Photograph via snooOG

This is a place where computer technicians can come together to share info on the latest tips and tricks for computer/network repair. They can also share their tools of the trade and computer repair methods.

This is not a forum for technical support. Please direct questions seeking tech support to the following subreddits:

Computer Techs

This is a place where computer technicians can come together to share info on the latest tips and tricks for computer/network repair. They can also share their tools of the trade and computer repair methods.


Please direct questions seeking tech support to the following subreddits:

You will have a lot better chance of getting your question answered, as this subreddit is more for tech-to-tech discussion. All Tech Support requests will be removed.


  1. No support requests. /r/computertechs is not a place to reach out for support. This means do not post threads asking for support and do not reply on requests for support.

  2. All Reddit site-wide rules apply

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The top ten websites to get parts from are listed below based on responses to this link in order from most responses to least.

  1. Newegg

  2. Amazon

  3. Ebay

  4. Micro Center

  5. TigerDirect

  6. Bliss Computers - Laptop LCD Screens

  7. Monoprice - Cables

  8. Mwave

  9. Xoxide - Cases, Case Mods, Heatsinks, etc.

These are all the distributors that were mentioned:

  1. Ingram Micro

  2. Tech Data

  3. Synnex

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83,478 Subscribers


If I start my own independent computer/mobile tech work, will that be worthwhile experience if I ever applied for a tech position for an actual company?

I am having a lot of trouble finding work right now. The only thing I have going on is university. Fortunately I have a supportive family and they have no issues letting me live with them if I cannot support myself. I was thinking of teaching myself technician work and opening up my own repair shop. My dad has some connections and can get me my own location in a busy area for cheap, but I'd have to prove my competence. I also already have some basic troubleshooting and repair knowledge, and I have a precision tool kit. Since I don't have to worry about important finances like housing and groceries, I can spend a lot of time expanding upon my skills. Would this be a worthwhile thing to do? If I wanted to apply to a computer tech role for a company would this experience be valid to them?

00:31 UTC



Hello everyone! I joined this community because I need your recommendations please 🙏🏻 I need to buy a cool and useful gift for my husband this Xmas 🥺 I always give him ok gifts (sometimes not very nice) and he always gives me things I love ❤️ he loves repairing his computers or consoles so if you know about an awesome tool or tool kit I’d really appreciate 🥹 thanks in advance

20:11 UTC


Need Quick Advice: Linux Foundation Bundle (CKA+CKAD+CKS) or CompTIA Security+?

Hey Reddit,

I'm stuck between grabbing The Linux Foundation's certification bundle (CKA+CKAD+CKS) or going for CompTIA Security+. Both cost the same, and the discount ends on Monday. I have a 2-year diploma, RHCSA, CCNA, and AWS Cloud Practitioner. I'm also into Ansible automation and mild pentesting.

My goal is to land a job ASAP. What would you recommend given my background?

Appreciate your quick input! Thanks!

20:54 UTC


What would you charge for building and setting up a server for media storage?

I have been asked to help a local organization finish and setup a server they are building where they're going to store media. Basically it's a normal computer build with a lot of harddrives and I'll likely be installing Ubuntu on it and run it as a server. They've already purchased the parts but have asked me to put everything together, install the OS and make sure it works on their network.

I have never charged for something like this before and don't know how much to charge. It should be about a day's work in their estimation. How much do you think I should charge? I'm fine with doing it a bit cheaper since this is my first gig of this nature.

23:15 UTC


Being your family’s tech support

I’m not a computer tech - just someone who can figure out a few more it problems than the average non tech support person. This post is not asking for any tech support, so I hope it’s allowed. (I did read the rules, but if it’s out of place in this subreddit, I totally understand if you need to delete it. I just wasn’t sure where else to post it.) The post is a bit of a rant, and a bit of a question about best practices when you’re the family tech person. I imagine a lot of people on here understand.

