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Sunday, August 20, 2006

IBM PC Advanced Troubleshooting and Repair

IBM PC Advanced Troubleshooting and Repair

When IBM unveiled the IBM Personal Computer (PC) during the summer of 1981 , it was a dream come true for many aspiring microcomputer manufacturers . The decision for " Big Blue" to enter the microcomputer market made these machines credible and acceptable by businesses everywhere. The legitimizing of microcomputers in the office enviornment by the introduction of the IBM PC produced an impact on business that has been felt around the globe.

Almost overnight , Fortune 500 companies sat up and took a serious look at uses of the microcomputer in their enviornment. And applications were discovered that seemed impossible ( at least for a desktop computer).

Suddenly the "in thing" was to own a PC. Sales of IBM PCs skyrocketed . So did sales of none-IVM computers. And the personal computer revolution was on .

IBM's professional approach to design , manufacturing , marketing , sales and support ensured that the PC would have a long and usefull life. Six years after the first PC was sold , over 3 million are still in use.

Documentation is an important are of support for the success of any new product , and over a dozen books have been published on the IBM PC. Most books cover the use of the machine from a software operation perspective. To meet the needs of understanding the hardware of the PC IBM developed the Technical Reference Manual and the Hardware Maintenance and Service Manual .

While these were ( and still are) usefull reference documents , more information was requested by the consumer. Howard W. Sams & Co. published the IBM PC Troubleshooting & Repair Guide in early1986. Thus book was closely followed by the IBM Model 5150 Computerfacts . The former book served as a bridge between the owner's manual that came with the machine and the service center schematics found in the COMPUTERFACTS.
Yet. this did not completly answer the needs of the user. What was needed was an immediate to advanced book that described the detail found in the IBM PC COMPUTERFACTS for computer service technicians , advanced hobbyists , and educational institutions.

Meanwhile , schools , universities teaching microcomputer repair needed a text that would guide the student through troubleshooting an repair based on a well-known and widely known machine - The IBM PC.

This book was developed to meet this needs . It is intended to complement both the Sams COMPUTERFACT and the IBM PC Troubleshooting & Repair Guide. This advanced technical book complements the COMPUTERFACT service data with descriptive fact and expanded troubleshooting and repair service explanations . it is written to complete the documentation requirements of the using public and all the service centers and repair shops that troubleshoot and repair this marvellous machine. It can be used as a text for a course in microcomputer troubleshooting and repair. It is intent to make a better repair technician out of us all.

Three types of service center technicians can be found in industry today:

- Mechanics
- Bulldozers
- Professionals

The "mechanic" examines the circuit boards looking for a visual cause for the problem. This person performs only the preliminary steps in the troubleshooting and then seeks a way to fix the failure. This is the type of individual who will bang the side of the chassis to see if this corrects the problem , or who does a 3-foot drop to see if that will that will produce a failure.

If often does , although it typically causes a new failure without changing the original problem. This is the same person who apparently sprays the circuit board components with cool spray , then applies the heat gun which heats chips until the failure changes or goes away. This person is totally unaware of the operating life of most of the components that have been frozed and then overheated has been significantly reduced .

The "bulldozer" observes the symptoms , isolates the problem to a failing system to a failing subsystem , and then replaces every related part in that subsystem . That is certainly not a professional approach to troubleshooting and repair.

The "Professional" follows a carefull , methodical process to identify and isolate a problem. Much like a detective , this person reads all the available technical documentation , has the necessary information in view , and uses all the right equipment and tools to recognize the clues and follow the indications that lead to a failure that can be surgically corrected.

This book was written to help you to become known by your actions - to help you become a professional technician.

The book begins with a systems overview of the IBM PC. Each major part of the machine is described in general tools.

Chapter 2 is a detailed description of the operation of the PC system. Many schematic subsets of the IBM PC COMPUTERFACTS are included to give you an in-depth understanding of the signals and circuitry associated with with each major signal , address , clock and data. The book is intended to supplement the Sams COMPUTERFACTS so you will get both the broad macro view and close-up and close-up microscopic view of the circuitry.

In Chapter 3 , you are guided through the techniques and tricks used used by service technicians to troubleshoot , when the technician has no idea of the problem , which instructs you in ways to isolate the problem to a specific area. Use of these tools of the trade is also covered in this chapter.

Preliminary service checks are addressed in Chapter 4 . It's here that the troubleshooter confirms that the problem is not an operator error or a software malfunction and isolates a symptom to a particular area of circuitry.

Once the area of the problem has been isolated , Chapter 5 guides the technician through the detailed circuit troubleshooting analysis that leads to indentification of the failed part. This chapter covers problems in the power supply , the system board , the monochrome monitor /printer adapter board , the color graphics adapter board , the keyboard , and the disk drive adapter board.

Comprehensive appendices cover disassembly and reassembly , adjustments to the system and power boards , notes regarding the schematics , switch and jumper settings and a list of the safety precautions and warnings found in the text.

Troubleshooting can be be very frustrating if you are left to struggle through the process by yourself without a good guide. This book provides the techniques for quick and easy troubleshooting and repair manuals.

The full contents of the book will be placed at a later date
at the Vintage Computer Manuals website

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