Microsoft partners with iFixit to teach people to repair devices

Currently, there are many companies that offer services to repair or recycle their devices. Many of these services do nothing more than an average consumer (with a little know how) could. In an attempt to revive the PC repair business, Microsoft been working with iFixit over the past year to provide free training on how to repair cell phones, PCs, and tablets for people that are starting a repair business.

This new program was created to encourage the reuse and recycling of broken electronics, as well as decrease the need for "virgin" raw materials. The program is being led by Microsoft's own Registered Refurbisher Program that currently works with many refurbishing businesses to extend the longevity of Windows-based PCs. Josh Henretig, a writer from Microsoft's Green blog, states that their aim is to "[provide] free online training for people to setup a phone, tablet or PC repair business." He explains that, “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."

While this is good for the economy due to the fact that it could revive the computer repair business, Henretig states that "there is a large environmental benefit from this work, especially when applied to mobile phones and tablets" which are often replaced because of broken components that could easily be repaired.

Source: Microsoft Green | Image via UniFil

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17 Comments

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ians18 said,
Funny though, the SP3 received a really low teardown rating.

Tablets and smartphones by nature are low in reparability. They're just not meant for it.

Just because iFixit couldn't take it apart in a convincing manner doesn't mean it can't be done... of course that might be why Microsoft are doing this so people know how to fix their products.

Dot Matrix said,

Tablets and smartphones by nature are low in reparability. They're just not meant for it.


Dot, my Surface RT has a reparability rating of 4/10 vs the SP3's 1/10. Are you trying to tell me Microsoft can't make a reparable product? Especially now that they are teamed up with iFixit.

ians18 said,

Dot, my Surface RT has a reparability rating of 4/10 vs the SP3's 1/10. Are you trying to tell me Microsoft can't make a reparable product? Especially now that they are teamed up with iFixit.

It's pretty hard to make a full x86 tablet as thin as the Surface Pro 3 is, and make it repairable.

ians18 said,

Dot, my Surface RT has a reparability rating of 4/10 vs the SP3's 1/10. Are you trying to tell me Microsoft can't make a reparable product? Especially now that they are teamed up with iFixit.

"reparable" by average joe and "reparable" by Microsoft are different things.

SP3 will have more weight/thickness etc if it is suppose to be more reparable by average joe.

rfirth said,

It's pretty hard to make a full x86 tablet as thin as the Surface Pro 3 is, and make it repairable.


They (Microsoft) removed the back screws under the kickstand thus knocking the Surface line into complete irreparability.

ians18 said,

They (Microsoft) removed the back screws under the kickstand thus knocking the Surface line into complete irreparability.

so...?

In a device like that, every millimeter matters. If they can do away with those screws, why should they keep them just satisfy "reparability" for 0.000000001% of customer base?

Crimson Rain said,

so...?

In a device like that, every millimeter matters. If they can do away with those screws, why should they keep them just satisfy "reparability" for 0.000000001% of customer base?

Those screws are in my Surface RT, yet the SP3 is still thicker, I'm sure they would not add a ton of thickness.

ians18 said,

Dot, my Surface RT has a reparability rating of 4/10 vs the SP3's 1/10. Are you trying to tell me Microsoft can't make a reparable product? Especially now that they are teamed up with iFixit.

It's not a matter of screws, it's just that I don't recall there being replacement parts available on the market. The Surface is nothing but specialized parts. The only thing I would imagine is "fixable" would be the SSD.

ians18 said,
Are you trying to tell me Microsoft can't make a reparable product? Especially now that they are teamed up with iFixit.

iFixit are a bunch of uni grad amateurs. I'd like to see them extend their skills to actually doing stuff like board level repair on the things they call *unrepairable*. They think they're so hot, and the holy grail because they started a site in 2003 pulling stuff to bits? Puuuuhhlease, I've been doing this for 24 years! I could teach them several thousand things about repairing stuff!

Taking something apart is just the START of the job in my business! Replacing boards is EASY. iFixit, start doing SMD board level repairs, then tell me anyone can repair something. Replacing a whole logic board for $300 is silly if just a few components have failed, I save people money, not these losers. Big companies like Apple are bad, in their official service literature, they just tell *technicians* to replace whole boards rather than actually doing some work diagnosing the fault and fixing it.

There's no skill today, at all! Get your multimeters and oscilloscopes out, kids!

Edited by Tidosho, Aug 8 2014, 2:49pm :

I repair machines but not at the level you are at. Would love to repair more parts as a big part of my business has been selling used/refurbished PC's with very good results.

Blessings

flynempire said,
I repair machines but not at the level you are at. Would love to repair more parts as a big part of my business has been selling used/refurbished PC's with very good results.

The mentality of this industry is ridiculous. It's fuelled by Apple and its "Must get smaller, even though we know nothing about electronics" attitude, and for some astounding reason the industry copies them. Everything becomes throwaway to normal consumers because no one is skilled enough, not even the MANUFACTURERS or designers.

I'm still keeping burglar alarms from the 80's alive in my business, if I can repair it and keep it in service, I will. Modern surface mount technology isn't hard, it's just the industry's drive to make more money and cut repair bills down, stuff with hardly any faults ends up in landfill.

The other week I rescued a 2 year old Core i7 gaming rig from our local tip. A big beauty, she is, dual SLI cards, and do you know what was wrong with it? Two blown caps on the output side of the PSU meant it wouldn't power up. Some bright spark at a "computer repair" shop had likely written it off just to sell them a new one.

Judging by the files that were on its hard drive before I DoD wiped it, it was owned by a family, not hardcore enthusiast, so they'd just chucked it, for me to fix it and keep it for free!

ians18 said,

Those screws are in my Surface RT, yet the SP3 is still thicker, I'm sure they would not add a ton of thickness.


So you think you are better than the engineers who designed the surface? The fact that you are comparing Surface and Surface Pro in terms of thickness/design proves that you have zero idea what you are talking about.

Wow! What a find!! I agree with you though everything today is like a throwaway and I have the mindset if it can be fixed it can continue to be useful for as long as possible.

Better for the environment and you still make some money while the consumer can save also.