Also, I apologize in advance for the length of this post. I have ADHD and struggle with organizing my thoughts when I’m stressed like I have been recently. I’ve tried to break this up into paragraphs and I’ve included a TLDR at the bottom.

I am my elderly father’s caregiver and live with him, but I’ve been my family’s informal tech support for as long as I can remember. My Dad actually taught computers back in the C64 days, and used to be quite knowledgeable, but he stopped keeping up with the tech side of things many, many years ago. As he’s getting older, he has more of a need for things to stay the same, because he has some minor cognitive difficulties, and learning new things is hard.

For example, he just got a new computer, and like every new computer for the past number of years, I’ve installed Microsoft Works on it because he has some databases/spreadsheets that he uses daily and he won’t switch to a new program. This is fine for now, because it still works. (I’ve tried to get him to switch over to Excel, but he doesn’t like it. I will probably end up creating some sort UI that looks just like Microsoft Works with some sort of other db backend. I worry that at some point I won’t be able to install MS Works anymore as it’s so obsolete. This isn’t the main point of my post, but I’d welcome any ideas on this issue.)

So yesterday I set up his new computer. I finished the basic set up, but left him to copy back most of his files as he had already saved them on an external drive. But I forgot to add an ad blocker extension his browser. He asked me about it and I said I forgot. I’ll do it tomorrow. No problem, right? Wrong.

When I got up this morning, he asked me again about the ad blocker. It was just too frustrating to go online without it. He showed me. I became suspicious when he told me it was especially bad on TSN. Of course, when I sat down to look at it, what it actually happened is he had managed to download some adware/malware.

Less than 12 hours after getting his computer set up, he had somehow managed to download malware! FFS

I was so frustrated. My dad‘s never downloaded anything like this. He’s usually pretty savvy about clicking on things. I suspect it is related to the ad blocker. He never used to use one, but I installed one for him a few years ago. I think it probably blocked out a lot of things that he could click on that would install something on his computer. And now that he’s used to having it there he became more susceptible.

Anyways, that’s my rant. Though it probably sounds less like a rant and more like the lead up to a question, but it’s not. I have no questions about it. I’m just frustrated.

But the process of setting up his computer and not getting everything done at once has made me realize I should be using some sort of document to put down any changes I’ve made. Both for him to see but also for me when I need to do anything else on his computer.

And then I thought I should probably do the same for my sisters. Whenever I visit them or they visit here there’s always something I need to do or fix on their computer. It’s not uncommon to get a message from them panicking because something is not working right on their computer.

For now I just put a text file on my dad’s desktop outlining what I’ve just done to fix things or install things on his computer. I should probably leave this in the cloud somewhere in case I need to access it and his computer is less functional. And I probably do the same thing for each of my sisters. Typically, I don’t remote access their computers. Instead, I talk them through steps because the problems they have often involved things where they need to restart their computer or they are having some issue with booting up their computer.

Anyways, does anybody do something like this with their families’ computers? Is a text file put up on the cloud, the best solution? I feel like this is similar to a change log that people might use with coding, but any coding I do is quite minor. Any thoughts ideas or suggestions are welcome and thank you if you got through this entire long post.

TLDR: Rant - less than 12 hours after setting up his new computer, my dad managed to download adware/malware!

Question - do you use some sort of change log to document any fixes you’ve done on your families’ computers? Is a text file kept safe on the cloud a good way to go about this? Any other thoughts that my post brings up are more than welcome.


23:07 UTC


Taking an Image

I need a basic way to capture the contents of a hdd and store it for a rainy day. We have lots of offline devices on older OS’ that can’t be upgraded, they are scientific instruments. I need a basic way to capture an image, not complicated and hopefully with some compression, at least that it doesn’t try and capture a 1tb drive when there is 850gb free.

Any ideas? I think I use to use a Linux live cd at one point, it’s been awhile. I just need it in case one hdd fails and they aren’t set up for raid.

20:25 UTC


ChatGPT help desk scenarios?

