A computer technician’s repair kit may not look as fancy as a doctor’s medical bag. In fact most computer technicians arm themselves with tools that you may easily find inside your drawers, for the hardware tinkering at least. For software troubleshooting, each computer technician has her own favored set of software she always brings with her.
Of course, in repairing computers and other gadgets it is important to always start with software troubleshooting first before moving on to the process of tearing down the device.
Software Troubleshooting Must Haves
#1 External Hard Drive
Most computer technicians have their bounty of software saved somewhere. Since external hard drives are more portable but offers a lot of storage space, this is always ensconced somewhere in computer technician’s bag. What’s more she can store videos,games, music and a lot of other collections she can share with other people.
It also helps to store device drivers that she has accumulated over years of troubleshooting. A pretty handy collection if most of her clients are not always connected to the Internet.
#2 Bootable USB
Bootable USBs are almost a must now with optical drives getting scarcer by the minute. The advent of the netbook’s popularity limited the computer’s technician access to booting from other devices.
Having two bootable USBs always ready might actually be a time-saver. Usually computer technicians have a Linux bootable USB and a Windows-based bootable USB.
With these both at hand, computer technicians are able to troubleshoot operating system problems and malware infections. Bootable USBs can be pre-configured to contain other programs that can be used in troubleshooting. A great example would be UBCD4Win and BartPE installations. These can be prepared beforehand and can be customized to run anti-malware programs. diagnostics applications, partitioning software and a host of other useful troubleshooting tools.
#3 Bootable CD or DVD
For much older computers and laptops having bootable CDs and DVDs is a must. Most clients would not bother on updating their BIOS to support USB boot ups. It’s even easier to create a bootable CD or DVD than USB bootables. All you have to is download an ISO image and burn it in a DVD or CD.
Just like the bootable USB, having one for your favored operating system will make troubleshooting easier.
Hardware Troubleshooting Must Haves
Hardware tools can be easily found in your kitchen drawers or sitting forgotten in your tool shed. You don’t have to purchase expensive ones. The important thing is it does its job.
#1 Mini Tool Set
Portability is the key to completing your tool set. Mini Tool sets are designed to be portable and can work with the special screws that laptops use or the regular screws for desktop repairs. Find one that has magnetic tips and have rubber grips.
#2 Soft Brush
Dealing with the debris that accumulates inside computers will take a soft brush. Most laptops would have a thick layer of dust lurking under the keyboard and the ventilation fans. The brush should be tough enough to battle the accumulated dirt but soft enough not to damage computer parts. A one-inch thick paint brush usually does the trick.
#3 USB Vacuum
The only thing in this list that is not a regular in the kitchen drawers. The vacuum can be used while brushing dust away from your computer. It ensures that hard to reach zones are cleaned as well.
#4 Mini Long Nose Pliers
Sometimes screws can be a bit of a problem. Having a mini long nose pliers readies you for those screws that refuse to budge.
A pencil is a computer technician’s best bud. Because it’s made of lead you can actually fix loose contacts by just penciling over them. This can be specially useful for fixing sticky keyboard/not working keys problem.
Other Must Haves
If you don’t know the solution to your problem, you can always search for the answer on the Internet. With a 3G phone you can easily browse the Net if your client does not have an Internet connection. It’s also a savior when you have forgotten what the POST beeps that are blaring every time you try to boot up are trying to say.
These items can easily fit in an average-sized pouch. Most of these items will help in making your troubleshooting process breezier. With everything at hand you can easily diagnose and fix computer problems. Of course there are times that these problems need the really electronic tools to work again. But soldering irons and testers work better in your work room. Doctors can’t bring their MRI machines to a house visit, right? That’s when the time you have to ask your clients to visit your shop.