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What Tools do i need for computer repairs

Discussion in 'General CompTIA Certifications' started by vallumlj, Oct 5, 2010.

  1. vallumlj

    vallumlj Bit Poster

    After I have passed my A+ I am planning on offering computer repairs. I was wondering what I would need to buy for this.

    Any tips?

    I was thinking

    Tool Kit
    Windows install disk
    Usb drive
    Exteral Hard drive.

    Any think else.

    Thanks for the help
  2. j1mgg

    j1mgg Kilobyte Poster

    What type of repairs?

    Insurance would be a good start.

    Something to test memory
    2.5" and 3.5" caddies

    This is just off the top of my head but i am guessing alot if you are to try and make a living out of it.
    Certifications: Comptia A+, ITIL V3 Foundation, MCDST, 70-270, 70-290
    WIP: 70-291, security+ and SSCP
  3. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

    A bigger hammer...

    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  4. vallumlj

    vallumlj Bit Poster

    If possible can you send me link to a website were i can see them.

  5. dazza786

    dazza786 Megabyte Poster

    Sigh.. If I was having my computer repaired by somebody, I would want them to know what tools to have. :dry
    Certifications: MCP (271, 272, 270, 290, 291, 621, 681, 685), MCDST, MCTS, MCITP, MCSA, Security+, CCA(XA6.5)
  6. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

    I suppose that's a good point...
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  7. vallumlj

    vallumlj Bit Poster

    We all have to start some were. I was only asking what ever else uses
  8. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

    Certifications: A few
    WIP: None - f*** 'em
  9. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

    1. A good tool kit, including Screw drivers, pliers, glue gun, multi-meter, etc...

    2. Windows install disk, but you're going to have to have multiple versions: RTM & OEM. As depending on the version that's installed, the licence key aren't interchangable.

    2a. ERD Commander, the versions for XP, Vista and Windows 7

    2b. HDD cloning software like Ghost, Acronis, etc...

    3. USB/External HDD, writable CD/DVD's, etc

    4. Laptop/Netbook & internet dongle (don't assume that the client will have a working internet connection, especially when you need drivers or if you need to search for a solution, etc).

    5. Hardware/software disgnostic tools, depending on how indepth you want to go, packages like: WinStress & Ultra-X

    6. IDE/SATA to USB

    7. A variety of different leads: Kettle leads, Network cables, VGA cables, etc...

    8. What's already been said: insurance

    That's off the top of my head

    Last edited: Oct 5, 2010
    Certifications: CITP, PGDip, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: MSc in Tech Management
  10. mattgrey

    mattgrey Nibble Poster

    In my kit I have a copy of every version of Windows from 95 to Vista, usb floppy drive, usb thumb drives, usb 80GB drive, screwdriver, volt meter or power supply tester, known good cables such as sata, ide etc..antivirus software and latest definitions on CD. I think that's it!
    Certifications: none yet!
    WIP: A+
  11. mattgrey

    mattgrey Nibble Poster

    + my laptop!
    Certifications: none yet!
    WIP: A+
  12. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    This, Google, and Internet connectivity.
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  13. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

    Doesn't the Mike Meyers AIO, PC Technican street smarts, CBT books and prof messer A+ material mention what tools should be used by a qualified A+ tech?

    That aside, make sure you have ant static bags, wristrap and mats.
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  14. dales

    dales Terabyte Poster

    Dont buy one of those pc toolkit things you see on auction sites and other shops they are very low quality, you'll want a good quality ratchet screwdriver (will save arm ache). When you start doing a few bits n bobs you will soon know what you need. As above really I guess there is actually alot of stuff you will need once in a while.

    Also don't expect to get inundated with work, local parish mags and notice boards are awash with people offering that sort of service and the price of pc's these days make them consumables.

    You will also want to have a look into knocking up a disclaimer that customers sign before you even touch the thing otherwise you run the risk of being blamed for data loss and other things. You will also find that people will blame you for every further problem that occurs with their pc because you did something to it a year ago or some such nonsense. Doing repairs for mates for beer money is fine but advertising as a service needs a lot of dedication and masses of time to make it anything other than a disaster.
    Certifications: vExpert 2014+2015+2016,VCP-DT,CCE-V, CCE-AD, CCP-AD, CCEE, CCAA XenApp, CCA Netscaler, XenApp 6.5, XenDesktop 5 & Xenserver 6,VCP3+5,VTSP,MCSA MCDST MCP A+ ITIL F
    WIP: Nothing
  15. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