Hi, I am currently using ChatGPT to tone my troubleshooting skills. Does anyone have a better resource practicing for helpdesk situations? I am really trying to improve my skill in identifying the problem. Thank you.

12:59 UTC


Ethics and part time IT position pay

I USED TO BE a consultant in a small town in Colorado and I retired almost 4 years ago. I sold my business to a veteran, who it turned out, had some severe PTSD issues which has required hospitalization over the past three years. He has left the area to be closer to the VA hospital and hasn’t been doing any IT work for my old customer base. As part of the sale, there was a non-compete agreement that said that I wouldn’t do any IT work for anyone in a 75 mile radius of my town until Feb 2025. There’s nothing in the sales contract that covered if he left the area, wasn’t able to perform services in the area or my going to work for a customer.

I’ve been approached by one of my old customers who is really needing some IT help, he doesn’t like any of my old competitors and wants ME to do some IT work for them. I explained about the non-compete agreement and it being almost four years of being out of the IT industry, etc. I had been keeping tabs on the industry, OS’s, latest viruses, etc., but that has waned over time, so I am pretty rusty. He said that I’d probably be quickly up to speed and offered to make me a part time employee.

The questions I have are: Would it be ethical to take the part time employment offer? The non-compete has been a great out for not doing any IT work, but this is the first employment offer as a way around it. Do I need to make sure that it’s really a part time employee offer and not a 1099 gig, which is basically a consultant? I used to charge $125/hr when I was a consultant, what should I ask for hourly compensation if I decide to do it?

*edit to update state ** edited again to add non-compete ending date

18:17 UTC


Refresh vs refurbish?

Is there a difference between refreshing a Windows computer and refurbishing one? At what point do I need to buy a new COA?

16:41 UTC


This sub feels like a simulator

-I work with IT.

-Oh, great! Can you help me with XYZ?

13:55 UTC


What was your proudest solve?

Everyone here probably has some solution or fix that they found for a ridiculous and obscure problem, which mad then so proud when they finally got it.

What's yours?

21:26 UTC


Anyone seeing older HP desktops brick with current updates?

Preface this with: I am not looking for tech support on this topic, just want to know if you guys are also seeing it in the field.

We've told lots of people they can cling to their Win10 boxes until 2025 when support drops and Win11 should be a bit more polished (hopefully). However I have now had my 4th machine come in that 22H2 has broken. Only common theme so far is they are all older HP machines. However some are intel and some are AMD cpus, so it isn't even like it's the same chipset or anything.

They get KMODE exception BSODs, and I confirmed that connecting a new blank drive, and installing fresh windows will cause the BSOD prior to ever finishing the setup, however using an ISO of 22H1 Windows will install fine. When WU downloads and installs 22H2, it goes to KMODE exception again. So probably driver problem for some piece of common hardware, but I haven't been able to pinpoint it yet. I even turned off network and audio devices in the bios so it wouldn't even try to load drivers for them. HP has also taken a page from Intel and started purging their support site of older downloads, not that it would likely help since it wasn't originally a Win10 machine, but I can't even see if there was ever a bios update that possibly would have addressed this in some way.

Has anyone else been seeing anything like this?

19:57 UTC


Stress & function testing software for Windows, iOS & Android

Hi everyone,

I'm looking into whether I can improve any of our processes or at least compare them with what other people in the industry are doing. Whether you're in break/fix or if you're closer to corporate IT/sysadmin territory I'd really appreciate hearing about your solutions for:

Stress testing software

What software do you use? Is it paid or free? What are your goals with using stress testing software? Do you check that PCs are stable and/or turbo the way they're supposed to? What else?

Function testing

What are your methods to quickly check whether all the features are working? Do you script it? Do you have software to guide you through it or automate it?

Data erasure

Is your software paid or free? Do you offer certified erasure?

Anything else?

Feel free to add anything that you think would be useful.


14:33 UTC


Ideas and suggestions for securely wiping (but re-using) SSDs?

