Hey what tools do you use

marzmegamarzmega Member Posts: 20 ■□□□□□□□□□
what are the differnt types do i need for a PC tech. Can I get them in a kit. Also what 3 party software tolls do you all use? Thanks


  • lazyartlazyart Member Posts: 483
    You can buy a mini-tool kit. Mine is basically a screwdriver handle with multiple tips-- Phillips and slotted screwdrivers in three sizes, an adapter to make it a nutdriver with a dozen different sizes. It doesn't have torx or hex-head drivers, which you don't use often but you'll kick yourself if you need one and didn't get it.

    Keep a couple memory sticks handy (PC100 and DDR), and a PCI video card is useful also.

    F-Prot has a nice antivirus scanner that fits on floppy. I haven't tried it with NTFS though.
    I'm not a complete idiot... some parts are missing.
  • bellboybellboy Member Posts: 1,017
    i like norton systemworks. you will need the 2003 version if you want to troubleshoot windows xp computers.

    normally all you will need is a selection of screwdrivers and maybe tweezers for jumpers. if you are good with electronics, i guess a multi-meter would be handy.

    like lazy suggested, it's not a bad idea to have some spares to swap-out too. ram, vga, floppy drive, sound card, ide/scsi leads, kettle leads, mouse, keyboard and boot disks for various operating systems.
    A+ Moderator
  • RussSRussS Member Posts: 2,068 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Posted in alt.certification.a-plus ....
    G'day! Have been at this end of business for a while now, and have
    found the following very practical:

    Software: Major operating systems - copy of win95 / 98 / ME, 2000 (demo
    has the same install files), XP, DOS 6.2, win98 boot disk, norton
    system-works PRO (it includes Ghost), and the latest copy of NAV. Too,
    Sisofts SANDRA 2003 pro (good for benchmarking / burning in pc's), and
    WINZIP (whatever the latest version is)

    Tools: Phillips screwdriver (one long handle, one stubby), micro /
    precision screwdriver kit (includes Torx, phillips, slot). Small
    flashlight, nuts/bolts/standoffs, CPU Paste

    Supplies: Drive cables (scsi, ide, floppy) audio cables (cd-rom to
    card/mo-board), one complete board/cpu/memory for emergency swap-outs
    (sort of current - update your machine periodically and use the other
    one as a spare), AT and ATX power-supply (one of each - make sure the
    ATX is certified for P4), spare key-board, mouse, low-end video card for
    testing, at least one NIC (all of this fits on a largish box to haul
    around with you), patch cables (variety of sizes), small hub / switch,
    compressed air.

    There are some diagnostic cards that are comercially available, but they
    seem to be capable of little more than reading the POST beeps (which
    most people can hear) and report that back - don't bother with them.

    Go to www.startech.com and sign up for a reseller account - most of the
    above is CHEAP from them, and their shipping is reliable. They have
    some basic LAN tools too.

    Hope this helps.

    Paul Stelter MCP / A+

    Great stuff Paul, sounds like a 'kit' built on experience. Course, since I'm
    posting I have to add a few things, I'm betting some you already have but I
    thought I would mention them since we do have many new pc technicians
    reading the group.

    On the operating Systems:

    Include boot floppies for each and note that for most cases you can burn
    yourself one cd with the cab files for all in thier own respective folders,
    i.e Win98 Win95 WinME, etc. Unless of course you intend selling operating
    systems to a prospective customer. One more note make sure you keep a spare
    floppy drive and cdrom drive with you.

    Additional software:

    Every hardrive manufacturer offers a free diagnostic/install tool, down load
    these and make the boot floppies for each. There are commercial packages
    that would do all manufacturers, but its money you could better spend

    DocMemory from Simmtester.com

    Antivirus tools - not meaning full fledged software but virus specific
    removal tools such as those from symantec. A Technician should keep up to
    date with the 'current' viruses at minimum and have removal tools handy.
    While your there download Rnav.exe (Norton Antivirus removal tool) and
    Symclean.exe (Systemworks removal tool) If you run across a mucked up
    installation of Nav or systemworks, whether by virus or otherwise, those two
    will be neccesary to get it going again.

