PC Repair Technician | Electrostatic Discharge | Personal Computers

PC Repair Technician

By Ben Dennis

Objectives
 How a PC Tech deals with customers  Tools needed by the PC tech  How PC a Tech works inside a computer
case  How The PC Tech approaches and solves a problem or problems

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Introduction
 Repair Skills:

 Using common-sense guidelines to isolate
and solve problems  Working inside the computer case  Determining if a problem occurs before or after a boot  Troubleshooting and solving failed boot problems  Troubleshooting Intermittent problems
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Customer Interaction
 Set and agree on repair costs and fees before
doing any repair work.  Ask detailed questions about the computer, the problems it has and what happened when it stopped working  Ask if manuals, CDs, DVDs and other computer information can be obtained for the repairs from the customer  Give the customer an estimate, that must be agreed on, before repairs begin
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PC Support Technician Tools
 Help Repair a computer  Help diagnose and repair computer problems  Criteria for choosing tools:  Level of PC support expected to provide  Amount of money that can be spend  Some essential tools:  Ground bracelet, ground mat, antistatic bags  Assortment of hand tools and test equipment  Recovery CD, DVD, or USB Drive for target OS and other required software  Store tools in toolbox for PC troubleshooting
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PC technician tools

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Recovery CDs
        
Used to boot a system Also used to repair and reinstall Windows Primary recovery CD sources PC manufacturer (preferred) Operating system distributor, such as Microsoft Some hard drives have a hidden recovery partitions A hidden partition can be used to reinstall Windows A utility for creating recovery CDs may be provided Access hidden utilities by pressing a Fn key at startup

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The Repair Tech must Deal with Dust
 Dust accumulates in layers over components  Two major problems due to dust blankets
PC components directly overheat Cooling fans jam, also resulting in overheating  Maintenance task: remove the layer of dust  Two tools used to remove dust:  Antistatic vacuum  Compressed air  

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How Repair Techs work inside Computers
 Objective: dismantle a computer, put it back together  Some safety precautions techs follow:
        Make notes that help backtrack Keep screws and other hardware orderly Do not stack boards on top of each other Do not touch the chips on circuit boards Do not use a graphite pencil to change DIP settings Turn off the power, unplug and ground the computer Do not remove covers of monitors or power supplies Keep components away from hair and clothing
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How Repair Techs deal with Static Electricity
 Build-up of charge due to absence of conductors  Electrostatic discharge (ESD)
 Due to dissimilar electrical surfaces making contact  Only 10 volts of ESD can damage PC components  Walking across carpet generates up to 12,000 volts  Two types of damage: catastrophic and upset failure  Tools and methods for grounding  Ground bracelet, ground mats, static shielding bags, antistatic gloves

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A ground bracelet, which protects computer components from ESD, can clip to the side of the computer case and eliminate ESD
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How Repair Techs Troubleshoot a PC Problem
 They make no assumptions and check simple things first  They don’t overlook the obvious and they isolate the    
problem; eliminating the unnecessary items They approach problems systematically and make backups before making any changes They use troubleshooting tools, equipment and procedures (both hardware and software) They use Post diagnostic cards, Diagnostic software, and General-Purpose Utility Software (Antivirus security testing, recovery, tune-up and benchmarking software) They use outside help when necessary (computer OEMs, other techs, and the internet)
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Steps Techs use to Solving a PC Problem
Four-step problem solving process:
    Step 1: Interview the Customer Step 2: Back up data Step 3: Solve the problem Step 4: Verify the fix and document the solution

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Investigating the Computer Problem
 What OS is installed?  What physical components are installed, CPU, memory
type, drives, expansion cards, peripherals, and networks  What is the nature of the problem-occurred before or after boot? Failed to Boot? Any error Messages?  Does the computer hang?  Can the problem be duplicated? ISOLATING THE PROBLEM:  Eliminate simple things first  Eliminate the unnecessary  Trade good for suspected bad  Trade suspected bad for good
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Preparing a Computer for Shipping
 Adverse factors to consider:
Rough handling Exposure to water, heat, and cold Misplacement or theft of computer  Some shipping guidelines to follow:  Backup the hard drive onto a backup medium  Remove inserted disks, tape cartridges, or CDs  Coil and secure all external cords  Separately wrap hardware components  Purchase insurance on the shipment   
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References
 Tools from Tecratools.com  Visuals from TechRepublic.com

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