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General Chat Thread, Starting Computer Repair Business in General; I would like to start my own Computer Repair Business so I can earn some money. Now, I was wondering ...
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    My220x's Avatar
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    Starting Computer Repair Business

    I would like to start my own Computer Repair Business so I can earn some money. Now, I was wondering what equipment would I need to get started? Also, I am only 15 so how would I manage to fit in clients on school nights?

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    A good screwdriver, your own knowledge and a stack of utility CDs (UBCD etc). Thats all that I usually need to use. The best bit about this kind of work is that it usually does not require a large financial outlay to do.

    I would also have a spare power supply as this is a stupidly common problem and the only test is a new one.

    I used to just do it out of hours after school or in the weekend, as I was new to it at that stage I charged a bit less and so people were more flexible in the hours that I was able to work.

    I think the key is understanding clients.

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    speckytecky (17th April 2011)

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    One thing to ask is whether you are going to go round to their house to solve the problems, or are they going to drop the computers off at yours? If the prior, you may need some sort of access to the internet in case they can't connect and you need files from manufacturers etc... If the latter, you would need some form of insurance to cover the systems you have in your care.

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    speckytecky (17th April 2011)

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    My220x's Avatar
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    I would be going round to clients houses. If I did need access to files then I would download them at home.

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    PEO
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    business insurance will range from 52 too 215

    Business Insurance and Commercial Finance - Simply Business

    also if you earn more than 6,000 a year you will need to declaire additional earnings with the Taxman.

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    Get yourself one of those cheapish tool kits such as:
    MAPLIN TOOL KIT
    They are small enough to carry from place to place but contain most of the tools you would need for a basic home visit.

    As Synack suggests, a good selection of CD's with utilities and some form of Linux are always handy.
    When I used to do home visits (not anymore, business is where the moneys at) I used to take along a laptop as well. Was always handy for things like setting up wireless routers and suchlike as you could preload a bunch of setup tools onto it as well as being able to use an internet link (if they have one) to get drivers/patches if the machine being worked on wasnt up to it. It wasnt that powerful but then it didnt need to be.

    Hope this is of some use!

    Steve

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    speckytecky (17th April 2011)

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    My220x's Avatar
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    Thanks for the help. Would it be allowed for me to burn the XP install disks to CD and then use the customers product key to install?

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    PEO
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    Quote Originally Posted by My220x View Post
    I would be going round to clients houses. If I did need access to files then I would download them at home.
    How long have you been fixing computers? what experience do you have?

    Just be carefull when sticking your hands inside that you dont damage any components. And if you are making any software changes make sure you make backups.

    May I recomend you do the comptia A+ I think this will be of some use to you mate.

    Its great to see some one like your self as young having a bash.. good man

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    speckytecky (17th April 2011)

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    PEO
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    Quote Originally Posted by My220x View Post
    Thanks for the help. Would it be allowed for me to burn the XP install disks to CD and then use the customers product key to install?
    Customers should already have there own legal copy of XP or any other OS software therefore will have licence key.

    if they dont have a legal copy of OS then you can suggest other alternatives like linux OS.

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    What I mean is some people don't have the OS install disk as they brought their computers from places like PC World so would it be ok if I burned copies of XP installation to disks and then if my customers hard drive nees reformating I can reformat it and then use my XP disk and use their product key which I would get from the sticker with they key on it on their computer.

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    PEO
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    Never know pc world to sell a pc with out the os disks or rebuild disks. not sure how to answer that but I would be carefull... someone else here will be able to answer that for you.

    also worth getting is an Maplin > Anti-Static Computer Wrist Strap

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    I brought a laptop from PC World and didn't get the disks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by My220x View Post
    What I mean is some people don't have the OS install disk as they brought their computers from places like PC World so would it be ok if I burned copies of XP installation to disks and then if my customers hard drive nees reformating I can reformat it and then use my XP disk and use their product key which I would get from the sticker with they key on it on their computer.
    Yes, you should be able to do that, I carry around slipstreamed retail and OEM media for XP and Vista if I end up doing home stuff so that it can be reinstalled at the latest patch level. So long as you make sure to use there product key you will be fine.

    Something that you may run into though is people who have something like a pirate copy of Office on their PC at the moment and want you to transfer that over too. Usually they got this from a friend or family member who said it was ok. You will need to be firm with these people but remember that sometimes they get irate when you tell them that their software is illegal.

