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What Knowledge do I need?


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#1 leznah

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Posted 26 June 2010 - 06:45 AM

Hi and good day to everyone. I love troubleshooting my computer and my friends' as well. But sometimes its so complicated for me. I mean motherboard goes dead, video card does not display, power supply has no power. I know it involves those tiny little components on them. I want to go further, i mean more in depth. I want to learn how to repair those boards, like replacing those capacitors, ics, chips etc. So here's my question. What knowledge do i need in order to perform those repairs. I mean do I need to learn electronics? What books can help me achieve my primary goal? Is there any reference available in the net for this? please lend ma a couple of suggestions or advice. Tnx a lot and more power!

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#2 the_patriot11

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Posted 26 June 2010 - 01:35 PM

you would need to know what each of the little chips does (the black rectangles) and how they work with the others. You can purchase new ones from the manufacturer, usually for about $3 a chip. You also need to know how and be very proficient with a soder gun and intricate wiring.

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#3 Eyesee

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Posted 26 June 2010 - 03:01 PM

Hello Lezna and welcome to the forum

Parts are rarely, if ever repaired anymore. They are simply replaced.
The circuitry on them is so sophisticated and complicated that they themselves are put together by computers.

A component is either good or bad. It either works or it doesnt.
Determining the exact cause of failure in a component might be an exercise in futility IMO
In the beginning there was the command line.

#4 ddeerrff

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Posted 26 June 2010 - 04:07 PM

Parts are rarely, if ever repaired anymore. They are simply replaced.


True, but that doesn't mean the boards are not repairable. It simply means that labor costs are so high that it is more economical to simply replace a board than repair it.

The circuitry on them is so sophisticated and complicated that they themselves are put together by computers.

The boards are certainly machine assembled, but they are still just basic electronics. Nothing magical there. Some of the component mounting arrangements (such as Ball grid arrays) do take specialized equipment to rework.

A component is either good or bad. It either works or it doesnt.

Wish that were true. The hardest failure to find is the intermittant failure. And intermittants are all too common.

Determining the exact cause of failure in a component might be an exercise in futility IMO

..or it could be a very satisfying experience.


Might want to check your library for Horowitz and Hill "The Art of Electronics". Pretty much the bible of basic electronics. Then just a lot of self-research, or perhaps 2 years at a trade school. If you are interested in computers only, I think there are some specialized trade schools out there that will do it in less than two.
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#5 BlackSpyder

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Posted 26 June 2010 - 10:46 PM

Sometimes it best to "cut your losses and run" for example my desktop needs a new motherboard I could get a friend of mine to fix it but the board is only $50 at the local shop given his charge plus downtime I'd be better off with the new board. However, I would start with testing the PSU assuming you have a DVOM (Digital Volt/Ohm Meter) handy. No need to assume the Motherboard is bad when there could be a short in the PSU causing it not to turn on (or for that matter the actual power button may be bad.)

Here's how to test the PSU

The purpose of this procedure is to bypass the motherboard to test a ATX PSU. Some manufacturers Like Dell have used some non ATX PSUs which have a different pinout for the 20/4 pin connector, please confirm that your PSU is a ATX type before using this procedure.

Caution:
This procedure will involve working with live 12VDC electrical potentials which if handled improperly may lead to electrical shock. Proper precautions should also be taken to prevent electrostatic discharges (ESDs) within the case of the computer. For safety purposes please follow the instructions step by step.

First, shutdown your computer. Then unplug the power cable going into your computer.

Once you have opened the case, touch the metal of the case to discharge any static electricity.

The connector of the PSU which connects to the motherboard is readily recognizable by the number of wires in the bundle. To disconnect it you will need to press on the plastic clip to disengage it and then pull the connector up and away from the motherboard. Please take notice of the location of the locking tab and the notch on the socket of the motherboard, this will only connect one way as it is keyed. This wire bundle will have a memory of the way it has been installed and will want to bend back that direction, you may have to play around with it to find a position that the connector will stay in the same position while you run the test.

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From the top left to right the pins are 13-24, the bottom from left to right are 1-12.


Please notice that there are PSUs with 24 pin and 20 pin connectors, the location of the green wire in the 24 pin connector is #16, and the green wire in the 20 pin connector is #14. If you look at the connector with socket side facing you and the clip on the top the number one pin will be on the bottom left corner. This makes the pin out for the 24 pin connector from left to right 13-24 on top, and 1-12 on the bottom. The pin out for the 20 pin connector from left to right is 11-20 on top , and 1-10 on the bottom. If you look at the connectors you notice that these are sockets that fit over the pins on the motherboard where the PSU cable attaches, this is where you will place the jumper. For a jumper you will need a piece of solid wire about the size of a paper clip (20-22 awg), preferably a wire with insulation. It will need to be large enough to fit firmly into the socket so that it will not need to be held in place while testing. You are at risk of electrical shock if you are holding the jumper when you power up the PSU. Insert one end of the jumper into the socket of the Green wire, and insert the other end into the socket of any Black wire.

Once the jumper is in place plug the cord back in. If the PSU is working properly the case fans, optical drives, hdds, and LEDs should power up and remain on. I would suggest that you not leave this connected any longer than is necessary for safety purposes.

To reconnect the 20/4 pin connector unplug the power cord, remove the jumper, and reconnect the connector. Take a moment at this time to make sure that nothing has been dislodged inside the case.


For testing the Power button place the DVOM in "diode" or "Continuity check" mode most buttoms have 3 terminals on them 1 is ground one is the light and the other is incoming power. The Incoming and Light terminals should have continuity to the ground terminal when the button is pressed and not when the button is pressed again (Continuity mode should beep at you to tell you there is continuity there)

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#6 leznah

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Posted 27 June 2010 - 08:03 AM

Thanks for the reply guys, and also thanks for the guide involving the PSU sir Black. In our country repairs are not that expensive depending on the item. The charges are based on how the item's price when you purchased them. For example, a brandnew motherboard worth $200 can be repaired under $80, parts/labor included with warranty . If you buy a second hand motherboard with the same brand and model let say...$150 then the repair price also drops under $40. For me its cheap, thats why I became interested in the field of computer repair. The reason for this is, they don't rely on how much you charge a client.. its how many clients you can charge. The basics is... low pricing=many clients or high price=few clients. The popularity is also a factor, some technicians here loves the feeling of being popular in a way how they repair an item successfully or professionally. Sometimes money is not an issue although they make a living out of this. A simple "Thank You sir for repairing my item and saving me more money" makes them very happy ^_^V




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