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Old 18-03-2013, 20:37
cooltv
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I have had this idea to setup a PC home repair service around my local town. The idea would be to put up an advert in say a shop window or in the paper, underline my PC repair skills and then wait for someone to phone me with a PC problem. Then go out and fix it and if I am unable to fix it then my customers don't pay me. Have anyone on here done this type of thing before? It would just be a bit of extra money and not as a full time job and as computing is my hobby it sounds like a good idea.

I have a question on the Windows side of things. Say a customer has Windows 7 and their PC needed formatting because it's riddled with viruses can I use my own Windows 7 disc to format it? I am not sure where I would stand where licencing is concerned.
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Old 18-03-2013, 20:45
mred2000
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cmorris did this. He was in the Midlands area, too...
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Old 18-03-2013, 21:02
Mr Dos
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I do repairs, mainly as a service for friends etc who can't afford high street repair prices. I get people to bring the pc to my place, since I have tools, internet access etc.

Re MS licence - if the broken pc had a legit copy of Windows ie a label with the serial, you can legally download the correct version of Windows 7 to re-install with original serial. Machine should activate ok but major hardware changes may be a problem. Go to Seven forums for more info.

http://www.sevenforums.com/

official download of Windows 7 -

http://www.mydigitallife.info/offici...digital-river/

make sure you re-install the correct version !
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Old 18-03-2013, 21:45
alan1302
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I have had this idea to setup a PC home repair service around my local town. The idea would be to put up an advert in say a shop window or in the paper, underline my PC repair skills and then wait for someone to phone me with a PC problem. Then go out and fix it and if I am unable to fix it then my customers don't pay me. Have anyone on here done this type of thing before? It would just be a bit of extra money and not as a full time job and as computing is my hobby it sounds like a good idea.

I have a question on the Windows side of things. Say a customer has Windows 7 and their PC needed formatting because it's riddled with viruses can I use my own Windows 7 disc to format it? I am not sure where I would stand where licencing is concerned.
Unless you really know what you are doing I'd not advise it as people would expect you to be be able to diagnose and fix it.
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Old 18-03-2013, 22:02
1saintly
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I have had this idea to setup a PC home repair service around my local town. The idea would be to put up an advert in say a shop window or in the paper, underline my PC repair skills and then wait for someone to phone me with a PC problem. Then go out and fix it and if I am unable to fix it then my customers don't pay me. Have anyone on here done this type of thing before? It would just be a bit of extra money and not as a full time job and as computing is my hobby it sounds like a good idea.

I have a question on the Windows side of things. Say a customer has Windows 7 and their PC needed formatting because it's riddled with viruses can I use my own Windows 7 disc to format it? I am not sure where I would stand where licencing is concerned.
Its a whole heap of trouble, dont do it.
Its bad enough doing it for free for family and friends, something i dont do anymore thankfully.
Once you touch it and hand it back working, as soon as the slightest thing goes wrong they are on the phone for you to sort it again, all for free and in my own time.

So, as soon as you start introducing some sort of payment big hole gets bigger
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Old 18-03-2013, 22:07
c4rv
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From experience, don't do it really. People will forever blame you for anything that wrong with their PC for years to come.

And there is a whole lot of liability issues, and tax and tons of other stuff.

As for your OEM license question, yes you can use non-oem media but you will need to activate it by phone I believe.
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Old 18-03-2013, 23:47
evil c
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I used to diagnose and fix probs for friends and work colleagues for free, then word spread and several other people wanted help, then tuition for the ECDL. After a couple of years I got totally fed up and stopped doing it. The stupid things people do over and over, and trying to get them to admit that they had pressed this key or that key. Phoning me late at night, complaining that it wasn't fixed, saying it was urgent, how do I do this, how do I do that, etc. etc.

Forget it.
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Old 18-03-2013, 23:50
max99
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Offer the service free of charge for family and friends for a few weeks. Encourage them to give you their machines with all manner of problems to solve. Once you realise what a monumental ball-ache fixing other people's computers can be, you'll be in a better position to decide whether or not you actually want to do this for complete strangers.

The best advice I can give is that fixing a computer is only one part of the job. Dealing with the user/customer is often the hardest part.
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Old 19-03-2013, 00:17
Schadenfreud
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Have to agree with all of the above... don't do it.
You won't make nearly enough to cover the aggravation and frustration of dealing with people who 'know better than you' but still manage to **** up their PC by installing crap crap and more crap on their PC's.
I just did a clean re-install on a friends PC, I didn't charge him much (although I'm still waiting for the cash) and he phoned up tonight to ask why a pop up window is telling him he has a virus and he needs to give his credit card details to get rid of it.
Just unbelievable!

