Friday, October 2, 2020

Starting Out as a Computer Tech (part 4)

 I want to take a break from the software side of things, let's talk about hardware. Quite frequently when I am replacing a screen or a keyboard on a laptop/Chromebook or something to that effect, I get asked why I am breaking it. New techs are always so delicate and skittish when preforming such tasks. As a result, they can be mind-numbingly slow and often get frustrated because something seems stuck or just won't go back in place. While what you may have to do will vary on different hardware, there is one thing to keep in mind. If something is already broken, don't sweat breaking it more.

Take replacing a Chromebook screen for example. Often times it is a flat connector on the back, four screws holding it in place, and a glued down plastic front trim with occasional screws. To get the old screen off, you have to pry off any screw covers, remove screws, then more or less rip off the front. It may sound like it is breaking, but the screen is already being replaced so just yank the plastic front off. When you are sitting there prying away you will here plastic clips pop, glue pull apart, and it will require force. There is also be force required to put it back together. Just do it, do not worry about breaking things worse. After a while you will get the hang of it, but you have to not be afraid. The first screen I had to replace I had someone walk me through each step. After that initial shock of "I have no idea what I'm doing" it was all fine. Parts after that I just figured out how to do on my own.

Printers are another item you most likely at some point need to take apart. When taking printers apart, they often have brightly colored plastic bits for you to grab on to and unclip. Maintenance kits also often come with instructions of how to replace rollers and such. While printers are a bit more delicate, it really takes some effort to break things. The simple thing with them is if it does not give with a decent pull or push, you're probably doing it wrong.

Any hardware repair you need to make, there is a good chance there is a video online of exactly how to do whatever you need to do. If you want to have some knowledge before hand, just search on whatever video service you like how to do what needs to be done.

When working with batteries, be careful. Lithium ion batteries that have swelled up contain stuff you do not want to breath in and can potentially be inflammable. They also have a potential to shock your equipment and make things worse, so be aware of the contacts. Also make sure battery disposal meets your state requirements. Most people do not know this, but you are not supposed to just toss batteries in most states (not that that stops anyone). Select places may offer battery recycling.

Projectors are another item you may need to deal with some hardware, like replacing a lamp. A few warnings around these. The first is to make sure it is unplugged. I have gotten shocks from exposed heat sinks on cheap projectors. The second is to make sure the lamp remains intact as these can contain mercury. There is also a risk for broken glass and glass shards, so take necessary precautions especially on ceiling mounted projectors.

Whenever you work with any hardware, there are things you should remain aware of. Make sure to go through a mental checklist.

  • Is it on?
  • Is it plugged in?
  • Are there sharp objects or exposed metal?
  • Is there an order I need to do things in?
  • Do I have all the tools I need?


Now there are precautions other people use that I often disregard because either I have never had an issue or just do not care. Here's a few of those, why you should do it and why I don't care.

Wear an electro-static bracelet to ground yourself. Static shocks can damage equipment very badly, this could help prevent that. I do not use these because they are stupid and I'm usually grounded from touching everything else to get to repairing something. I have also never managed to see a static shock go from me to a circuit board even when I try.

Wear gloves. You may want to wear gloves when working with toner getting in places or other stuff you do not want on you. Maybe you just do not want to get other people's germs. I generally stick to not touching toner if it's exposed and if I touch a remote with my bare hands, it doesn't get much worse.

Keep water away from electronics. If there is power, water will short the board. I usually have things with no power source connected and I've honestly washed circuit boards before with soap and water (long story with my dishwasher). If there is no power when wet and dry when turned on, you should be fine. Even if there is power, it usually works after you turn it off and dry it off before trying to turn it back on.

There are a lot of other things to keep in mind, but there is a lot to consider. The bottom line with hardware is read manuals, watch videos, and don't be nervous. Things are not as fragile as most books and manuals make them out to be.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Tag Cloud

.NET (2) A+ (5) ad ds (1) addon (4) Android (4) anonymous functions (1) application (9) arduino (1) artificial intelligence (1) backup (1) bash (6) camera (2) certifications (3) comptia (5) css (2) customize (11) encryption (3) error (13) exploit (5) ftp (1) funny (4) gadget (4) games (3) GUI (5) hardware (16) haskell (6) help (14) HTML (3) imaging (2) irc (1) it (1) java (2) javascript (13) jobs (1) Linux (19) lua (1) Mac (4) malware (1) math (6) msp (1) network (13) perl (2) php (3) plugin (2) powershell (8) privacy (2) programming (24) python (10) radio (2) regex (3) repair (2) security (16) sound (2) speakers (2) ssh (1) story (5) Techs from the Crypt (5) telnet (1) tools (13) troubleshooting (11) tutorial (9) Ubuntu (4) Unix (2) virtualization (2) web design (6) Windows (16) world of warcraft (1) wow (1) wx (1)