Some people don’t like to take things into a repair shop when something goes wrong. Some people prefer to fix things on their own. And that’s perfectly okay.
Whether you’re an experienced PC repairer or a complete newbie, there are some tools that make your job significantly easier. Here are the must-have tools you will need for many PC repair tasks:
-Screwdrivers: Yes, we’re starting off the list with an obvious suggestion. Ideally, you’ll want to get a screwdriver with multiple heads. PCs have screws with lots of different sizes, and being able to easily unscrew a screw in a tight corner is a lifesaver when you’re trying to a fix a PC. A Philips screwdriver and flathead screwdriver should do the trick. If you’re opening certain types of electronics – like an Xbox – you’ll also need a Torx screwdriver.
-Mini screwdrivers: Along with having a full-sized screwdriver nearby, you should also make sure to have a miniature screwdriver or two. Mini screwdrivers are very handy to have, and you might not realize how small PC manufacturing screws are until you open up your case or pry open your laptop’s battery cover. Have a mini flathead screwdriver and a Philips screwdriver nearby.
-A USB stick with diagnostic software: A good techie never tries to fix a PC without the right arsenal of programs. Fill a USB stick with diagnostic software and run that software to troubleshoot PC problems. Some of this software will even fix the PC problems that you or a friend is experiencing. The most important diagnostic programs to include are:
You should also consider putting a good free antivirus program like AVG Free on there. Most PC problems are caused by viruses of some form or another, and it never hurts to perform a quick scan of your device before you begin tearing it apart.
-Spare SATA and IDE hard drives with Linux pre-installed: This tool is reserved for the ultimate PC repairperson. If you’re fixing the innards of a PC, you might be dealing with hard drive failure. To see if that’s the case, slot in a spare SATA or IDE hard drive (you brought the right cables for those drives, didn’t you?) and try recovering the computer that way. Ideally, this hard drive will already have an operating system like Linux installed on it.
-Laptop motherboard tester: This is another tool reserved for professional PC repairpersons. If you take your job seriously, you’ll want to bring a laptop motherboard tester on your next PC repair adventure. Many techies don’t even know about this device, so you can certainly impress people when you whip it out. Just place the motherboard tester into a PCI slot and it will output a number. Look up that number from your manufacturer’s instruction manual to find out what the error code means. This can make troubleshooting significantly easier. You can order these testers online or you might even be able to find them at your local Radio Shack or electronics store.
-Windows Boot DVD: Many computer problems are a result of broken operating system files. Make sure this isn’t the case by bringing a Windows Boot DVD or CD with you on your PC repair journey.
-A device that can access the internet: In this day and age, the computer you’re trying to fix probably isn’t your only link to the internet. But if it is, you should try to have a laptop or smartphone handy with you as you try to fix your PC. The internet is the world’s best resource for fixing any type of computer problem. Use that power wisely.