I have a few older SSDs hanging around that I'd like to repurpose and probably include in things that I give away or sell. But I'd also like for them to be reasonably wiped and guarded.

I know you can write passes to them with bits or 0s or 1s and I also know that for SSD's that doesn't really nail all the data on the drive due to the nature of SSD flash memory. I'm also aware that TRIM is supposed to be able to have wiped everything so long as it was on, it was working, and the drive was running TRIM long enough. But that doesn't quite cut it for my level of comfort.

I've read a suggestion a few times that I kind of like with the idea of of using some heavy encryption for the entire drive, and then purposefully losing the key. Which from that point going forward should be relatively secure to use that drive after format given that nobody will likely brute force the encryption that I purposefully lost.

Does anyone know of any tool (or script, or .iso, or github repo?) that is capable of being booted too that can do an encryption or workflow of that nature quickly/automatically? I have a few drives I'd like to run this through so doing this as automated or efficiently as possible is name of the game.

I love all the downvotes for asking a reasonable question.

21:39 UTC


USB drive for Ventoy/Multiboot

Hello everyone,

I'm looking forward to buy a new pendrive for my Ventoy setup.

I'm using it for multibooting, fixing computers and stuff.

I need something with 64GB+ capacity and what is most important is durability. Flash memory of these devices have limited read/write cycle and I want something that can endure for years.

I'm thinking about getting the Sandisk Ultra Flair 64 or 128GB one, it has 5 years warranty, but I cannot find the rated read/write cycle or the flash memory type of it.

Do you have any recommendation for me?

Thank you!

14:17 UTC


Would it be wrong to cold call people to offer real computer repair?

So Ive been watching a bunch of scam baiter content and I was thinking why not reach out to people in my neighborhood, provide them with a warning about tech support scams and refund scams, and then ask if they do have any concerns about their computer that I could help with. Then provide my contact information and website and ask if they would like to schedule a time for me to work with them. Be it repairing a computer or helping with small items that they don't understand. All for a fair price with zero pressure to act now or else. I know there's nothing wrong with this plan morally, I'm just curious what others would think about taking this approach.

01:03 UTC


Alternatives to Bios-PW.org website

Hey guys, does anyone know what happened to the page? Hope it's not permanently down as we use it all the time. Any good alternatives anyone recommends?

18:38 UTC


What is your favorite software to carry

So I got myself an external SSD that I will pack with various software. I installed Medicat on it which in itself has a lot of tools I added some Windows ISOs and Linux live boot, and some programs that I get asked often to install.
So can you share your favorite software for fixing, monitoring, backup, and restoring files... That you would use on a day-to-day basis.

22:38 UTC


Pc-part.com old parts website

I'm not sure if I forgot the name or if the website is gone.. looking for pc-parts.com or wholesalepc-parts.com It was a website where sellers could list thier parts prices, majority from southern california. Does anyone remember this site, the actual name, or a similar site if it's defunct.. I used to buy parts from a dozen companies in southern California, and pretty much all are gone... can anyone recommend wholesale places near city of industry/Norwalk or another similar website where I can find multiple suppliers... thanks!!!

19:21 UTC


Repairshopr is sh*tting the bed... Alternatives?

When I found repairshopr a few years ago I was so excited and happy with the product. They frequently released new features, kept users informed and were proactive with support requests.

The final straw for me right now is that I use the SMS feature very frequently. Not only has it been down since Friday, they made no effort whatsoever to contact users that the service is down. Instead they expect you to check the support status page. Of course I didn't know that text messages weren't working at first I just assumed people were not responding to me. It's now been a week with no updates. I contacted support a few days ago they had no answers and were supposed to email me about the issue to get a case #. I got no email and the service is still down. I doubt that the person I spoke to will actually follow up when it's resolved either.

At one point shortly after setting up repair shopper I found that marketer wasn't functioning. I contacted them to find out why and was told that marketer was never meant to send out emails after such a long period of time (My emails were service reminders or antivirus renewal reminders for a year or two trigged by ticket closing). I was told that they may add that to a future build and never received an update.

