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pc repair service

Discussion in 'Tech Support' started by FILTHY1337, 21 Mar 2008.

  1. FILTHY1337

    FILTHY1337 Senior Overclocker

    4 Jan 2004
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    thinking about venturing into an at home pc repair service, just curious what software and hardware you guys would recomend having on hand, oem os disks ect. Also I need a cool name, my sister said pc paramedics. Any ideas?
  2. Squadexodus

    Squadexodus I got my cookie. What about you?

    5 Jan 2008
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    Well, i would reccomend atleast 15 of each cable. A server would be good for a website, and some locked cd holders.
  3. FILTHY1337

    FILTHY1337 Senior Overclocker

    4 Jan 2004
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    yea im gunna need a but load of cables, but im not really looking to do the website thing mainly because im trying for word of mouth in a small community with a large seasonal influx. All i need a a few bungalow colonies and im make some nice money.
  4. Scirocco

    Scirocco Boobs, I have them, you lose.

    3 Jul 2007
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    Just off the top of my head, I can think of the following (I'm sure there's more, it's just way late here):

    PSU testers
    Everest and other load/test software
    Whatever that ultimate boot CD is that people have mentioned on the forums here before
    Replacement heatsink/fans and case fans in various sizes
    Soldering gun, flux, etc.
    Molex pin removers and spare bits
    Various adware and spyware removers, anti-virus and firewall type software
    Assortment of adapters, connectors and cables as you've mentioned
    Decent tools, including range of screwdrivers, both slot and phillips
    Hex keys and wrenches
    Wire cutters/strippers
    Tweezers and pliers
    Thermal interface material, paste and tape, a good idea to have the tim adhesive as well
    Multi-format flash memory card reader
    CMOS batteries
    If possible spare AGP and PCI-E video cards to trade out and test for failed cards
    Maybe some various memory types to do the same with
    Note paper and pens/pencils
    Spare psu to test with
    Mouse and keyboard

    Hmm, that's all I can think of at the moment to get you on your way to be well-equipped.
  5. johnmalc

    johnmalc That shouldn't happen....

    7 Jul 2007
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    I've been doing this for 15 years and the best piece of advice I can give you is this. If you are dealing with end users then, as a general rule, working on it in their house, unless it is a locale specific problem, is counter-productive. They'll have you constantly distracted with non-related problems, lean over your shoulder, try to stuff you full of tea and biscuits etc etc etc. So, unless a quick fix is available, get it into the workshop where you can deal with the problem surrounded by the equipment you need to test it. If I have fixed a badly behaving machine I want it running overnight at least to make sure all is ok before handing it back to the customer. Oh, and you'll wonder how end users are allowed out of the house without a responsible adult......:wallbash:

    Cynical, moi?

    As for equipment, a laptop (to try to replicate a locale specific problem), a USB "gadget" with an HDD connector at the other end so that you can connect the laptop directly to their HDD without dismantling the PC (both PATA and SATA available), a working knowledge of every wireless router on the planet, a ton of patience and a very thick skin....

    I wish you all the best with your venture :thumb:
  6. ryanjleng

    ryanjleng ...

    15 Nov 2007
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    first of all a big room with large tables :)

    The links are not recommendation but just a guide. other sites are probably cheaper.


    [1] Digital PSU Tester & RJ45 Tester

    [2] Lab Power Supply Unit with variable V

    [3] Soldering stuff+tools, glue gun, flaming torch, heat-shrink wiring tubes, sleeves, assorted wires and connectors founds PC PSU Fans and etc.

    [4] Digital Multimeters

    [5] Lab Bench light with Magnifier

    [6] Tool box with screwy drivers, cutters, normal & reverse tweezers, pliers, hex keys, crimping tools, angled mirror on stick :)

    [7] Assorted screws, risers + etc

    [8] Flexible and angled torch lights.

    [9] Anti ESD tools and stuff. Rubber Mats. Watch out chair fabric and carpet (if any) due to ESD. Dry and air conditioned environment is deadly.

    [10] Table wire support. My lab has all the PC cables and wires off the floor. Power is on a separate metal conduit away from the data conduit and some power down from the ceiling on a retractor. Easy cleaning, reduced dust trap, less prone to accidents & ets


    [1] Spare PSU, HDDs, USB External HDD, bunch of USB thumb drives

    [2] APC UPS (at least 1000VA recommended) for Firmware BIOS flashing, real time tracking system WATT draws via APC software.

    [3] KVM switch, USB hubs.

