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Old 05-27-2018, 01:04 PM   #1
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Default Small Computer Repair Start-up

If I am to start a small computer repair business, for me, self-employed. Can anyone list the basic tools and equipment that I need to be able to repair computers for customers?

Thanks
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Old 05-27-2018, 07:28 PM   #2
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Default Re: Small Computer Repair Start-up

Basic stuff (installing memory or drives.)
Screw drivers, - get one of those pro regular + jewlers sets. and you'll be fairly sorted for desktops and laptops.
Anti static wrist strap + mat
a boat load of USB sticks that you can install tools onto. (ideally use a single USB stick for each job, and then wipe the stick and put the tools back on it at the end of the day, - you don't want to have a virus put on your tools stick by customer 1 that you then stick into every other PC for the day...

on a similar vein, you'll want recovery CDs for all operating systems since XP.
Live CDs for some Linux distros,
Data recovery tools.
External drive caddy (so you can take data off of a clients hard drive if their main board has failed or something like that.)
then a premesis, place to work.
and public liability insurance...

if you want to go into hardware repair, a hot air soldering station, microscope, and buckets full of partially failed devices that you'll pull components off when needed.
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Old 05-28-2018, 04:40 AM   #3
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Default Re: Small Computer Repair Start-up

I'm not saying "don't" but fixing hardware can be costly to you and your customer and is very very fiddly. For the price of most bits of hardware used in domestic computers it just isn't worth it. If your going to do industry stuff then that is a whole kettle of fish different.
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Old 05-29-2018, 08:22 AM   #4
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Default Re: Small Computer Repair Start-up

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Originally Posted by root View Post
Basic stuff (installing memory or drives.)
Screw drivers, - get one of those pro regular + jewlers sets. and you'll be fairly sorted for desktops and laptops.
Anti static wrist strap + mat
a boat load of USB sticks that you can install tools onto. (ideally use a single USB stick for each job, and then wipe the stick and put the tools back on it at the end of the day, - you don't want to have a virus put on your tools stick by customer 1 that you then stick into every other PC for the day...

on a similar vein, you'll want recovery CDs for all operating systems since XP.
Live CDs for some Linux distros,
Data recovery tools.
External drive caddy (so you can take data off of a clients hard drive if their main board has failed or something like that.)
then a premesis, place to work.
and public liability insurance...

if you want to go into hardware repair, a hot air soldering station, microscope, and buckets full of partially failed devices that you'll pull components off when needed.
Thanks for the list of stuff I need. I actually already have the premisis, just need the insurance now and the other stuff in the list you have kindly provided.
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Old 05-29-2018, 06:38 PM   #5
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Default Re: Small Computer Repair Start-up

Be careful about the restore disks. Dell put a guy in jail over one.
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Old 05-30-2018, 10:01 AM   #6
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Be careful about the restore disks. Dell put a guy in jail over one.
LOL, it's not quite that simple. as long as he doesn't sell them he should be fine...
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Old 05-30-2018, 09:06 PM   #7
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I'm not saying "don't" but
Ok, I'll bring the negative...

there are too many forums like this, too many helpful people on reddit, computers are cheap. big box stores like PC world have techs that have great parking on retail parks...

when was the last time you saw a PC repair shop that wasn't going out of business?
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Old 05-31-2018, 04:18 AM   #8
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Ok, I'll bring the negative...

there are too many forums like this, too many helpful people on reddit, computers are cheap. big box stores like PC world have techs that have great parking on retail parks...

when was the last time you saw a PC repair shop that wasn't going out of business?

ERRMM okay seeing that you quoted part of my post I'm going to say, "I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about." PC repair shops are going out of business all over the world. Computers are so, relatively, cheap these days why get them fixed? Just buy a new one. I believe the money is in big business these day and I'm not talking about office computers. AI, robotics etc etc. Domestic computing repair is a non starter. I will admit that my attitude to branching out on your own is if you cannot do it and make a massive fast buck and get out rich there is no point. You might as well work for the man.
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Old 05-31-2018, 11:32 AM   #9
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Default Re: Small Computer Repair Start-up

Not only that but tablets and phones are the big tickets.
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Old 05-31-2018, 01:31 PM   #10
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Celery has a point. if you're able to do the really fine work, you could make some money doing screen replacements...
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Old 06-02-2018, 05:47 AM   #11
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Default Re: Small Computer Repair Start-up

Make sure you have a passion for computer repair and not doing it because you think there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. The money will be there you just have to go get it and passion is a huge driving force.

PC’s are getting well past being user maintainable - surface mount soldering, much more being in “Software” than hardware, the compactness, and then you are up against the manufacturers .
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Old 06-06-2018, 08:12 PM   #12
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Default Re: Small Computer Repair Start-up

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Originally Posted by pete.i View Post
ERRMM okay seeing that you quoted part of my post I'm going to say, "I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about." PC repair shops are going out of business all over the world. Computers are so, relatively, cheap these days why get them fixed? Just buy a new one. I believe the money is in big business these day and I'm not talking about office computers. AI, robotics etc etc. Domestic computing repair is a non starter. I will admit that my attitude to branching out on your own is if you cannot do it and make a massive fast buck and get out rich there is no point. You might as well work for the man.
you said, I'm not saying don't but...

what I meant was, you were the closest one that got to it... but, I thought I'd lay it out in really obvious terms.

advice is cheap, (free here) devices are cheap and disposable, and increasingly integrated and subminature. it's not an easy game to get into, and like I said, when was the last time you saw a PC shop that wasn't closing down?

what I mean is, they are all closing down. - and that alone is a pretty good reason not to start a shop!

I think we're on the same page here, there is no pleasure in stamping on a guys dream to open a repair shop, but similarly, there would be no pleasure in watching the OP piss away all his money.

I don't think that a buck necessarily has to be a "fast" buck, but there definitely needs to be some kind of money in it.



as an example, I work "for the man" I earn a good wage, I possibly won't have to work right to retirement age, assuming I can continue to live relatively frugally there is no reason that some sort of early retirement isn't on the cards.
I was talking to a friend about starting a business with him, he had a lot of big ideas, I said, it'd be a lot of fun, but we need to go through the money first, because if I never get to retire, that's going to be a real problem for me.


Right now, I believe that's what a computer shop is, you *might* get enough business through the door that you can afford to eat, but you're unlikely to save a pension, buy a house or ever be able to afford to stop working.
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Old 06-06-2018, 09:16 PM   #13
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Default Re: Small Computer Repair Start-up

Starting your own business is very risky, and the potential reward is not as good as it used to be.

It doesn't have to be fast bucks and big bucks at the same time. Just one of the two would make it worth it, but I don't think you can achieve either right now. There is too much of everything and nothing is new anymore.

I'd say "keep your day job", but there is no way you have time for both, so just keep your day job. Unless, of course, you have properly studied the market and I'm just being a fool.
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Old 06-07-2018, 08:15 AM   #14
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Default Re: Small Computer Repair Start-up

Once upon a time there was a big explosion of PC shops in the 80s-90s when PC clones became popular. Then the internet became popular and they went to dot coms.

Those days are done with and the brick and mortar PC shops are fading away. Some however went to gaming to stay alive.
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Old 09-05-2018, 12:01 AM   #15
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Default Re: Small Computer Repair Start-up

What state do you live in? Have you ever owned a business?
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Old 09-26-2018, 04:11 PM   #16
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Default Re: Small Computer Repair Start-up

I have a tech business, about 3rd on google in my area, I get around 3-4 calls per year. I have a full time job to pay the bills, if I get a customer its play money.

Good luck!
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