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Hints and Tips on Computer Servicing

Computer repairs and upgrades are usually best done by professionals, however many of us like to get involved. Always use static protection. If improvising be safe..... have fun! 

Computer Repair Horror Stories. I was saddened to read the horror stories your readers submitted about computer repair jobs on hints-n-tips

The best tip I can give computer technicians and customers alike is to accurately diagnose the computer's problem before rushing into swapping parts or reinstalling Windows. To that end, I created an interactive version of the published book "Computer Repair with Diagnostic Flowcharts" which features eight hardware failure flowcharts with clickable decision symbols (diamonds) which bring the reader to text expansions on the particular decision. The site also includes a freely printable 30"x30" poster for boot failure diagnosis that I created for classroom use:

http://www.fonerbooks.com/pcrepair.htm 

Morris Rosenthal

Not often we plug someone else's Web site for free - after you have had a read of some of the stories here check out Morris's Web Site - it is a very useful resource if you have a problem.

Another Computer Horror Story  Here is my story of my work experience. I am 16 and i went for work experience for a week at a computer repair shop. I have to say flat out, the disrespect they showed for computers and their customers is absolutely astounding. I never want to take my computer to a shop to get fixed ever again. They were throwing RAM chips, swearing their  heads off, leaving customers' motherboards in direct sunlight (window sill) and just generally being absolute pigs. Swearing was a major part of the  workplace that i worked in, and although i refrained from engaging in such  activity, it was simply how they talked about the customers. When  someone  bought in a computer that required more than 5 minutes attention, they  were  called a 'dickhead' when they left, and they would laugh at people who  didn't know computer parts so well. It was just such a display of immaturity, it has made me wonder if IT is the industry that I *really* wanna work in. I dont want to end up being like them.

I remember one specific time, we went to an old mans house and his web browser had stopped working. We uninstalled the firewall and then reinstalled it and things seemed to be working. So we drove off to another house call. About 20 minutes after we left his house, my supervisor got a call on his mobile phone telling him that the man's internet had stopped working again. The supervisor got in such a rage and slammed his mobile shut and started swearing and saying 'That stupid old bastard. Now I've gotta drive all the way back there to fix it again.' Let me tell you something... I was in shock. This poor 80 year old man was  having troubles with his computer and obviously didn't know what was  doing  too well, and all my boss could do was curse about it instead of  helping  him. If that is the way that IT professionals conduct themselves in  their  work environment, then I am one person less that is going to be in  "their"  industry. - Alan Rhymer     13 Jun 2004

Why are so many technicians sloppy or just dishonest.  I am continually getting customers who have been ripped off by poor quality upgrades and repairs.  Some have been done by major outlets and organizations.  Last week my wife's friend brought me her machine which had been upgraded to a higher specification processor. There was no silicone thermal compound on the micro, half the screws were missing and  her memory was half the value it had been when she gave the computer in for the upgrade. The second memory DIMM had was not, as I had suspected come loose in the socket but had actually been stolen. The really bad people usually do go out of business but crook repair outfits are giving the computer service industry a bad name. -- Axel Klystron

Repairing computers is best done by people who have the experience and do not need to make big profits, chose someone who is recommended by a friend or acquaintance. My repairs and upgrades are done by a guy who works from home and has no expensive shop front to maintain, he is a retired IBM mainframe engineer and I get his full and highly expert attention for almost half the rate charged by the young poorly paid technicians at my main street shop which has a big sign offering "low cost repairs and upgrades"  -- Wilson Carter

Prevent damage to portable and notebook computers avoiding moving them while the hard drive is running. This also applies - to a lesser degree - to desktops -- Axel Klystron.

Screws removed from equipment can be stored and retained in sequence by poking them in to a piece of blue-tack or beeswax -- Robert

If you have to keep using the computers SETUP command in the BIOS (when you first switch on your computer) each time you switch it on, check the date it gives you, if the current date is reset to the earliest date (i.e. it says Tue, Jan 1, 1980, or something like that) then the computer's internal battery has probably died and needs to be replaced. - - GK Howard

Keep your computer out of direct sunlight if possible. -- Bill Carlton

Security: keep all of your computer gear away from prying eyes. Keep it all away from the window to deter burglars. -- R Holson

Never tackle a major computer repair job or upgrade if you are tired -- Jimmy Stewart  Stanmore, England

Hard Drives

If your hard drive is over four years old pay particular attention to backing up your data.  Life expectancy of drives made four years ago means that around 50% of them should have started to deteriorate - - Robin Edmunds

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