    [4] Networking Swtich, Routers, Modem, Cat-5E, Cat-6, UTP, STP, USB-RJ45 NIC,

    [5] USB Headphones or USB-Audio dongle to test Sound failure.

    [6] Box full of casing closures, heat sinks and fans

    [7] assorted converters, connectors, adapters for Audio, Video, Data, USB, PS2, RJ45 Stright-->Cross Female-Female, 2 way IDE-SATA & etc

    [8] Alcohol, lighter fluid and cotton buds. We drink and smoke while cleaning our ears :)

    [9] a spare 1.44 Floppy drive :p

    SOFTWARE Windows only (too much to list here..)

    HDD Tools (Mostly Free)
    * Look for DriveImage XML, RAID Reconstructor and etc.

    Sysinternals Tools (Free)
    * They got some of the BEST windows tools

    SpinRite (Commercial) & Security Tools (Free)
    * SpinRite is useful for HDD data recovery caused by sector degradation or failure. Look for other free tools as well. It can also kill old HDD that is more than 4 or 5 years old by stressing the hell out of the mechanical parts.

    CPU-Z (Free)

    Prime95 (Free)
    * Best for system reliability and testing memory failure on chipset side.

    Memtest86+ (Free)
    * Best for testing faulty DIMM module. Gets false Errors on Mac system as of now.

    Unknown Device (Free)
    * Best Unknown Device Windows Hardware identifier. Can update hardware profile list.

    DTemp (Free)
    * Get a general HDD temp.

    SpeedFan (Free)
    * System temp and fan speed. generally reliable but can fail sometimes.

    CoreTemp (Free)
    * Check CPU core temp to make sure thermal paste is not coated too think. :p

    SPDTool (Free)
    * Read the RAM fundamental specs regardless of what is on label.

    Derik Boot & Nuke (Free)
    * HDD wipe tool

    * Use filtering search with + or - and "". You can find solutions quicker than reading a book.

    Look for data undelete/unformat/unpartition tools. Most can be found in "Hiren BootCD".

    and TONS of not-so-legal to illegal tools can be found online that helps in repair and recovery.

    Home based non-invasive data recovery can earn good money.
  7. pranks7er

    pranks7er mange tout

    25 Dec 2002
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    google my fav tool

    oh and plenty of excuses whyy things may not be working i had to visit a house 3 times to fix a problem thankfully it sorted now and its always the simpliest so check the stupid things first suh as batterys, fuses, passwords, login in names etc, problem i had was a wireless issue and it turned out to be security settings too higt for the pcima card in laptop
  8. scimmy

    scimmy Minimodder

    17 May 2005
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    It's also handy to be able to look at the customer with a straight face even though they know that you've seen their collection of 'interesting photos' :)
  9. pranks7er

    pranks7er mange tout

    25 Dec 2002
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    haah i not found fotos but ive found history or links and ur like hmmmmm ok
  10. ryanjleng

    ryanjleng ...

    15 Nov 2007
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    Oh you hit a point i forgot Prank! Hacking.

    There are so many times i have to hack a system to recover access. I got a MacBook to explore xCode but end up installing KisMac and other tools to recover wireless access keys.

    Knowing how to use Linux and other OS is handy. Keeping an arsenal of hacking tools like oxid.it - Cain & Abel, SAMInside, OphCrack LiveCD and others can be useful. But some AV does not like them. I wonder why...
  11. GoodBytes

    GoodBytes How many wifi's does it have?

