Compiling Your Own PC Repair Toolkit

Lets say, your computer has a hardware problem. Assuming you know how to replace the failed component, have you taken the time to decide what tools would be necessary? If you’re thinking you’ll use the magnetic multi-head screwdriver that came with your all-in-one toolkit, think again. Magnetic bits, like the ones found in most home tool kits, can scramble the firmware on your ROM chips. This could mean major, irreversible problems for your computer.

So, what are your alternatives? You could go to the local Micro Center and purchase a new kit, but that’s no fun, so I’ll teach you how to build one. You’ll want to start by first finding a multi-head non-magnetic screwdriver. You can pick one of these up at most hardware stores, sometimes a local department store or even a Dollar Store may carry these. While you’re getting your non-magnetic screwdriver, you may also want to pick up a couple compartment pillboxes. These pillboxes prove invaluable when storing and separating bolts, nuts, screws, any pretty much any other small objects that are removed from a computer. A small box of paper clips is also a nice addition to your budding toolkit. Paperclips are great for forcing open most optical media drives.

Next you’ll want to go to to get an ESD strap, and possibly an ESD mat. ESD stands for “electro-static discharge”. It’s a fancy way of saying static shock. If your body is not at the same electrical charge as the computer, you may shock it, and this can cause physical irreversible damage. If you notice that a lot of seasoned technicians do not use ESD straps, it is because they are in the habit of resting their bare forearm on the power supply. Since you will be using an ESD strap, you should know that you want it to be snug on your wrist, and attach the alligator clip to an unpainted portion of the case.

While you’re ordering things off of, look into ordering a set of motherboard washers. these are seldom used any longer, however they can be a real bear if you encounter a system which requires them. a pack of 50 washers is around $3.00 USD, so they are a worthwhile investment even if you never use them.

Once you have these components, your next item to get would be a pair of tweezers. I can not express how many times I’ve dropped a bolt in a case (remember, no magnetic screwdrivers.) and these tweezers have saved me from having to wrestle with the case or go digging for the screw.

Now, you’ll want to find a nice suitable carry around case for your tools. a small tackle box or tool box will suffice, or a CD wallet with the CD slots removed would also do the job. VoilÃ? , you are ready to go to dig into anyone’s computer. As an aside, you may want to make two kits; if you are a “go to” person for computer repair, keep one kit in your car, and one kit in your home.

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