Creating a Repair Guide

Which guides? ¶ 

The number of possible repair guides you create will vary substantially depending on the complexity of the device. For example, the iPod Nano 3rd Generation has only four guides for the entire device. In contrast, the MacBook Core Duo has more than 30 repair guides. To come up with a preliminary list of repair guides, try to determine the discrete components that exist within your device. You may be able to find a manufacturer's part list or exploded view, but if not, this may require taking your device apart.

An example list of all components inside an imaginary laptop:

  1. Battery
  2. RAM
  3. Keyboard
  4. Hard Drive
  5. Optical Drive
  6. Heat Sink
  7. Battery Connector
  8. Left Speaker
  9. Right Speaker
  10. Display Assembly

In choosing from this list, look for components that people want to upgrade, or components that break and need to be replaced. For example, on the above list, the RAM, hard drive, and optical drive are potential upgrades. The battery, keyboard, and display assembly are components that potentially wear out or break. Using this insight, we can narrow the list of components down to a shorter list that includes the most useful guides:

  1. Battery
  2. RAM
  3. Keyboard
  4. Hard Drive
  5. Optical Drive
  6. Display Assembly

Prerequisites ¶ 

Each guide should be a completely independent step-by-step tutorial, showing all the steps to complete a repair, from start to finish. What? That sounds like a lot of duplicated work? You're right. That's why you can build on your existing guides by using prerequisites.

Prerequisites simply add the steps from existing guides to the beginning of your new guide, so that they show up before any new steps, breaking your guides up to be specific to one component. For example, in most devices you'll want to remove the battery early in the repair process. Instead of having to include a step explaining how to remove the battery at the beginning of every guide, you can write the battery removal guide once, then select the battery guide as a prerequisite in future guides. Here's a guide for replacing an iPhone 5 battery. The battery removal guide is a prerequisite for the iPhone 5 Volume Controls guide. You can see that before you even get to the volume controls, you must go through the same steps that are found in the battery guide.

Block Image

Click to enlarge image! Compare it to the iPhone 5 guides on our site.

Effective use of prerequisites can be a huge time saver, but there are potential pitfalls. You can only use prerequisites for portions of the disassembly that are sequential. Let's consider our imaginary laptop again. After researching the design of the device, we've concluded that the components can be removed in the following order:

1. Battery

2. RAM

3. Keyboard

4. Hard Drive

4. Optical Drive

4. Display Assembly

Notice that the hard drive, optical drive, and display assembly all share the same number. This means that once you've removed the first three components, you can choose to remove any of the next three. The hard drive is not a prerequisite for the optical drive because you do not have to remove the hard drive to take out the optical drive. This can get tricky to keep track of in your head, so drawing a tree diagram showing the order components are removed from your device may be helpful.

Another thing to watch out for when using prerequisites is prerequisite-only guides. Sometimes you'll end up taking something out of your device that isn't a single component, but rather a subsystem of many other small components, such as a display assembly or motherboard assembly. Prerequisite-only guides are incredibly important to proper guide flow, but having them show up with your other guides may confuse readers. That's why these particular guides will not actually be viewable to anyone except your team and site admins.

Still confused? How about a concrete example of prerequisite-only guides to help you out. Both the iPhone 5 Lightning connector and logic board guides use a "logic board assembly" guide as a prerequisite, but that doesn't show up in the guide list on the iPhone 5 device page. This is to keep users from getting mixed up because there is a "logic board assembly" guide, as well as a "logic board" guide. The logic board assembly includes a number of key components, but by itself isn't of much use to someone trying to fix their iPhone.

Creating a Guide ¶ 

Go here or here to start a new guide. Bookmark it for future reference, as most likely you will be creating more than one guide. Anytime after you create your device page, there will also be a link below your device picture that says "Create a Guide for this Device," which you can use to start a new guide, as well.

The Intro Page ¶ 

  • The top of the page will ask you to Choose a guide type. Select the verb that best describes it. If you're not sure, choose 'Replacement'."
  • If it is not already filled in, put the name of your device in the Name your device field. Make sure your spelling and capitalization are correct. If your device page exists, then your device should show up in a drop-down menu.
  • Type in the hardware component that you are replacing in this guide in the next field.
  • More than 90% of repair guides will not need a custom title. Leave this box unchecked, unless the auto-generated title doesn't convey what the guide is doing. Remember, even though you are removing parts, the end goal is usually to install new ones.
  • Include a short summary for your repair guide. You can even be funny if you want. A perfectly acceptable summary, for instance, would be "Replace your dying battery to bring the power back to your iPod." The summary is used in search results, so keep it brief (one or two sentences), and include any terms or phrases that your readers would be likely to search for.
  • Write a short introductory paragraph for the repair that you are performing in the Introduction field. This section does not show up when you first create a guide; you must go back later and fill it in.
  • At the bottom of the edit page, there will be a list of flags. Leave the auto-generated "In Progress," "User-Contributed," and "Student" flags. When your final guides are submitted, administrators and users can flag your guides for content.
  • The last item before save is a box with the word "Publish" above it. Do not publish your guides. Our staff will publish each of your guides after they have been reviewed and graded.
  • Once you click "Save," you will be taken to the edit page for the first step of your repair guide.

The Details Page ¶ 

On our guides you will see a lot of information that doesn't yet appear on your repair guide. Some of these include prerequisite guides, difficulty level, and tools. At the top right corner of the blue box on the edit page, there is a tab that says "Details." Clicking this will bring you to a new page with many important fields.

  • Keep track of how long each of your repairs take. This should be the time from when you crack the device open until the last component is removed.
  • Tell users how difficult your repair was. When you open the drop-down menu, there will be text to the right that gives an explanation of what each difficulty level includes. Most PC laptops, for example, would have a "Very Easy" guide to remove the battery, whereas replacing the battery in an iPod Touch would be "Very Difficult."
  • We talked ad-nauseum about prerequisites in the above sections. Here is the place to list those. Simply start typing the name of the part that is being replaced in a guide you have already made that you want to use as a prerequisite. As long as your guides are for the same device, it should appear in the drop-down menu.
  • Most repairs are impossible without tools. List any tool that you used in the process of making that guide. Even if a tool is only used once to remove the battery, it must be listed for all guides that use the battery guide as a prerequisite. If the tool you're using doesn't already exist in the database, see How to create new items.
  • Unless you are repairing a device that we carry replacement parts for, there is no need to fill out any parts information. For more instruction in adding parts, see How to create new items.
  • Most guides can be concluded with a "To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order" message. If this is not the case (which is a rare occurrence, but it happens), then explain any additional details necessary to reassemble the device.

The Step Page ¶ 

Keyboard shortcuts available while editing a Guide step:

  • All shortcuts can use 'ctrl' or 'alt' interchangeably.
  • escape: render current
  • ctrl+n: render current, move to next
  • ctrl+p: render current, move to previous
  • ctrl+shift+n: render current, insert and move to new line below
  • ctrl+shift+p: render current, insert and move to new line above
  • tab: indent current
  • shift + tab: dedent current
  • ctrl+d: delete current
  • hit 'enter' to move to the next line, or create a new line if you're at the bottom.
  • if you hit enter while on an unmodified, fresh line, it'll be removed.
  • So, if you're on the last line, you can hit enter twice to stop editing.
  • shift-enter will behave like enter, but in reverse (going up the list of lines).

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