I repeat....don't do it!
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Old 19-03-2013, 00:18
cnbcwatcher
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I sometimes do computer repairs but mostly for friends and family. I don't get paid and I mostly deal with software problems although I could deal with hardware problems as well. Usually what happens is my dad gets a phonecall from a friend or family member and he goes to their house to fix it. If I'm around I'll go over as well. If I'm there I'm given a set of instructions to follow. I nearly always manage to fix the computer. It can be frustrating if they're not very clued up in the computer department or if they're using Windows Vista

A former friend of ours used me as the personal helpdesk all the time and she was completely thick in the computer department even after taking lessons Honestly, dealing with the user is sometimes worse than dealing with the computer!
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Old 19-03-2013, 00:23
bspace
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Honestly, dealing with the user is always worse than dealing with the computer!
fixed it for you
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Old 19-03-2013, 00:46
Mr Dos
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Looks like I'm in a minority of one - fixing computers and enjoying helping people.

A couple of weeks ago a somewhat older lady came to me with the laptop from hell. She'd clicked an ad that said her computer had xx number of errors. Cue the logmein scam. After laying out 100 she now had a zillion more popups telling her her computer had xx number of errors completely filling the screen. A couple of hours with Revo uninstaller, Malwarebytes, safe mode deleting etc and normal service was resumed. How can you say no to people like that.

There's also amusing jobs - one guy rang me up and said 'You're not going to believe this, but my screen's upside down'. He'd somehow found the hot key combo for rotate. Fixed that over the phone.

I find that most of my customers are female. Maybe men are too vain/proud to ask for help. I tell people, its like this - young girl comes round and talks to me for half an hour about computers. Comes back 2 days later with a 4 pack of beer, some folding money and tells me how clever I am. What's not to like ?
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Old 19-03-2013, 02:37
evil c
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What got to me was the total ineptitude of people to understand even the simplest concepts about looking after their computers, taking time to find how the OS works, about making the best use of software by setting it up properly, about being careful on the net, about taking things slowly at first and learning step by step, and keeping notes, doing backups.

The amount of totally unnecessary fixes I was having to do which were completely avoidable if only a modicum of common sense had been applied. When I was listening to someone relating how the problem came about, and I'm thinking, 'this person is an idiot'. Then I'm forced to be polite and smile, nod my head and say don't worry, soon have it fixed. It wears you down after a while.

There was one old guy who kept on having problem after problem, sometimes the same problem over and over, all really basic errors, and I couldn't figure out how he was able to create the problems in the first place. His way of thinking was just completely alien to me.

The status bar was one example. He'd managed to grab the bar and move it to the side, then he couldn't remember how he'd done it. It took me a short while before I could understand what he was talking about when he phoned, 'cause he didn't know the status bar was the status bar, and he didn't even know that it could be moved. I tried to explain over the phone, but got nowhere, so went round and put it back, and showed him what had happened.

A couple of weeks later and he phones me and says he's got this big box covering half the screen and he can't click on his desktop icons and it's nothing he's done, it was just like that when it came on. I go round and it's the status bar again, except this time he's managed to drag the bar half way up the screen so it's obliterating some of his desktop icons. I say to him that he must have done it and show him, and he totally denies it and gets cross with me and says I don't know what I'm talking about.

Well I won't ramble on or I'll be here all night, OP. If you have the patience and the skill, then it's a good idea to do what max99 said and test your knowledge and problem solving techniques for friends and family, working on your own. You'll need plenty of diplomacy as well, and getting used to that unnerving feeling of your every move being watched and scrutinised. And you better get used to all the daft questions you'll be asked and the blank looks, and the excuses and lies.
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Old 19-03-2013, 03:17
Si_Crewe
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I think you'll struggle to make it viable, TBH.

Trouble with repairing PCs is that a lot of jobs require you to do "hands-off" stuff such as running virus scans or backing-up large lumps of data before you impliment a simple repair or update.

A mate of mine used to run his own PC repair business and he originally planned to do home-visits but he quickly realised that the best course of action was to show up and then, unless the problem was ridiculously easy to fix, simply take the PC back to his workshop.
That way he could, at least, have a dozen or more PCs under repair at the same time so he could be fitting a new gfx card in one while a virus scan was running on another one etc.

Even so, in the end, he eventually took on a bunch of corporate work and eventually accepted a staff job as head of the IT department at a legal firm and he reckons the wages are far better than he was making while working for himself.

Personally, I don't reckon you should ever turn a hobby into a business.
All that happens is that you end up becoming disinfranchised with your hobby.
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Old 19-03-2013, 08:47
GetFrodo
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What got to me was the total ineptitude of people to understand even the simplest concepts about looking after their computers, taking time to find how the OS works, about making the best use of software by setting it up properly, about being careful on the net, about taking things slowly at first and learning step by step, and keeping notes, doing backups.

