Linked by Howard Fosdick on Mon 31st Dec 2012 20:26 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems Last month, I explained why I use generic desktops and laptops running open source software. They're reliable and inexpensive. But this presumes you can fix them. I believe that even those with no hardware training (like me), can identify and fix most hardware problems. To prove it, here's a quick guide. Feel free to add whatever I've missed.
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by Pana4 on Wed 2nd Jan 2013 16:33 UTC
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For computers that fail to boot or bluescreen shortly after can, aside from bad RAM be a hard drive that's failing. I've used Spinrite many time to repair damaged sectors and recover all or most data before replacing the drive. Typically it will be a 4 year or older HDD or because of being dropped where damaged sectors are close together that will lock up the computer as it tries to read them.
I've replace a lot a caps successfully in monitors, tv's and even instrument clusters. A good soldering station is handy as is a solder sucker for cleanly removing bad components. I also use an in-place capacitor checker not only to test bad ones but to check the new ones before installation. I use the Peak Atlas ESR70
ESR Meter from Anatek, fairly inexpensive for what it can do.

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