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Google wants schools to teach Chromebook repair classes

Google's repair program shows how to disconnect the battery from a Chromebook.
Enlarge / Google’s repair program shows how to disconnect the battery from a Chromebook.


Hey kids! Want to help out your school and learn a bit about electronics repair at the same time? Google is launching a Chromebook repair program for schools. Chromebooks are wildly popular in schools due to their simple OS and easy management, but the hardware in any education environment really takes a beating. So why not learn to repair them yourself?

Google’s new repair site has a guide on setting up Chromebook repair facilities, recommending schools set up a dedicated space for repairs, a front desk for “customers” to drop off broken devices and describe issues, and a skill-tracker board for students.

Acer and Lenovo are the only two OEMs participating in the repair program, and Google has disassembly instructions up on the Chromebook repair site for select models. The repair guides are great, with tons of detailed pictures and drawings showing the location of every screw and cable and instructions for how to make a USB recovery stick. The guides also warn that you’ll be voiding your warranty if you attempt a repair, but you’re probably not doing self-repair if you still have a warranty.

The site doesn’t offer much guidance on where to buy parts or what tools you’ll need for repairs and just directs schools to “visit your device manufacturer’s support sites” for help. The guides also all stop at screwdriver work and won’t cover things like replacing components with a soldering iron.

Google says a school repair program wouldn’t just get the schools’ computers back up and running for cheap, it would also provide valuable repair skills for students and might even be an introduction into an IT career.

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