Lessons learnt from repairing portable electronics

Or, how to less stress about being incompetent in hardware repairs.

After both successful and highly disappointing attempts to give portable electronics a second life I decided to write down a short list of useful checkpoints to keep in mind while performing a repair.

Broken or not enabled

The challenge here is to make the correct diagnosis to the electronics you are about to fix. Do a better research for the technical manual for this specific model of the appliance — you will find a lot of new and useful information in it. For example, finding the location of external Wi-Fi or GPU switch.

Identify the exact broken part

Simply start unplugging every peripheral one by one and try powering on the machine without one or another wire. Do some tests as well — Memtest86, Defraggler, etc. Be curious but at the same time as careful as possible.

Write down the repair budget

If there is more than one thing you need to purchase then you clearly need to write down the numbers. Again, to be completely sure what part to buy, ask your friends or colleagues to borrow you this part, e.g. power adapter. This way you will decrease the chance of buying wrong bit and spending more than you actually need.

The tools you shall have

Never start a repair with a feeling that even though you do not have the correct tools you will still be able figure something out. In most cases this ends with a super glue and missing screws situation. Keep in mind your budget as well.

Unrepairable case

The worst possible situation to be in out of all of them. You identified the broken part, tested everything, purchased new part, used best tools available for the replacement, but did not notice that soldered motherboard contacts are heavily corroded. Well, sh#t happens. Believe it or not it is still better than nothing. You can still help someone out with all the other working parts from you machine.

All in all, it is great to be able to repair portable electronics among others things. But, this certainly requires you to go an extra mile and outline technical issue, repairment scope, budget and available tools. It is not necessary to keep everything in mind but it will certainly save you some time on fixing your own repairments.