Welcome to the Restart Wiki! This is a place where those of us in the Restart community with experience and skills in mending appliances and gadgets can share them with those who are starting out, or whose own knowledge lies in different areas. It's aimed at anyone with a curiosity about how things work and how to fix them. No prior knowledge is assumed.
What it isn't: It isn't going to show you how to fix a particular make and model of device, which we leave to the various fix-it sites and many disassembly videos. You can also get help with a device on social media using #SOSRestart. Here, we concentrate on basic and widely applicable principles.
Who it's for: In the spirit of sharing knowledge as widely as possible, everyone is welcome to read it. To contribute, just become a volunteer Restarter in your community and contact us.
Like any wiki, this one is work-in-progress. Pages referenced below in red don't yet exist but are projected.
If you wish to reuse anything here, you are welcome do so under the terms of the Creative Commons ShareAlike Licence 3.0.
Repairing with others
- Thinking of running your own Restart Party? All you need is here.
- Tools - Our list of useful tools for community electronics repair.
- Restarter Safety Guidelines - Safety instructions to be adhered to at all Restart Parties.
- Measuring impact
- Scared to Repair? Some useful tips for complete beginners.
- Tools - You can pick and choose what you need.
- How to search - Tips on how to search for useful material.
- Resources - Good sites for fixit or disassemble guides, service manuals etc.
- Diagnosing faults - Common processes for troubleshooting
- Sticky Stuff - How to stick things back together when they break
- How to solder - a brilliant resource from Technology Will Save Us. (You don't need an expensive soldering iron though - it just makes it a little bit easier.)
- Case Studies - Our favourite fixes in which we learned something new, or which nicely demonstrated a diagnostic or fixing principle.
- Finding a reliable professional - best practices and some London examples.
Basic electrics and electronics
A Restarters' Training Session makes an easy introduction to the following sections down to and including Electronic Components. It consists of a presentation with audio commentary, lasting around 50 minutes.
- Electric circuits, volts amps watts and ohms - what every Restarter should know.
- AC and DC - what's the deal?
- How to use a multimeter - the most useful addition to your toolbox after screwdrivers etc.
- Electronic components - recognition, failure modes and testing:
- Power supplies - how they work, what can go wrong, and how to test and fix them.
- Electric motors - different types, how to recognise them, test them and maybe fix them.
- PAT testing survival guide.
- How to wire a mains plug.
Computers and home office
- How to deal with a slow laptop - mainly focussed on Windows.
- Windows miscellaneous.
- Be Your Own Security Expert - helping people stay secure.
- How to speed up a slow OS X computer.
- Apple miscellaneous including OS X and Macs.
- Linux migration - Choosing a distro, and throwing Windows out of computers.
- CD/USB bootable tools - many of them applicable whatever your operating system.
- Disk Wipe Utilities - How to securely erase all sensitive data from an old computer, and why you should never skip doing so.
- Laptop power problems.
- Clean up! Cool down! - dealing with dust build-up and overheating in laptop and desktop computers.
- Advanced hard disk tools - and the simpler ones too. Where to turn when the data is in danger.
- SSD Migration and Troubleshooting - Solid State Disks: everything you might need to know.
- Troubleshooting inkjet printers.
Smartphones (except Apple)
iPods, iPhones, iPads
- Summary of iPhone, iPad and iPod repairs.
- How to mend Headphones
Kitchen and Household items
- Microwave Ovens (This page contains IMPORTANT SAFETY WARNINGS.)
- Sewing machines demystified. Trouble-shooting, care and maintenance.
- Steam Irons
- Table lamps, desk lamps and floor-standing lamps.
- Vacuum cleaners
- Style guide - lets give this wiki a consistent look and feel.
- Sandbox - experiment with wiki markup and editing here.
- Wiki Markup - how to edit wiki pages.
- MediaWiki FAQ
- MediaWiki release mailing list
- Configuration settings list - wiki plumbing, for gurus only.