I'm thinking, 'this person is an idiot'

There was one old guy who kept on having problem after problem
You could cut a bit of slack for the elderly who did not grow up with computers. The things you mention about looking after computers are not done by the vast majority of users, let alone the "silver surfers". My Grandad is also flummoxed when things do not happen as expected, often caused by a stray click.

The concept of "common sense" in the computer world simply does not exist for most elderly because they are in a foreign land and they don't speak the language. In my limited experience, I will sort out the problem and give a quick explanation of why it happened (without any expectation of it sinking in) and not get overly frustrated with their "stupidity". Remote desktop is a God-send.

My clients: Mum & Dad (approaching 70) and Grandad (approaching 100).
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Old 19-03-2013, 09:27
c4rv
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Looks like I'm in a minority of one - fixing computers and enjoying helping people.

A couple of weeks ago a somewhat older lady came to me with the laptop from hell. She'd clicked an ad that said her computer had xx number of errors. Cue the logmein scam. After laying out 100 she now had a zillion more popups telling her her computer had xx number of errors completely filling the screen. A couple of hours with Revo uninstaller, Malwarebytes, safe mode deleting etc and normal service was resumed. How can you say no to people like that.

There's also amusing jobs - one guy rang me up and said 'You're not going to believe this, but my screen's upside down'. He'd somehow found the hot key combo for rotate. Fixed that over the phone.

I find that most of my customers are female. Maybe men are too vain/proud to ask for help. I tell people, its like this - young girl comes round and talks to me for half an hour about computers. Comes back 2 days later with a 4 pack of beer, some folding money and tells me how clever I am. What's not to like ?
How much did you get paid, could you actually earn enough to make a living doing it ?
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Old 19-03-2013, 13:57
a_c_g_t
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I used to diagnose and fix probs for friends and work colleagues for free, then word spread and several other people wanted help, then tuition for the ECDL. After a couple of years I got totally fed up and stopped doing it. The stupid things people do over and over, and trying to get them to admit that they had pressed this key or that key. Phoning me late at night, complaining that it wasn't fixed, saying it was urgent, how do I do this, how do I do that, etc. etc.

Forget it.
Totally agree did the same. Computers are rarely the problem it's the users that are a the crux of 99% of the problems. And after getting a phone call from someone who I fixed their PC 10 years ago saying "Can you come around and have a look at it as I think you did something to it when you reformatted it " At that point I just said "I no longer deal in Home PC stuff sorry" hung up and opened a beer and sighed.

Seriously if you where to charge the going rate you will find that what you've built up doing one offs or build for beer as I call it will dry up quite considerably.

Experience"
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Old 19-03-2013, 14:20
TonyOther
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I do repairs, mainly as a service for friends etc who can't afford high street repair prices. I get people to bring the pc to my place, since I have tools, internet access etc.

Re MS licence - if the broken pc had a legit copy of Windows ie a label with the serial, you can legally download the correct version of Windows 7 to re-install with original serial. Machine should activate ok but major hardware changes may be a problem. Go to Seven forums for more info.

http://www.sevenforums.com/

official download of Windows 7 -

http://www.mydigitallife.info/offici...digital-river/

make sure you re-install the correct version !
This seems like a godsend. I was installing W7 on by brother's laptop and it kept hanging. I finally realised there was a minute scratch on it. So now I legitimately download the OS and install it using my key?
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Old 19-03-2013, 14:58
c4rv
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This seems like a godsend. I was installing W7 on by brother's laptop and it kept hanging. I finally realised there was a minute scratch on it. So now I legitimately download the OS and install it using my key?
Yes you can with win7
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Old 19-03-2013, 17:48
Orbitalzone
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Don't bother.....

There's always an idiot offering "no fix - no fee"

oh.... you'd be one of them then.
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Old 19-03-2013, 17:50
Orbitalzone
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Looks like I'm in a minority of one - fixing computers and enjoying helping people................
So you made a living out of this or are you retired / don't really need the income so any few 's is tax free beer money? If that's the case then you can certainly make it an interesting helping hobby if your clients understand it's a hobby rather than a full blown service you provide.


10 years ago I was charging 60 - 80 for rebuilding Windows PC's and sorting it all out....even then I couldn't make enough to live on and I had some affluent customers who were willing to pay those sorts of rates (Wealthy, retired, great word of mouth recommendations to other weathly/retired etc)

If the OP wants to do this seriously he's going to need high quality affluent customers, forget about people paying you 25 for a Windows rebuild!
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Old 19-03-2013, 18:00
!!11oneone
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As a teacher who has spent literally two hours this week explaining the concept a a fraction to twelve year olds who still haven't quite got it, I can understand your frustrations.

However, please understand that someone who hasn't learned something is not an idiot. They just haven't learnt it. It also takes repetition and practice to learn something. It's ok to say "they should take time to learn how the OS works". But how? There's no manual. They just find out by clicking, and any accidental clicks can't be easily undone.