    I tend to agree and i have been running my own business since 2003. The truth is, most of the problems i face are quite hard to resolve, because the computer has already been looked at and totally messed up by the clients, son, next door neighbour, cat, and uncle tom cobley. none of whom have a clue. :wink:
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  16. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster


    The number of break-fix calls you go out on will be split roughly 90% software/10% hardware, so it's pointless investing money in anything other than a cheap screwdriver with a torx bit. The client won't have a clue what you're doing, and will blame you if anything goes wrong three years after you fix their problem. They won't have backed anything up, won't have the keys for any of their software, won't have their ISP password for their webmail, will not understand that the PC they bought six years ago from Time/Tiny/eMachines/Insert-Moody-Defunct-Vendor-Here might have been fine running XP on 512Mb RAM, but isn't going to cut the mustard running Windows 7, will have a nine year old printer that had a bodged 2K driver running under XP but hasn't got one for Vista let alone Windows 7, and will ask you stupid fool questions whilst you work on their PC caked with three inch thick fluff, coffee spillages and mouse droppings.

    And for the amount of money you'll make versus the time you spend fixing their problems, you'd be better off getting a paper round!
    Certifications: A few
    WIP: None - f*** 'em
  17. Mr.Cheeks

    Mr.Cheeks 1st ever Gold Member! Gold Member

  18. Simonvm

    Simonvm Kilobyte Poster

    Haha, this is so true. :mrgreen:
    Certifications: MCITP: EST, MCDST, MCTS, A+, N+, CCNP, CCNA Wireless
  19. Josiahb

    Josiahb Gigabyte Poster

    A friend of mine actually 'repaired' all 4 machines in a small office by taking them down to a nearby petrol station and using the hoover there to clear the dust out, when he first opened them up you couldn't actually see any of the components there was so much crap! The only reason they'd stayed running so because of the ancient low spec running Win 95. He took them back to the client and was then asked if they could be upgraded to XP.....

    Your lining yourself up for a fair amount of pain diving into the world of home repairs but if you go for it the IDE\SATA to USB cable that someones already mentioned and a decent laptop will be your greatest friend. Most of the work I've done recently I've just pulled the drive out of the machine hooked it up to my lappy and run virus and spyware checks. Several hours later you have a happy customer who you've carefully advised should look into options for backup and ditch the file sharing apps (they won't and you'll get called to fix the same problem again in about 6 months).
    Certifications: A+, Network+, MCDST, ACA – Mac Integration 10.10
  20. Asterix

    Asterix Megabyte Poster

    Right, where do i start???
    If you want to make money then the horrible truth is that you make money by selling solutions to the client rather than repairing their machines. A typical example would be where you walk into someones house who has intensive issues with malware, who hasn't reimaged their machine in the last 2 years and is reporting their machine is too slow, whilst any engineer can resolve their issues and walk out the door in a little over an hour with with £40-60, the key is to optimise profit, In the stated example a good 'Salesman' can easily explore the following avenues:

    -OS upgrade (charge for licence + 20%) £70??
    -Ram upgrade (charge for RAM + 50%) £40-50??
    -Explain to user that their data isn't backed up and it could all be lost blah blah blah (sell Arcronis true image solution (charge for licence + 100%) (Charge for external HDD + 40%) £40 + £60
    -Anti virus out of date? (charge for licence + 50%) £50
    -Please bare in mind that you are also charging for your time and these solutions have taken 2/3 hours to implement at £20-40 P/H £90??

    With the above scenario you have increased the cost to the client to around £300-350 and the overall profit for you to around £200, at the end of the day although this may sound unethical, they are paying for your service and you have advised the user of the best way to proceed, they are now happy that they now have a new OS, better performance, fully backed up and secured (AV), you can now arrange a monthly/quarterly maintenance contract with the client to perform regular backups of their machine and wrangle further business in the future.
    To make this relevant to the initial post, it is important to keep an eye out for cheap software/hardware that you can keep as stock and resell at a premium price, other than what as been said in previous posts:

    -Printers (with ink bundles)
    -VOIP solutions (another great avenue you can persue with home users)
    -AV (good household names are best although you can always have a couple of cheaper soloutions)
    -Nero? (think you can get this for a couple of quid and this can be resold for 100-250% profit)
    -Backup solutions (I prefer Acronis although there are other solutions out there which are probably more profitable).
    -hardware; Ram, Hdd's, USB Hdd's

    Please note that I work in a corporate environment and the information above is just to give a better idea of the mindset of a successful home PC Technician!

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