PC Technician's Toolkit

Discussion in 'hardware' started by TheKid7, May 4, 2011.

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  1. TheKid7

    TheKid7 Registered Member

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    What would a typical "mobile" PC Technician carry in his/her Toolkit?

    1. Screwdrivers
    2. CPU Thermal Compound
    3. Motherboard Standoffs
    4. Screws (hard drive, CD/DVD Burner, Case)
    5. USB 2.0 CD/DVD Burner
    6. Laptop PC
    7. ATA/SATA Hard Drive to USB Adapter (For extracting data from hard drives)
    8. Molex Power Supply Cable Splitter
    9. Molex to SATA Power Supply Cable
    10. Bootable Imaging Software
    11. USB 2.0 Hard Drive
    12. Antivirus Rescue CD's
    13. DVD+/-R's for Burning Data and or Image Backups
    14. Puppy Linux for Data Recovery from an unbootable PC
    15. USB Stick with various applications such as Malware Removal Software

    Please 'add to'/'remove from' this list and comment.

    Also, what kind of carry bag/case do you use to haul your stuff?

    Thanks in Advance.
     
  2. J_L

    J_L Registered Member

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    Maybe certification.
     
  3. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    I rarely make house calls anymore as my clients come to me. :) However, I keep a FrozenCPU Ultimate PSU Tester in my tool bag when I am "in the field" and don't have a good spare power supply to swap in. While not a certain test, they are better than nothing. The advantage of this model is that it has an LCD readout of the voltage.

    That said, I usually take a known-good spare PSU with me because no tester can test for unacceptable levels of ripple.

    I also always take crimpers, RJ-45 connectors, and a length of Cat-5e - and a couple 6ft cables already made and tested.

    Can of dusting gas.
    AC Outlet/Ground Fault Indicator Tester

    IMPORTANT - Understand that most anti-malware, diagnostic, and other software is NOT free for commercial use. Best Buy was sued for $Millions for using SystemInternals software (free for personal and home use) by their Geek Squad.

    Note too, any income you earn is taxable income.
     
  4. stapp

    stapp Global Moderator

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    CMOS batteries, and a big paper clip, straightened out of course, for getting dvd drives open :D
     
  5. FastGame

    FastGame Registered Member

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  6. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Oooh! I forgot about both of those. Good catch. The problem I have with bent up old paperclips is they always disappear on me. o_O :mad: So I have a pin (several actually, but one in my toolbag) that was used to keep height-adjustment monitors from jumping up and down during transport. The ones used on smaller monitors are the perfect size for ejecting optical disks manually. And (I'm assuming) since they look more like a tool than a piece of trash, they don't disappear.

    When stapp mentioned batteries and paperclip, I decided to check my bag and realized I forgot :oops: and discovered (due to QCF - quinquagenarian cranial flatulence) a whole bunch of things that have accumulated in my "road kit" - my bag and another box (where I keep the spare PSU) I keep ready to toss in the back of my truck. :oops:

    In my bag, I also have stuffed a multimeter, soldering pencil, solder sucker, solder, shrinkwrap, flux, sponge, stats, wire strippers, tweezers, small wirecutters, pliers, flashlight with good (and extra) batteries, exacto-knife, wooden glue sticks (used to stop fans when blasting with dusting gas), nut-driver set (SAE and metric), adjustable wrench (SAE and metric ;)), PS/2 mouse, PS2 to USB adapters, USB cables, drive cables, earbuds, microphone, dusting brush, *ESD wrist strap, Ethernet cable tester, and a spare set of eyeglasses.

    And in the box with the spare PSU (and a universal notebook supply too :oops: ) I keep spare D-Sub, DVI, and HDMI cables, D-Sub to DVI and DVI to HDMI adapters, and a PS2/USB keyboard. I have old, but known good PCI, AGP, and PCIe graphics cards too, and a PCI NIC. There's a small box of old RAM, a PCI to USB and a PCI to SATA adapter card, a 80mm and a 120mm case fan and a couple clean microfiber rags and a cigarette lighter. I don't smoke but a flame is useful in determining strength and direction of air flow, but I also use it for shrinkwrap, if space allows it. My old Linksys BEFSR41 3-Port Ethernet router (used to be 4-ports, but one fried, hence, "my old router). There's an 80Gb EIDE drive with cables (but no SATA, which I should remedy). Finally, besides gum wrappers and other trash, I have a couple standard OEM AMD and Intel CPU HSF assemblies too.

    I used to lug around a spare monitor, but now it seems most folks these days have access to more than one computer, a spare monitor, or a newer TV that has PC support (D-Sub, DVI, and/or HDMI) that I can borrow for testing display problems.

    Being retired, I am fortunate to not really need to work any more, so most of my clients have been so for a long time, and so have become friends too - thus I usually know what I am getting into before I get there. And they know what they are getting when I arrive - me!

    My point is, I don't need to leave any impression because my clients already trust me - at least when it comes to their computers, networks, and security. If you are trying to build your business and reputation, you need to leave an impression with any new client that you came prepared - a sign of a "professional" and someone they would not hesitate to recommend to their friends. If you have to keep running back to the car, or home to get something you should have brought with you, it does not leave that impression - especially if hourly rates are involved. Remember, experts are a dime a dozen. But only a few are professionals.

    So I know that's a lot to lug around but time is money. It wastes everyone's time, including yours, if you don't bring what you need the first time.

    That said, for me, I keep a couple of spare computers handy too and will frequently shag one with me. If it seems the repair might take hours and hours (mostly just waiting until the next prompt), then I will swap in my spare computer, setup their network and printer, and let them use my computer while waiting on parts or whatever for theirs. Again, my business is small (on purpose) so I can do that.

    *ESD - As a technician, I habitually keep a finger on bare metal of the case when working inside electronics to prevent any static potentials from building up in me. So in my home/shop, I (wrongly) don't normally wear a ESD wrist strap when working inside a computer. But invariably, when on a call at a client's location, I'm on carpet with no grounded wooden bench to work on. So I have a good wrist strap in my "road kit" that I don't hesitate to wear when conditions warrant.
     
  7. PJC

    PJC Very Frequent Poster

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    Are you aware of THIS site?
     
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