You showed the guy how to move his taskbar. He never did it or thought about it himself ever again. OF COURSE he didn't know how to move it when the problem reoccurred weeks later.

If I told you that next time the confrufle splonges the extrongoon, then simply diaffle the confrufle by splacking and tribdicating, I guarantee that you won't remember that in two months time. Probably not even a week's time. But for someone who doesn't know what a taskbar is (interesting you called it the status bar, I assume you mean the movable thing at the bottom of Windows which is definitely a taskbar), what clicking and dragging is, this is the equivalent.

It is also NOT THEIR FAULT that they haven't been taught and it's patronising for you to have a go at them. Yes, its simple. So is splacking and tribdicating. I know what they mean, you don't. The problem is most IT people aren't teachers and haven't the foggiest idea (or will) to be them. They turn up, tell people what to click and bugger off again.

Imagine if teachers spend their time telling (that's telling, not showing or helping practice) kids something once, then getting annoyed that they couldn't remember it later?

The vast, vast majority of users do not know what a browser is. I bet a lot of DS users don't know what a browser is. They click the Internet. I bet a good majority of people reading this now think that they've got a lovely photo set as their screensaver. Even the IT 'expert' thinks the man was moving the status bar, when he really, really wasn't.

My aunt, who is relatively computer literate, worked as a secretary during the years they were introduced, used them and has a desktop, laptop and iPad, gets flustered when Sky isn't her home page without realising that's just a page she can go to any time. Because it's alien and she's never been taught.

Anyway, you're all bloody idiots for not understanding what's gone wrong when confrufle splonges the extrongoon.
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Old 19-03-2013, 18:44
Si_Crewe
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As a teacher who has spent literally two hours this week explaining the concept a a fraction to twelve year olds who still haven't quite got it, I can understand your frustrations.

However, please understand that someone who hasn't learned something is not an idiot. They just haven't learnt it. It also takes repetition and practice to learn something. It's ok to say "they should take time to learn how the OS works". But how? There's no manual. They just find out by clicking, and any accidental clicks can't be easily undone.
Nah,

It's a very charitable POV you have but you're massively underestimating the level of stubborn stupidity exhibited by a lot of computer users.

The first time somebody screws up their PC after clicking on one of those "PC health check" pop-ups, they can be forgiven.
The 2nd time they do it they need to be reminded that you've already warned them about this problem and, after that, they just need hitting over the head with their PC whenever they do the same thing.
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Old 19-03-2013, 18:58
max99
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My aunt, who is relatively computer literate, worked as a secretary during the years they were introduced, used them and has a desktop, laptop and iPad, gets flustered when Sky isn't her home page without realising that's just a page she can go to any time. Because it's alien and she's never been taught.
It's not about being 'taught', it's about wanting to learn and making the effort to learn. And most people can't be bothered, so they choose to remain clueless. Using a computer is a skill, like any other. If you want to drive a car, you learn. If you want to cook, you learn. You spend a bit of time and make a bit of effort.

Fair enough, if someone is a newbie, it's understandable why they don't know anything about computers. But it's not so understandably when that person has been using a computer every day for years. It's not so understandable when someone has been using a computer since Windows 98 and still doesn't not what the Start Button is or when they are supposed to double-click.

If someone has been cooking for over a decade and they can't tell the difference between a spoon and a fridge, it's not because they haven't been taught. It's because they haven't learnt. And that is their responsibility, so I'm not sure exactly who it is that you think should be teaching them. People don't have to remain clueless about the most basic aspects of computers. They have Google at their fingertips. Every guide, tutorial and video they could possible need is right there waiting for them - as long as they are prepared to spend a little time and make a bit of effort. It's entirely their choice.
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Old 19-03-2013, 19:36
cooltv
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Thanks for all the reply's, I am just thinking how I could put all my I.T skills to use as I have years of experience and I feel like they are being wasted. I really wish I could find employment but with a disability as well it's very difficult. Also please don't think I am using the disability as an excuse, there is nothing worse than sitting at an interview and the employer saying to you "we don't think you would manage the job" or "we don't think you would be suitable for this job". My dream job would be an I.T Technician in a school but instead of them giving me a chance they automatically think I am incapable because I shakes. Alright I probably wouldn't be able to take computers apart because of the tiny screws but almost anything software based I could do. I can install/uninstall any program, I know my way around most Windows O/S, I can reformat computers, basically anything PC software related I am very good at.

I often think about making my own website and a very good one so when I go to interviews I can show that I am not incapable of using a PC to the employer. Then I bet they would still turn around and say "how do we know it was you that actually made the site". Sorry I have gone on a bit but I just felt that I needed to post this and get it off my chest
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