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Thread: What are your "must have" tools for PC repair.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    Default What are your "must have" tools for PC repair.

    I'd like to hear what sort of tools (hardware or software) all the PC repair technicians out there use on a every day basis and why. Please be sure to include some explanation other than "it rawks"

  2. #2
    My life is this forum Barry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010


    Usb drive with the mac os 10.4 and 10.5 dvd's imaged to two partitions, and the hardware test dvd imaged to the third partition.
    Torx screwdriver set, phillips/standard screwdriver set.
    Couple thumb drives with gparted, kaspersky, and ubcd installed to them. One drive also has winxp sp3 on it.
    A set of all the dell hardware test cd/dvd's for all the hardware we have in the company.
    A gerber multitool that has removable pliers heads. I have the standard pliers, needle nose, and wire cutter heads for it.
    A screwdriver that uses different driver bits, and a box of different bits. Several different usb cables.
    A palm usb to serial adapter hooked to a Cisco console cable.
    Plain serial cable.
    My eee.
    Zip ties.
    Some Velcro straps.
    Pen, marker, sharpie.
    A usb bluetooth adapter.
    First gen WiSpy.
    3dbi and 5dbi omni antennas for the bluetooth and wispy.
    iPod, and iPod cable.
    Pocket knife.
    All in a Maxpedition Jumbo S-Type bag.


    I also have a "networking" toolbox with a few hundred rj-45 and rj-11 cable ends, a handfull of network keystones, and phone keystones.
    A pair of scissors.
    A sheetrock saw.
    coax cable crimper and coax ends.
    RJ-45/11 crimper.
    punch down tool.
    phone, network, coax toner generator.

  3. #3


    I think Barry covered the basics. Before I was doing "computer things", I was building and installing various communication systems (satcoma, multiplexers, routers, and other PC type things).

    2 of the tools I couldn't do without were precision screwdrivers and quality nippers. I still use them for PC work today.

    The one thing I will disagree with Barry on is the use of multitools. If you have nothing else available, they are fine, however, if you do this for a living like we do, you need the right tool for the job. A good precision reversable screwdriver, nippers, and small needlenose pliers will fit in the same size case as a multitool and work better.

    Hope this helps...

  4. #4
    Member PeppersGhost's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008


    Dremel tool
    <EeePc 1000HA BT4/W7 USB boot Alfa500 GPS BlueTooth>

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    The new forums


    Wow great list Barry! I agree with right tool for the job but I can't remember how many times my leatherman has saved me from walking back to the office.

    Only thing I would add is power drill . I use the same DeWalt power drill I use at work at home and it's rock solid. I've built racks, mounted servers/switches/routers, and it has a ton of accessories for different jobs.

    edit: Stripped a screw this morning so I would add Vice Grips to the list

  6. #6


    i think you guys forgot one important thing, those antistatic wrist band things (dont know the exact name) but from ive learned, they are very important when working on the internals of a pc. also sometimes spare parts can be use full too, esp when trouble shooting the problems of computer hardware. now i think the new motherboards have leds which indicate what might be the problem but for older pcs its always good to have a stick or 2 of extra ram, a psu, a motherboard in general, just to pinpoint what is causing the problem.

    btw: great collection of tools you got there barry, can i ask how much approx it costs in total (excluding the eee)
    Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious...

  7. #7


    A spare generic PSU. Common single point of failure.

  8. #8
    Junior Member Miland3r's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010


    You can add a Multimeter, smart tweezers and a conductive pen to the list.
    - Multimeter and tweezers to assist with the identification of faulty hardware, cabling etc.
    - Pen to repair minor damage to traces.

  9. #9
    My life is this forum Barry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010


    Quote Originally Posted by SuspectZero View Post
    i think you guys forgot one important thing, those antistatic wrist band things

    btw: great collection of tools you got there barry, can i ask how much approx it costs in total (excluding the eee)
    You will never see me wearing one of those things. Ever. I've worked on machines in places with a relative humidity of around 10%. Never killed a component. As long as you touch the chassis first you'll be okay.

    As for the multitool, it came with me from the military, comes in handy sometimes. I've broken off most of the standard screw driver tips though. They don't make good pry bars, but at the time it's all I had.

    I think total, there's about $400 worth of stuff there, including the eee and the bag.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator Archangel-Amael's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010


    The Leatherman is a godsend. I don't care what anyone says about it.
    I carry mine with me at all times. I have used it on computer/electro equipment and prepping explosives. Indeed there is no single tool but if you can only take one or two (perhaps what fits into a pocket of a pair of jeans) then nothing will beat the Leatherman. As for the ASD wristbands, well I have used them and neglected them and have had both success and failures, but the problem is that I can't contribute those failures to the lack of a wristband. So it may be subjective at best. When it comes to a RJ45 crimper don't be cheap, pay the money and get a good one, and the ones from belkin are not good IMHO.
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