If you are able to repair a computer, perhaps, your family and friends start to come to you to get a help. Well, that is okay. Still, the problem is what if there is no correct screwdriver to open the box? What if no software they have to fix the problem? For this reason, it is important to create a DIY computer repair kit. This is the first thing you will need to help you repair computers. If you wonder what the repair kit for your computer is, here are the clues:
A Multi-Head Screwdriver
It is important to have a multi-head screwdriver. This tool will help you to open the box and to see the problems inside the guts of your computer. Usually, we have different screws for each layer of the case and therefore, having one screwdriver with the head you can switch out will save your time and space in the computer repair kit. It is ideal if you get one with the ratcheting head.
The tip is to leave the heads on the strong magnet. You can even use an old speaker to leave the head on it overnight to magnetize your screw so you will never lose it again.
An Ubuntu Live CD
In some cases, your computer will not boot into the operating system. Therefore, if you have an Ubuntu live CD, you can use it to discern if the operating system of your computer or the hard drive crashed – or if going to crash. In fact, if you have an operating system on the CD, it makes you able to back up in case that the hard drive is about to die.
A Flash Drive with Antivirus Software
A good assumption going into a computer repair is that your family member has virus or spyware on their machine. Having a flash drive with some form of antivirus software in your computer repair kit ensures you’re prepared for this. I download and update Windows Security Essentials on a flash drive that I have no other data on. Viruses can “leak” onto a flash drive, so I try my best not to use the toolkit flash drive in my production machine.
A Can of Air
Reality check: PC’s get dusty.
Sometimes there is a blanket of dust on the parts inside that trap in heat and can cause static to build up. Anytime I open up a PC I clean it out with a can of air. It’s important to use a can of air and not a vacuum because vacuums create static, which can cause all sorts of problems.
If you have an old hard drive lying around consider packing it in your toolkit. Sometimes testing different hardware will give you a better understanding of what is going on and how to solve it. Be careful with RAM though; putting the wrong kind of RAM in a PC can damage the motherboard. In my toolkit, I have a spare hard drive, a few sticks of RAM, and an old CD drive. That way, if I need to I can swap out the old pieces of hardware and see if that solves the problem. We’ve told you in the past how to repair a keyboard, but having one of those in your computer repair kit also can be a good idea.
Of course, the best maintenance is preventative maintenance. Take the opportunity to talk to your family about good PC habits. Remind them about security issues and to change passwords. Show them how to back up data correctly so they don’t lose their important documents or precious photos. Showing them how to do these things will save them and you a lot of stress in the long run.
That said, you never know when you’re going to have to make a house call. Being prepared is a good way to save you stress and any headaches that may accompany a house call.