    20 Jan 2007
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    Don;t forget:
    - a pair of headphones to test Sound card output connector.
    - USB A to B cable (printer cable)
    - USB standard Cable for digital cameras
    - Firewire 4 to/and 6 pin cables male/female
    - USB male to female
    - USB male to female converter
    - OLD keyboard to PS/2 converter (expensive)
    - PS/2 to USB converter
    - Wired mouse and keyboard
    - Jumpers! and, if you are lucky, mini-jumpers for some rare old hard drive (I only have 1)
    - Case screws (in the case you lose one, or attach a device that did not come with screws), make sure you have black and white case screws and all the different varieties, including the ones that use to attack the mobo to a case
    - Quiet Fans all sizes.
    - Intel Core 2 Duo heatsink + fan
    - AMD Athlon X2 AM2 and S939 heatsink + fan (different heat sinks)
    - P4 Heatsink + fan
    - PIII Heatsink + fan
    - PII Heatsink + fan
    - AMD Athlon/Duron/Thunderbird heatsink + fan
    - Intel Celeron and PII cartrage heatsink and fan
    - RCA and Optical cables (just in case you need them)
    - Standard sound input to RCA cable.
    - female to female USB and RCA connectors (to attach a longer cables).
    - Powerbar.
    - Software: Everest Ultimate.
    - Optical drive (CD-ROM/DVD-ROM/DVD-WR).
    - Floppy drive.
    - IDE connector.
    - IDE HDD connector.
    - IDE floppy connector.
    - IDE OLD floppy connector.
    - 4pin power connector to SATA power connector.
    - ATX 1 PSU.
    - ATX 2 PSU.
    - PSU tester.
    - Case frontal bay covers (black, beige, and white).
    - USB internal connector (the one that comes with mobo's to add the rest of the missing USB plugs).
    - 2, 4 and 6 Phone line cables for 56K modem and DSL.
    - High Quality TV Cables and female to female plugs in case an extension needs to be added, for Cable Internet (high quality else Extreme high speed users (30 and +50Mbps) users will see their internet going slower).
    - 4 and 6 Phone line extender.
    - Ethernet cables.
    - Ethernet cables Crossover.
    - Green case LED.
    - Yellow case LED.
    - Blue Case LED.
    - RED Case LED.
    - Case Power/Reset Button
    - Something to eject manually the Optical drive tray pin.
    - DVI connector.
    - VGA connector.
    - SATA cables.
    - External SATA cables.
    - DRR RAM stick.
    - DDR 2 RAM stick.
    - descent power bar.
    - Wall plug tester with ground indicator (low cost).
    - Printer paper, in case the persons is out of printer paper and you need to test their printer.
    - Regular Thermal paste.
    - Vista compatible AGP video card.
    - PCI-Express video card.
    - Blank DVD's to make backups.
    - Blank CD's.
    - Blank floppy (to install SATA driver for WinXP and older OS's and BIOS update).
    - AVG Anti-spyware free-edition or your favorite anti-spyware tool.
    - AVG Anti-rootkit free edition.
    - Windows Vista Ultimate/Buisness/Home Premium OEM disk 32 and 64-bit (in case an upgrade is needed of the OS or using cracked copy of Windows or asked for a Windows).
    - Windows XP Home\Professional\PRO 64-bit\Media Center OEM disk (in case an upgrade is needed of the OS or using cracked copy of Windows or asked for a Windows).
    - CD-Audio Connector for WIn98SE and older OS, and CD-ROM drives else no CD-audio to computer.
    - CD lens cleaner.
    - DVD lens cleaner.
    - MANY Air Cans, if you work at your office/Home then get an high power air pump, so that you spend a fortune on Air Cans.
    - Plastic Tie Wraps.
    - Cutting knife.
    - pair of scissors.
    - Screw drive set.
    - Extra IDE HDD.
    - Extra SATA HDD.
    - External SATA/USB Extrenal HDD in case you need to create a backup.
    - CCleaner sofware.
    - Low-end sound card.
    - Wireless card.
    - Ethernet Card.
    - USB Wireless stick (in case no free PCI slot, this can occur with small factor computers).
    - Full knowledge of big manufacture (HP, Dell, Toshiba, etc...) warranty.
    - All in one laptop power plug.

    that is all I can think off that I think was not mentioned.
  12. Smilodon

    Smilodon The Antagonist

    25 Mar 2003
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    UBCD, a screwdriver and a fair bit of knowledge should get you pretty far.

    I would NOT recommend to start this kind of business, though.
  13. Squadexodus

    Squadexodus I got my cookie. What about you?

    5 Jan 2008
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    Get a decent burn in emulator. If a computer would fail, it would do it in the burn in stage
  14. GoodBytes

    GoodBytes How many wifi's does it have?

    20 Jan 2007
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    @Smilodon, Why not? explain yourself PLEASE, else it is just meaningless.
  15. Smilodon

    Smilodon The Antagonist

    25 Mar 2003
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    Because while there are some people that are willing to pay over the top for a repair (usually people you know) most of the consumer marked in the IT industry want everything for free. And if you get them to pay many people tend to be very demanding (some people are rude enough to call you 4 o clock in the morning...) and time consuming. It seems like they believe repair service is a one time fee, not hour based payment.

    You also need to remember that the customer have warranties on repairs, so you'll have to take into account that you'll have to work for free sometimes. Troubleshooting can in many cases be pretty time consuming as well. I really can't see how you'll be able to make enough money on this to make it worth the effort.

    If you have the skills to start by yourself, i rather suggest getting a job in a repair shop. It's safer, and will probably make you more money because of a larger customer base.
  16. Xen0phobiak

    Xen0phobiak SMEGHEADS!

    8 Aug 2002
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    Eurosoft PC Check comes in handy very often.

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