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How a used computer is turned into a good-as-new computer


There's a difference between a refurbished computer that merely appears brand new and one that actually performs as if it just rolled off the manufacturing line. CDI, a refurbisher that serves many Us school districts, uses rigorous testing to ensure its products meet the higher standard. "We do more checks, both automated and by technician," says Chris Bristow, CDI's operations manager. "And we go deeper into the machine to ensure every component is working, as opposed to simply checking that the unit is operable." Attention to detail makes the difference. Is the monitor bright and clear? Does the mouse track correctly? Are there conflicts in a system's components? At the start of CDI's inspection cycle, each piece of equipment is given a scanning tag so its repair history can be monitored. "Anyone on the line has the ability to remove a machine if it has not passed." Bristow says. Here's a peek at the process:

  • Power up. Technicians make sure the system turns on properly. a diagnostic test is run to detect any damage in the system's software.
  • Visual inspection. Workers check for cosmetic damage and loose or missing fittings.
  • Dust removal. The computer's housing is removed and dust is vacuumed up from internal components.
  • Surface cleaning. Grime, sticker residue and other built-up gunk is removed from all external surfaces.
  • Custom imaging. The computer’s hard drive is wiped clean and a new image is loaded onto the system.
  • Operating system test. Basic functions are tested after the computer boots up. CDI's inspection cycle exceeds industry standards, but the company runs the whole process a second time to ensure there are no glitches. Only then are machines certified for sale. Schools can choose to have custom upgrades added at this point, such as greater memory or hard drive space. After those upgrades are installed and double-checked, the units are ready to ship.