The Computer Technicians Tool Bag

Steve Smith explains and shows some of the important tools a computer technician may need in the field.

What every technician needs to have with them when repairing computers in the field.

Episode # 4-42 available on : Youtube Vimeo 

Released: July 10, 2014

The world is full of computers, and many of us are mostly unprepared to deal with the numerous issues that can occur and how to deal with those issues at the same time. This episode is dedicated to the most common issues and solutions that you may encounter in your personal environment, whether it be a friend's computer, a family member's computer, or your own.

First, having the right tools is important. While having a Philips screw driver is a must in all our tools kits, having stand off adapters or precision tools is, also, important. You may, also, consider having an anti-static bracelet.

Second, you need a way of transferring files from one computer, to the next. Having an empty USB with a lot of space is a great way of transferring files from one computer to the next, in the event that the owner of the computer doesn't have a backup.

Third, it isn't always possible to run windows, in order, to obtain files because either Windows can't run correctly, or is damaged beyond repair. Having Linux live discs like Ubuntu is an awesome way of getting at data locked on a hard drive. Having several types of Linux distributions is a good idea, just in case one can't do the job.

Fourth, cans of air spray, Isopropyl alcohol, and thermal paste. If a computer keeps restarting, chances are that the fans are clogged, especially in older computers. Clean out all fans you can access. Replace the thermal paste on the CPU it hasn't be done in 2 or more years, and you Isopropyl alcohol to clean other components while thew computer is off and unplugged.

Fifth, computer running slow, full of malware, consider using Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free. I, also, use Glary Utilities to Diagnose the startup of the computer. Many people just install anything and everything, and eventually the startup gets loaded.

Sixth, zip-ties and rubber bands. A lot more useful than you think. If building a computer, cleaning one up, and trying to deal with heat, remember, the less cables obstructing airflow, the more airflow there is.

Seventh, unintentionally deleted files. Pandora Recovery is a great program for recovering lost files. Please advise the user to immediately stop using his or her computer to conserve the files, and make sure they are not overwritten. Remember that USB drive, it will become useful here, specify to Pandora Recovery that you wish to save the recovered files to the USB drive to avoid writing over other files.

Eighth, while I will always advocate against piracy, I do suggest that whenever possible you make a copy of Windows Discs only. Do not copy serial numbers. Sometimes people simply need their computer to be formatted. Most computers will have a valid license, but the owner may have lost their disc in a box somewhere. It is not always possible to simply repair Windows, sometimes formatting is the only way. The older the Windows is, the longer you will be there, and the more update downloads you will have to do.

Nineth, Portable Apps, is an awesome place to find applications that are portable. You can save these applications to a compact disc, or USB drive. They will allow you to do anything you need, you only need to download the applications you believe you require.

And lastly, you may have a bunch of applications that need installing at once, and you don't need to visit a bunch of web-sites to go get them. is a great place to download from all the applications and plug-ins you need.

Furthermore, if it wasn't immediately apparent to all of you, two computers, is always better than one, especially if you need specific drivers to get a computer online to commence the work to complete computer restoration.

Host : Steve Smith | Music : Jonny Lee Hart | Editor : Steve Smith | Producer : Zed Axis Productions

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Posted by ask
July 10, 2014



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Completely Erased

It should remove all traces of the virus, provided the hard drive has no bad sectors on it. It it does, you the mentioned Spinrite to try to fix the hard drive then run DBAN after, but usually, DBAN can erase the entire drive without issue. I've used it on maximum and let it run almost 16 hours on my friends computer, that is why this episode exists.

Completely Erased

Great! I am going to run 'autonuke' on a machine that has polymorphic malware, not sure if it is in the MBR or somewhere else on the machine. Assuming autonuke runs fully without any error, will it remove the malware from the computer with certainty?

Completely Erased

Yes, it will wipe all data, including the master boot record on your hard drive. If you are unable to get DBAN to work correctly, consider using Spinrite to fix the drive so DBAN can work, rarely needed, good to have.


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