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Microsoft, iFixit Team Up to Offer Device Repair Workshop

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 9 comments

Image: iFixitImage: iFixitWant to start your own PC/gadget repair business? Microsoft has teamed up with iFixit to offer a training service called the Pro Tech Network. The program is free, and it aims to educate "students" in servicing desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones. The program is sponsored by Microsoft's Registered Refurbisher Program.

"By providing free online training for people to setup a phone, tablet or PC repair business, we hope to increase the reuse of these devices," said Microsoft's Josh Henretig, Group Manager, Environmental Sustainability.

The material is written by iFixit, a website that is well-known for ripping apart devices and providing step-by-step pictorial instructions. The new Pro Tech Network includes "in-depth" repair manuals, accounting tools, cash flow worksheets for small businesses, design templates, testing pointers and so much more.

"By sponsoring this repair business toolkit, we hope that some of the visitors may see this as an opportunity to create a green business for themselves, for their neighborhood, and for the planet," Henretig added.

Image: iFixitImage: iFixit 

The startup guide for launching a repair business is broken down into six categories: Getting Started, Business Development, Customer Service, Marketing, Accounting and Parts Procurement. Under Getting Started, the tool provides information on creating a workspace, securing data, e-waste recycling, electrostatic discharge, and four other topics. The Creating a Workspace section includes info on what tools to buy, how to set up shop, and more.

"Ideally, if more local people offer repair, refurbishment and recycling services, more of these valuable resources can be driven back into the production cycle, supporting the idea of a circular economy," he said. "In this type of system, everything we use gets reused and recycled, reducing our need for virgin raw materials."

As always, "students" can jump on iFixit to find guides for repairing virtually anything, from iPhones to game consoles to cars and trucks to appliances.

Follow Kevin Parrish @exfileme. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

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  • -3 Hide
    ldun , August 8, 2014 12:30 PM
    Great, just what we needed... more people that "know what they are doing", when in fact they are causing more issues...
  • -3 Hide
    TechyInAZ , August 8, 2014 12:34 PM
    Microsoft? Why would a software company be helping with hardware?
  • 3 Hide
    apone , August 8, 2014 12:45 PM
    @ Idun

    This is actually a good thing; let's educate and train people who can utilize these skills in the evolving IT world. This will spur economic development by creating jobs and businesses. Also as a PC guy myself, it will reduce the apparent apprehension that your AIO PC, tablet, or smartphone can only be upgraded/serviced by an elusive "specialist" or a distant "service center".




  • Add your comment Display all 9 comments.
  • -1 Hide
    ldun , August 8, 2014 12:47 PM
    Quote:
    @ Idun

    This is actually a good thing; let's educate and train people who can utilize these skills in the evolving IT world. This will spur economic development by creating jobs and businesses. Also as a PC guy myself, it will reduce the apparent apprehension that your AIO PC, tablet, or smartphone can only be upgraded/serviced by an elusive "specialist" or a distant "service center".

    Not saying that having basic knowledge is bad, but how many times have you had a completely butcheed system come in, where the initial problem was minor but the nephew that "knows these things" totally screwed it up? At least in my experience, way too many times, but at least it was confined to software.

  • 1 Hide
    DarkSable , August 8, 2014 1:15 PM
    Quote:
    Not saying that having basic knowledge is bad, but how many times have you had a completely butcheed system come in, where the initial problem was minor but the nephew that "knows these things" totally screwed it up? At least in my experience, way too many times, but at least it was confined to software.


    I get what you're saying, but look at what this course actually offers... it's teaching you how to run a proper business, including all the financials. I'm going to say that their classes are pretty dang in depth, especially since they end with certification.
  • 1 Hide
    apone , August 8, 2014 1:51 PM
    [/quotemsg]
    Not saying that having basic knowledge is bad, but how many times have you had a completely butcheed system come in, where the initial problem was minor but the nephew that "knows these things" totally screwed it up? At least in my experience, way too many times, but at least it was confined to software.

    [/quote]

    That sucks to hear you've had several bad experiences with repair attempts by family/relative amateurs. However, as a tech geek who is A+ certified, I can tell you this type of training is long overdue considering industry certifications utilize too much academic/book instruction and not enough hands-on training. This program also validates credibility with hands-on training as candidates interviewing for technician jobs can honestly say they have received training from a program by two well-known industry entities (MSFT & iFixIt)
  • 2 Hide
    p05esto , August 8, 2014 3:59 PM
    First manufacturers need to build better devices that can be taken apart. What can't tablets have nice torx screws, go for the industrial look. I HATE these ultra thin, fragile as glass tablets. I want something with some thickness, something to grab onto the edges, if I could unbolt the screen and stick a new one in in 10 minutes that would be awesome. WHY is this not possible? Oh yea, they want us to buy a new device everytime our $1200 tablet breaks.
  • 1 Hide
    Christopher C , August 10, 2014 7:16 AM
    I would think Microsoft would make their tablets more repairable...this is something that they could learn from dell from their venue 11 pro with the i3 and i5 processor where the wlan wwan battery and ssd are all under 1 cover and the cards all require 1 screw only to remove.
  • 0 Hide
    jalek , August 12, 2014 7:45 AM
    Uhh.. being able to disassemble and replace parts will make things be reused?
    Is there a purpose for the box of Blackberry handsets I have here, or the stack of laptops with various physical damage? The usable lifespan of modern gadgetry is pretty short before it's so obsolete that recycling is the best option.
    I've shown my 12 year old nephew how to take apart his Nexus because of their penchant for battery disconnects. Is it difficult to find a repair service for such things when they fail to boot? Most often they take only a few minutes, I couldn't imagine charging much.
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