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Whedgit
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Hey everyone!

Just wondering if anyone else repairs computers in their spare time. If so, how much do you charge and what area do you live in.

I charge $40 an hour and live Iowa and no one has complained yet. (in fact i've received tips from a couple of times)

On a related subject im looking for an adapter to convert 2.5"/3.5" ide/sata drives to usb for HDD testing and recovery. Anyone know of a good one for around $25?

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I do it a lot in my spare time and generally charge based on the work needed, if it is badly infected to a point where it is not work manually fixing because theres just too much damage to the OS, I will backup all of their data to a external drive (boot into ubuntu, and backup the stuff to a external drive, then boot into windows on a laptop and scan the data with 4 different virus scans (you can install multiple scanners if you disable their startup entries and services)

while doing that I will reinstall

and generally charge them like around $50-60 depending on the work. as I do take screenshots if I am able to get into windows and I try to get everything to be like how it was before right down to the look, with some performance optimizations

it takes longer but it gives good results and allows you to get more customers because they end up telling friends

as for adapters, I use a few that I got from ebay, they work well (was like $1 when I got it and free shipping from china)

if you need to do a laptop drive, just use the 2.5 adapter and use that to connect to the external enclosure that wants ide and a 3.5 inch drive

I do my work around the NY area

and for more simple things like a system build, I generally charge around $30 (like $10 more if they picked liquid cooling as it is annoying to work with) and I will build the system and install the OS

I don't charge by the hour because that can cause them to rush you.

PS I have been looking into this for a little while but cant find much info on it in terms of quality and how well it works http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16812264002

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Friends & Family - $20 flat rate, that's all it will cost them no matter the project.

Friends & Family of Friends & Family - $20/hr.

Random People that I barely know - $30/hr.

I do my work in the Seattle area, but I don't get a lot of work because most people don't trust a 17 year old xD

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wow.. I am really undercharging.. Oh well, it's beer money.

Quick fixes - free

If it takes me too long (more than a day or so) to get off my ass and work on it - free

If I have to leave the house - $20 to $40. Depends on how much I like them.

Well, @ the same time you all make me think my build model is overpriced, but people seem to like it alot.

New build:

15% Of total price in parts before tax and shipping.

ex. $400 computer = $60 labor

$ 800 computer = $120

$1200 computer = $180

$2500 computer = $375

Now at the same time, I get down in the trench and dig HARD to find the best deals, talk to the customer to find what they really want and need, and full rule of thumb:

Unless your willing to spend at least $600, just go buy a dell or hp. I can't beat them in entry level computers in both component value to price ratios nor warranty.

Now if your willing to get down and spend come real cash.. well then, i'm your guy..

I operate all over the mississippi gulf coast andeast coast louisiana.

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Thanks Brian!

The link to the converter that had the IDE/SATA to USB is exactly what i was looking for...must have overlooked it the last time i went to newegg.

only thing is that they wont be write blocked but im not looking to do forensics on anything yet. ill save up for a mobile kit from Access Data someday :)

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only thing is that they wont be write blocked but im not looking to do forensics on anything yet. ill save up for a mobile kit from Access Data someday :)

The hardware doesn't necessarily need any special write-protection, the OS can do that, for example you could have a Linux distro which mounts the drive only to image it using dd or similar.

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D.

You don't act like an ass to a burger joint worker, or else they will spit in your food (or worse)

You don't act like an ass to a cop cause he will throw your ass in jail (or at least go through with that ticket he was writing)

You don't act like an ass to the plumber, or else you wont get JUST the crack package, but the FULL ROUND BROWN package..

so....

You DAMN SURE don't act like an ass to a computer tech (unless your in I.T. which is a whole diff. story altogether)

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well since were on the subject, let me ask you this (for personal techs, not business techs)

Do you let visual interpretation scale back the price (i.e. pretty hot chick = less/free repair)?

...

You DAMN SURE don't act like an ass to a computer tech (unless your in I.T. which is a whole diff. story altogether)

I've only fixed a cute guy's comp once and unlucky for him, I was literally broke at the time and couldn't afford any discounts.

...

I agree... You piss me off / are an asshole to me while I'm working on your PC, you'll more than likely be getting it back with some 'performance tweaks'.

