Learning Resources

Essential Technician Tools

Screwdriver set
A proper toolkit is needed and computers generally need is a set of screwdrivers – not just one, but a set, because different components have different-sized screws and bolts. Generally, try to get a set that consists of the following:

  • fitting a standard PCI and chassis screw
  • fitting a standard internal ventilator screw
  • fitting a smaller fan screw, like the ones on chipsets and CPU heatsinks

You should get all of those in both the slotted (in-line) and Philips/PoziDriv (crosshead) variety. A six-piece set of TORX drivers will do fine. Also, screwdrivers should have a magnetic tip as it will also not damage to circuitry or hard-drives.

Next, a solid pair of tweezers is needed. A pair of tweezers is needed for picking screws which fall off during untightening or the jumper caps. A good pair of tweezers (preferably not made out of copper, aluminium or a similar soft metal) will help you a lot.

Cleaning equipment

The third important thing you’ll need is cleaning and the grease removing equipment. Even quality tubes (or syringes, in some cases) don’t cost much. A pack of paper tissues, a bottle of acetone is needed and for cleaning a decent stiff-haired painting brush will do the job.

As miscellaneous items, a rubber eraser (the type that erases inkpens) for cleaning contacts on cards, two spare IDE ribbon cables (both 45cm and 90cm) in case a cable turns out to be defective, your own mouse (preferably a PS/2 with a USB adapter) and a good multimeter.

External Hard Drive for Data Back Up and other equipments like

  • CAT 5e Network Cable
  • CAT 5e Cross Over Cable
  • USB to Ethernet Adaptor

CD Wallet with the following CDs
- Windows 98se/Me/2k/Xp/Vista or Operating system CD as needed
- Windows Service Packs
- Various version of Office 2000/Xp/2003

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.

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.