It's bad enough that the updates have been very inconsistent with little features added that have been requested for years on end.

Here are the things I am seeking on a replace CRM manager.

We use QuickBooks desktop still for accounting one of the key reasons I went with repair shopr is the integration to our existing quickbooks database. If this is not possible in another program, the replacement should have some kind of user friendly accounting side.

We use square, I would prefer to keep that integration in place without having to switch to another payment provider.

Absolutely the use of SMS and preferably a good email system as well (I've disabled leads in repairshopr it's caused more problems than help and a fully functioning email integration would be more preferable)

Maybe I'm asking a lot here but if repairshopr were functioning as advertised I'd probably stick with what we have. It's getting more and more frustrating paying for a product that has gotten more expensive and less reliable.

16:28 UTC


Repair ergonomics, what do I do?

Spending over 7 years working hunched over a desk while repairing computers is starting to take a toll on my back, and while thinking about getting a new chair and desk I can never figure out how I can work differently to be more ergonomic. I always come back to hunching over laptops and phones, how else can I work efficiently?

How are your workspace ergonomics? Are we all hunching over stuff daily?

Edit: thanks to everyone for answers! Guess I'm going to try a standing setup!

09:57 UTC


Outlook misery - OST converter?

OK, so i'm back again in 2023 looking for an OST conversion. I don't know why people love Outlook, but when they do, they do.

Is there anything out there anybody actually trusts for this? I'm working with a client on Outlook 2016, trying to open an OST from a backup.

16:15 UTC


Content creation cameras (Insta360 Link vs Razer Kiyo Pro Ultra)

I ask this as a computer technician and shop owner looking to revamp our YouTube content and make some streamlined repair videos for enthusiasts looking to jump into the industry from a break/fix standpoint. I was live-streaming our repairs on Twitch for a year or two but prefer to add structure to our videos.

I've been watching a few reviews on webcams, previously was using a Razer Kiyo (love/hate relationship, mostly boiling down to Razer's synapse software and the ridiculously short cord that Razer support said should NOT be extended by any length) for top-down views on new builds, and a series of C920/C922s for just about everything else. This worked fairly well, but I'm wanting to increase the quality of the videos since they'll be posted to our website in instructional blogs.

I've narrowed down my decision to the Insta360 Link ($249) or the Razer Kiyo Pro Ultra ($299). I'm leery of getting the Razer Kiyo Pro Ultra because of countless experiences with Razer products breaking. My personal Razer products (keyboards and mice), along with customer keyboards, headsets, even their Blade laptops have shown up in our shop with what feels like absolute piss-poor engineering quality.

Am I alone in this thought, thinking that Razer products are over-priced garbage and that I should stray away from the new camera solely based on their poor quality / monkey-coded Synapse software, or do any of you have enough experience with the Kiyo Pro Ultra (either personally or setting them up for clients) that have positive feedback to provide?

09:55 UTC


WAN speed handheld testing device

So my boss asked me to look into a cheap device to be able to plug into the network to test internet speed and connectivity on locations. He's not super tech savy and doesn't want to carry a laptop around with him. I tried looking around but I'm not really finding a handheld device to do this. Does anyone know of something that's not something like an expensive fluke device? Thanks!

13:41 UTC


Migrating to New Computer Solutions?

Hi all,

Does anyone have any secret sauce software that will migrate windows instances between computers, including programs? Every time I do a PC refresh I rebuild the computer manually with only migrating data, and I am wondering if there is a better way.

17:10 UTC


How do you guys tether smart cards?

At my new job, the smart cards are dual-purpose for PC access and office door access.

I'm afraid of losing the cards and we can't use a regular card holder because we need to insert the card into the PC.

I was thinking of using a 'half-card' holder that only holds the part of the card away from the chip, but it would still be on a lanyard that may cause issues when I forget it's attached to me.

What solutions do you guys use?

02:27 UTC

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