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I gotta say that looks has never affected they way i charge for work (mostly cause i haven't had any good looking chicks with computer problems) but if they sit there and want to know what they did to screw something up i usually knock a few bucks off.

Also I've found that those are the people who will give you a tip if you tell them your giving them a discount. Which means they usually pay the same price anyway. I'm not trying to scam them out of money but people seem less angry with you if they choose to pay that extra bit.

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You definitely have a point there Whedgit. I'll have to admit that even when 'giving away' service, I end up getting a cool $60 here and there :D

@drOp - well if your in the same boat as I was (well i'm married now so im irrelevant anyway) unfortunately it never works the way it does in your head :P

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I would look at the local companies and charge just under what they are charging. I would also look at the local geek squad services and do a similar service offering with cost. When I lived in southern Michigan I charged $50 a hour (local companies charge $60) and I charge $75 for onsite services (local charged $85).

I also did home wiring and server work for companies and that was usually charged at $100 an hour (contractors charged $125). The wiring was usually because there were two people doing work. If the job was bigger then we would charge based on project. The server or network support was for local companies and non-profits. I hope this helps. You should mainly base it on what other are charging. You could also charge a flat rate of X amount for virus and malware removable.

On the cable requirements I would look at the cables to go product. We use it for our forensic deployment work. Here is the link:

http://www.cablestogo.com/product.asp?cat_...1&sku=30504

Enjoy.

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Bytecc USB 2.0 to IDE/SATA Adapter

http://www.memoryexpress.com/Products/PID-...63%28ME%29.aspx $40 CDN.. 100% worth it.

I do the random support, some its free. If its takes me over 3 hours I usually don't ask but they will offer.. so when they force it on me I state around $30. Also depends if I like the person.

I like what h3%5kr3w does. I think I will try a 10% out on a few people.

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@ EnzoMatrix - thank you! yah, I like my pricing model on new builds. I mean think about it, you need some cash, they want a professionally done job. Also with this, I give free support for up to a year for a new built computer just for the courtesy of it because since I built it, I usually use at least 90% of well known hardware that I use myself.

Also I like to document the hardware and tuck it away. I'll download the latest drivers for everything and install that fresh so it's 100% updated. (I mean how many of us got the arrrgghhss when we bought a new laptop, and as soon as we got it out of the box, were checking it out and vista decides to reboot and take forever installing updates..)

I could probably charge more (I have actually been offered more on a few occasions) but for me it's a trade off, because I can't always be around the latest fastest hardware all the time, so at the same time, the research I use when building a price list and part to part comparisons when building the the part list, and the learning about the new hardware I get when building the actual pc, I keep myself up to date.

Not including I will go ahead and download and install the latest frequently used applications and put a few good freeware games on it to start off with.

I guess you could say what I try to do is emulate what you USED TO get when you bought an Alienware system (when it actually was AlienWare, of course now it's a dell in the same case with a huge price tag)

Original Alienware systems actually came with a custom made guide book, install disk set, and custom made configuration book specifically for that system.

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http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16812232002

this is the one i just bought... ill find out how well it works this weekend and post my thoughts

and i think im gonna start charging flat rates for certain things like updates & virus removal

then charge hourly for hardware troubleshooting with a min of one hour at $40 then $20 for every hour after that

it's great to get soo much feedback, i haven't had much luck elsewhere :)

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hey be fair , family and friends are free! and Hiren's boot CD, Ihavethepasswords and various live cd's including live windows ones and 'DOZE cd's are the normal repair tools. personally I prefer hardware problems as they are much easier and quicker to fix(how often have you seen that locking computer that requires the heatsink cleaning!) , but we all know those rootkits are the most annoying thing going!

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I used to work in PC repair shop,... had this whole breakdown of charges and time and all kinds of graphs and shit.

Now that I do work on the side, I just simplified it ALL .. 95% of everything I do is $50 .. that's it .. DONE. I need the quantity of work and word of mouth more than anything. So far it's working really well.

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That's great that your going for the word of mouth, but take it from me, there can be a little TOO much mouth sometimes and it ends up messing you for a while here and there (mostly from people having you fix their junk computers... cheap asses)

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