux (the version we install on all of our machines) is updated very regularly. New releases come out twice a year, and every fourth is supported long-term. The newest version even has support for I-pods and I-phones.
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