The technician's toolbox

Discussion in 'A+ Certification' started by techophile, Jun 23, 2003.

  1. techophile

    techophile Guest

    I noticed that Mike included some software tools on the cd with his book.
    I'm planning on starting a "mobile" tech service after being certified(I've
    been working on friends, family, and my personal computers for awhile, but
    just now getting certified). So with limited funding $1500 what would any
    of you that have "been here and done that" recommend? I think this will be
    helpful for myself as well as many others on the board. So maybe we can
    catergorize them as :

    Actual tools need:(maybe some actualy toolkit suggestions here)
    Free software tools
    Commercial software tools
    Troubleshooting knowledge bases


    Anything else that doesn't fall under these 3 categories would be
    appreciated too. Maybe some links to help in the finding if you have the
    time and urge to further hold the newbie's hand.

    Much thanks for anyone that helps out.

    1 last thing....are there any good techician message boards or newsgroups
    around that you know about?
     
    techophile, Jun 23, 2003
    #1
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  2. techophile

    Paul Stelter Guest

    G'day! Have been at this end of business for a while now, and have
    found the following very practical:

    Software: Major operating systems - copy of win95 / 98 / ME, 2000 (demo
    has the same install files), XP, DOS 6.2, win98 boot disk, norton
    system-works PRO (it includes Ghost), and the latest copy of NAV. Too,
    Sisofts SANDRA 2003 pro (good for benchmarking / burning in pc's), and
    WINZIP (whatever the latest version is)

    Tools: Phillips screwdriver (one long handle, one stubby), micro /
    precision screwdriver kit (includes Torx, phillips, slot). Small
    flashlight, nuts/bolts/standoffs, CPU Paste

    Supplies: Drive cables (scsi, ide, floppy) audio cables (cd-rom to
    card/mo-board), one complete board/cpu/memory for emergency swap-outs
    (sort of current - update your machine periodically and use the other
    one as a spare), AT and ATX power-supply (one of each - make sure the
    ATX is certified for P4), spare key-board, mouse, low-end video card for
    testing, at least one NIC (all of this fits on a largish box to haul
    around with you), patch cables (variety of sizes), small hub / switch,
    compressed air.

    There are some diagnostic cards that are comercially available, but they
    seem to be capable of little more than reading the POST beeps (which
    most people can hear) and report that back - don't bother with them.

    Go to www.startech.com and sign up for a reseller account - most of the
    above is CHEAP from them, and their shipping is reliable. They have
    some basic LAN tools too.

    Hope this helps.

    Paul Stelter MCP / A+

    techophile wrote:
    > I noticed that Mike included some software tools on the cd with his book.
    > I'm planning on starting a "mobile" tech service after being certified(I've
    > been working on friends, family, and my personal computers for awhile, but
    > just now getting certified). So with limited funding $1500 what would any
    > of you that have "been here and done that" recommend? I think this will be
    > helpful for myself as well as many others on the board. So maybe we can
    > catergorize them as :
    >
    > Actual tools need:(maybe some actualy toolkit suggestions here)
    > Free software tools
    > Commercial software tools
    > Troubleshooting knowledge bases
    >
    >
    > Anything else that doesn't fall under these 3 categories would be
    > appreciated too. Maybe some links to help in the finding if you have the
    > time and urge to further hold the newbie's hand.
    >
    > Much thanks for anyone that helps out.
    >
    > 1 last thing....are there any good techician message boards or newsgroups
    > around that you know about?
    >
    >
     
    Paul Stelter, Jun 24, 2003
    #2
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  3. techophile

    Fred Guest

    Fred, Jun 25, 2003
    #3
  4. techophile

    techophile Guest

    Thanks Paul. How do you feel about Belarc software?
     
    techophile, Jun 25, 2003
    #4
  5. techophile

    techophile Guest

    They seemed pretty expensive on their other toolkits too. They did seem
    very complete though.
     
    techophile, Jun 25, 2003
    #5
  6. techophile

    RussS Guest

    Excellent choice there Paul. Very closely resembles what I carry. I also
    have Belarc Advisor and am playing with AIDA32 at the moment. I also have a
    copy of AVG for those clients who do not have anything on their machines or
    they have something that hasn't been upgraded since purchase (usually about
    3/4 years ago on average ... lol).

    --
    RussS
    MCP W2K Pro & Server, A+, Net+

    http://www.techexams.net/
     
    RussS, Jun 25, 2003
    #6
  7. techophile

    Paul Stelter Guest

    techophile wrote:
    > Thanks Paul. How do you feel about Belarc software?
    >
    >



    Not entirely sure! I have a dim view of much of the software available
    out there for testing - lots of it can be duplicated using basic
    utilities that come either with Windows, or can be downloaded free from
    a variety of sites. Too, the results generally won't tell you what the
    specific problem is. A utility I've been looking for is one that could
    potentially test system memory for errors (I bought some bad RAM a while
    back and am curious to know specifically where the problem lies...)

    However, anything that comes recommended from a fellow technician is
    definitely worth looking at. I find a general rule of thumb is 'try
    before you buy' - thankfully most companies have time-bomb versions of
    their software, giving you enough time to fiddle with it and develop
    some sort of an opinion.

    I also had a look at the tool kit advertised on
    http://www.tecratools.com/pages/datacom/80118.html - rather nice, but
    probably a little overkill. I guess one advantage would be that it
    certainly would impress your client!!!!!! LOL!

    Oddly enough, I keep my network installation tools (crimpers, testers,
    saws, hammers, fish-tape etc) in a different box (OK - two boxes, once I
    get my drills put together).

    techophile wrote:
    > Thanks Paul. How do you feel about Belarc software?
    >
    >
     
    Paul Stelter, Jun 25, 2003
    #7
  8. techophile

    Paul Stelter Guest

    Thanks! I'll give that a shot.

    Paul Stelter

    ImhoTech wrote:
    > http://www.simmtester.com/ Download DocMemory.
    >
    >
    >>specific problem is. A utility I've been looking for is one that could
    >>potentially test system memory for errors (I bought some bad RAM a while
    >>back and am curious to know specifically where the problem lies...)
    >>
    >>

    >
    >
    >
     
    Paul Stelter, Jun 26, 2003
    #8
  9. techophile

    walterbyrd Guest

    tomshardward did an article about this, maybe a year ago. An
    experienced technicial put together a great toolbox. Also, slashdot,
    did a "what's in your software toolkit" article a few months ago.

    "techophile" <> wrote in message news:<MlLJa.83682$>...
    > I noticed that Mike included some software tools on the cd with his book.
    > I'm planning on starting a "mobile" tech service after being certified(I've
    > been working on friends, family, and my personal computers for awhile, but
    > just now getting certified). So with limited funding $1500 what would any
    > of you that have "been here and done that" recommend? I think this will be
    > helpful for myself as well as many others on the board. So maybe we can
    > catergorize them as :
    >
    > Actual tools need:(maybe some actualy toolkit suggestions here)
    > Free software tools
    > Commercial software tools
    > Troubleshooting knowledge bases
    >
    >
    > Anything else that doesn't fall under these 3 categories would be
    > appreciated too. Maybe some links to help in the finding if you have the
    > time and urge to further hold the newbie's hand.
    >
    > Much thanks for anyone that helps out.
    >
    > 1 last thing....are there any good techician message boards or newsgroups
    > around that you know about?
     
    walterbyrd, Jun 28, 2003
    #9
  10. techophile

    techophile Guest

    Thanks for that info. I hope tomshardware keeps archives. I'd be
    interested in seeing what was listed.
     
    techophile, Jul 1, 2003
    #10
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