    Adobe Acrobat reader

    Internet Explorer 5.0 - 5.5 - 6.0

    AdAware and/or Spybot

    Additional tools:

    ATX switch/load adapter
    Mechanical pencil
    small wire snips


    Spare floppy drive(s)
    Spare cdrom drive(s)

    At least one floppy and one cdrom should be considered 'tools'. Believe it
    or not I have fixed systems that had bad cdrom drives in addition to other
    problems, yet the customer chose not to pay the extra 45 bucks for the drive
    that was neccesary to fix the other problems.

    At least one spare hard drive, I say one simply because size and pricing
    changes so fast you don't want to get stuck with an overpriced undersized
    hard drive you have to eat, as your business supports you may be able to
    keep more than one.

    IDE cables - make sure you have ultradma cables, older cables still have
    some use, just make sure you have some of newer type available.

    mATX power supply

    USB mouse and keyboard

    I have to agree that the value of post cards are questionable, typically the
    rolls out like this, they are expensive enough that the new technician
    doesn't buy them, then by the time enough money is rolling in the techician
    has gained enough experince that the real value of the card has gone down
    too much to justify the cost.


    A couple very good posts from obviously experienced techs. I have moct of that stuff in either my bag or my car and also have AIDA32 and Belarc Advisor for auditing the clients machines before I start playing around. On a few occasions I have noticed some wacky software that should not be on those machines, including Keystroke software. Much easier to have a look at the results first before running a barrage of assorted diagnostic tests.
    FIM website of the year 2007
  • WyldstarWyldstar Member Posts: 32 ■■□□□□□□□□
    One thing I see missing is some sort of anti-static protection device (wrist strap or whatever.. just to be safe). I'm surprised that's not on any of the lists :o

    - WS
  • lazyartlazyart Member Posts: 483
    CompTIA insists on unplugging the PS when working on a PC and using a wrist strap... I was taught to leave the system plugged in and to periodically touch an unpainted part of the chassis to keep yourself grounded.

    Has anyone else ever heard of this?
    I'm not a complete idiot... some parts are missing.
  • bellboybellboy Member Posts: 1,017
    unplug the unit before working on it and be permanently connected to it.
    A+ Moderator
  • RussSRussS Member Posts: 2,068 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Always - I better repeat that - ALWAYS unplug a ATX machine before working on it.
    The reason we use a wrist strap is to balance our static electricity level with that of the machine - not to discharge our static level. This can be done with a strap or by touching the case before working on it and keeping bodily contact while still inside the machine.

    The reason I say always unplug an ATX machine is that the motherboard is always live while the machine is turned on at the wall and I have seen on many occasions in a build workshop where a brand new MoBo is fried because the tech had a boot problem and while poking around dropped a screw or something and shorted the MoBo dead. You can also get a decent jolt from a few things inside if there is a dead short anywhere (like a burnt wire inside a power supply).

    AT machines are a little different as they have a Hard switch between the PS and the MoBo, but I still always recommend unplugging them too. As a registered electrician I always follow that rule.
    FIM website of the year 2007
  • DrakonblaydeDrakonblayde Member Posts: 542
    Yeah, AT machines you can pretty much safely leave plugged in to keep them grounded, but like RussS said, there's no such thing as 'power off' with an ATX case, that mobo is always getting power. My parents discovered this to their dismay trying to upgrade RAM and managed to fry the CPU and motherboard. Too bad I couldn't charge them for labor (they called me to come figure out what was up on a sunday too /sigh)

    I personally use a ground strap, but to be honest, as long as you do periodically touch the case to keep yourself grounded, you should be ok.

    Those kit listings are nice, I had most of that stuff as it is, but I see a few things I didn't think of and will be adding. The one thing I saw listed that I don't bother with is a DOS 6.22 boot disk. In every situation I've dealt with, a Win98 boot disk will work just fine. I do make sure to keep two of those though. I know if I only kept 1, the floppy would go bad at a time when I *really* needed it :)
    = Marcus Drakonblayde
    ==[X]===[X]====[ ]=====[ ]====[ ]==
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