During the first years of computers, computer experts and technicians usually get involved in component level repair. However, the low cost of equipment nowadays, plus the high cost of labor and availability of more complex equipment and parts has placed it in the background. All types of computer repair almost always involve swapping and replacement of parts, instead of the usual component repair. Here are some more details on the process.
About Component Level Repair
Component level repair is also called board level repair. Technicians involved in the process is usually focusing on individual circuit boards. Every part of the computer is made up of very small components. For example, the monitor of the PC will include small parts like resistors, capacitors, diodes and transistors. In most cases, the components will be kept inside integrated circuits. Once the monitor fails, everything might still be in excellent condition and can still function properly, except for a single small diode. The diode might only cost you a few dollars, and can easily be replaced by another one in just a few minutes, thereby letting your monitor run again in perfect health.
The difficulty comes in during the diagnosis at the component level. It might take a few hours of testing and viewing to find out and verify that the components and parts have to be replaced or repaired. It might only take a few hours before the cost of paying an expert to diagnose and replace will become greater than the cost of buying a new part or an entirely new computer piece. The availability of service manuals is also becoming a problem nowadays, since most equipment and parts offered to date can quickly become obsolete. Lack of proper manuals has led several computer owners to simply buy a new piece of equipment or a new computer set once they start noticing the problems with their PC. Computer equipment producers also do not take much effort and time to write useful and reliable service manuals for the equipment they make. The bottomline for most manufacturers is, if the equipment or part fails, it should be replaced entirely to save time and money.
On System Level Repair
The bigger scope of component level repair is system level repair. This usually involves trying to find out which part of the computer is not functioning properly and fully replacing the part. Some of the basic parts that you can consider include the motherboard, the monitor, the DVD drive, the video card, the RAM and the hard drive. System level repair frequently involves replacing parts until the entire system starts to run excellently. The good parts are then returned into the system, while the bad ones are disposed of and replaced. A number of system problems might not always involve failed parts, but due to improper links and connections between the parts. During these conditions, the computer can be rebuilt using the full original parts and you will discover that everything runs just as well.
On Training and Special Tools
A number of people have the right skills and knowledge to troubleshoot a motherboard. However, if you have never tampered with the insides of your CPU, you shouldn't risk trying to locate the damaged part or you might cause further damage to the entire system. You should always hire a well-trained and experienced electronics technician, who is very familiar with the computer and knows the features that point to damage and possible replacement. The expert will generally check the power supply, reset the circuits and check the clock. Repair work will also require a number of specialized tools, such as soldering and desoldering equipment. You should always use the right tools or you might damage the part.