If you’re into repairing computers and laptops, there’s a big chance you have all the tech tools you need already. There are a few you might not have heard of, but that’s not the point of this piece. The point I’m trying to make is that you need a grocery list that includes every item you need to take with you when you go out on the field to repair someone else’s rig. I don’t know about you, but while I’m out, I usually forget something and have to waste time to go home and get it. It’s embarrassing and gives the impression that you’re not a guy people can count on. So, without further ado, I present to you a list of tools you should put on that grocery list:
1: Your Screwdrivers
This one’s so obvious, I’m not really going to explain it in detail. I suggest, however, getting a single screwdriver with interchangeable heads.
This screwdriver will save a ton of space in your toolbox, which you can now use to fill with other things on this list. Also, matching a properly-sized screwdriver head to a screw prevents stripping, a phenomenon that’s shown more precisely in an image below.
2: Spare SATA & IDE HDD + Cables
You should always have extra hard drives in case you’re going to be doing some recovery work. The hard drive should ideally have an operating system already installed, such as Linux. If you don’t know what “PATA” means, it’s basically the new name for ATA/ATAPI.
3: A Laptop Motherboard Tester
This one’s definitely a big item that should be on everyone’s tech tools list! I can’t stress it enough: if you don’t have a laptop motherboard tester, you’re going to bang your head against the wall for a long time until you realize what’s wrong. I’m surprised to know that not a lot of my techie friends know about this kind of device. Let’s show a picture:
You will plug this thing into the laptop’s PCI slot or whatever the instruction manual tells you, and it will give you a code that you’ll interpret according to the manual. These things are very precious!
4: Diagnostic Software
Take everything you can with you. Here’s a simple list of software you should have:
- RealTemp (for testing the CPU temperature)
- Process Explorer
- Process Monitor
You should also have helper software (like “Everything,” a very fast file search utility) with you so that you can perform tasks more productively, especially on a troublesome system.
5: IDE/SATA-To-USB Interface Cable
Oh, this one’s a real treat to have around! If you need to quickly connect a hard drive to a system, you can just plug it in through a USB cable instead of messing around with the insides of the PC. Want to see what one looks like?
It’s unbelievably simple to set up. However, if you’re looking to protect the spare hardware you bring along, stick it in an enclosure or run this USB setup from within an anti-static bag.
Anything to Add?
We’re always forgetting something, and I’m no exception to this rule! Please comment below to add any tech tools suggestions you have to expand this so that no tech whiz shall ever go again without his/her tools to the field.