    Best thing is to be consistent in this anti piracy regard, you may even loose a client or to over it but it is better than being fined by an angry software company.

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    I run my own business My220x working in lots of school, individuals and small businesses. Primarily I focus on consultancy, but I also do repairs and upgrades too. It is without a doubt a growing industry, but with any growing industry there is competition too.

    I don't want to discourage you as I admire your enthusiasm and motivation but you haven't stated just what experience you do have. Qualifications are one thing, but as the old saying goes knowledge is power. I've worked in the IT industry for 8 years and by coming to this forum I myself like to help others, but also learn from others too. This forum has a wealth of information as do other places, but you may find it extremely beneficial working for someone (even voluntary) as you gain experience hands on.

    Starting up a business is fairly simple in itself. You can become a sole trader or a limited company, the choice is yours. I recommend you visit Business Link's website which has a comprehensive database of business Q & A's which are free for anyone to view. No matter how much you earn, be it below the minimum basic wage (which is just over 6000) you still need to declare it. You'd only pay tax after the basic wage. Next year the 600 additional Mr Darling has added will be removed, so it'll be back to around 5400 a year basic. Don't you just love Labour?

    If you have any further questions, please feel free to ask.

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    speckytecky (17th April 2011)

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    Quote Originally Posted by My220x View Post
    I would like to start my own Computer Repair Business so I can earn some money. Now, I was wondering what equipment would I need to get started? Also, I am only 15 so how would I manage to fit in clients on school nights?
    As you've probably discovered, "repairing" a Windows PC generally means simply reformatting the harddrive and re-installing Windows, or simply un-installing a wodge of spyware/viruses/etc that a user has downloaded. Handy things to have to hand:

    A copy of AVG Free, latest version (8.something). Lots of people get a free trial of some antivirus software on their machine then get confused when it runs out. Simply uninstall it and install AVG instead.

    Windows XP / Vista install disks, SP3 (or slipstreamed install CD, as pointed out above). Also handy to have something like the Linux-based SystemRescueCD handy. Both options are good for deleting these blasted autorun.inf-based viruses - boot off the CD, look at the root of C:\ drive and run attrib *.* to see anything with hidden and read-only attributes set.

    If you figure the best option is wipe-it-and-start-again, always good to have a decent-sized (500GB?) external harddrive spare to store data on. Also good to have an empty 3.5" and 2.5" caddy so you can take a corrupted harddrive out of either a laptop or a desktop, plug it in to your own machine and read files off it.

    People will often want you to get an older laptop or desktop machine "working on the Internet" or, increasingly, running something like Skype. Sometimes you'll get a completely knackered laptop that you can't do anything with except re-use the harddrive. It's always handy to have some bits of kit to sell. 2.5" harddrive caddies for knackered laptops, webcams for Skype, wireless PCMCIA cards for older laptops, floppy-drive sized card readers for older desktops, USB memory sticks in general. All this stuff can be bought dead cheap, generally from China, on eBay:

    eBay My World - digital-e.hk - 8GB memory sticks (15)
    eBay My World - urextras - 2.5" harddrive cases (10)
    eBay My World - webcams_4_u - webcams (15, excellent quality, even cheaper direct from their website)

    Darned if I can find a reliable supplier of desktop memory card readers. I've found the Edimax 802.11G Wireless PCMCIA card (EW-7108PCG) to be good (around 20, assorted sellers) - Linux drivers are available, so it'll work on pretty much any system. If reselling stuff, probably easiest to simply round up to the next 5.

    It's handy to read, and have to hand, reviews of more expensive bits of hardware for when people ask you about them. Something like PC Pro is always having round-ups of various items of hardware (this month it's 300 laptops). As I discovered when I was 15, if your reading speed is fast enough you can "browse" pretty much the whole of a comic/magazine in WH Smiths before the sales assistant catches on.

    If you find porn on someone's computer, probably best to discreetly ignore it unless it's something really dodgy.

    Long-term, there's not really a living to be made out of repairing computers these days. The local chap in town here is making more money out of plastering than he does out of computers. I don't make any money at all, I just repair stuff that people bring in to school. I figure the way to go in the future will be providing managed home server products - file storage / web filtering / etc servers than can be installed at home to replace the standard ADSL/cable/wireless router. Either get in to that or learn to program.

    --
    David Hicks
    Last edited by dhicks; 18th May 2008 at 08:13 PM.

  21. Thanks to dhicks from:

    speckytecky (17th April 2011)

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