Computer repair technicians work in a variety of settings, encompassing both the public and private sectors. Because of the relatively brief existence of the profession, institutions offer certificate and degree programs designed to prepare new technicians, but computer repairs are frequently performed by experienced and certified technicians who have little formal training in the field.
A repair technician might work in a corporate information technology department, a central service center, or a retail computer sales environment. A public sector technician might work in the military, national security or law enforcement communities, health or public safety field, or an educational institution. Despite the vast variety of work environments, all computer technicians perform similar physical and investigative processes, including technical support. Experienced technicians might specialize in fields such as data recovery, system administration, or information systems. Some technicians are self-employed or own a firm that provides services in a regional area. Some are subcontracted as freelancers or consultants. This type of technician ranges from hobbyists and enthusiasts that volunteer or make a little side money, to those who work professionally in the field.
Computer malfunctions can range from a minor setting that is incorrect, to spyware, viruses, and as far as replacing hardware or an entire operating system. Some technicians provide on-site services usually at an hourly rate. Others can provide services off-site, where the client can drop off at the repair shop. Some have pickup and drop off services for convenience. Some technicians may also take back old equipment for recycling (In the EU, this is required under WEEE rules).Hardware repair
While computer hardware configuration varies widely, a repair technician will work with five general categories of hardware; desktop computers, laptops, servers, computer clusters and smartphones / mobile computing. Technicians also work with and occasionally repair a range of peripherals, including input devices (like keyboards, mice, and scanners), output devices (like displays, printers, and speakers), and data storage devices such as internal and external hard drives and disk arrays. Technicians involved in system administration might also work with networking hardware, including routers, switches, fiber optics, and wireless networks.Software repair
When possible, repair technicians protect the computer user's data and settings, so that after repair, the user will not have lost any data and can fully use the device with little interruption, the problem. Addressing the issue, the technician could take action as minor as adjusting one or several settings or preferences, but could also apply more involved techniques like installing, uninstalling, or reinstalling various software packages. A reliable, but somewhat more complicated, procedure for addressing software issues is known as a restore, in which the computer's original installation image (including operating system and original applications) is reapplied to a formatted hard drive. It should be known though, that anything unique, such as settings, or personal files will be destroyed if not backed up on external media, as this reverts everything back to its original unused state.