While most computer repair and data recovery technicians understand the need to keep up on the latest technology innovations and computer service techniques, it is equally important to any jobs success to bring the right combination of tools and supplies to every service appointment. Even an experienced PC or server technician can find themselves in a situation where they will need to travel to do a job where they do not necessarily know what they will encounter or which tools they may need once they get there. Following are the ten most important items for a computer field service professional to have with them on any job:
- Hand tools. At least one large and one small standard and Phillips-head screwdriver.
- ESD wrist strap. This is the single most neglected item by most computer service technicians and also the most important so as to prevent damaging any components through electrostatic discharge.
- USB Flash Drive with virus removal tools. Often a technician will find themselves trying to service a single computer that is unable to connect to the internet due to virus or malware infection.
- USB Keyboard, Mouse and Network Cables. While this is actually three items I have grouped them together as they are commonly needed for testing and ruling out defective input devices in the computer troubleshooting process.
- Laptop or Netbook Computer. In many cases the technicians own portable computer will be the only way to get to the internet to download drivers, view manuals or look up a manufacturers technical support or warranty service telephone number. For network or server technicians this should also include a serial cable with which to connect to and configure routers and switches.
- Wireless Router. Home wireless routers fail regularly, so a technician should have one with them at all times with which to replace the customers router if necessary.
- PC Power Supply. Few items fail as often or are as easy to replace as the power supply. Having one with you will prevent you from having to return to the site to perform a simple power supply installation.
- Flashlight. Since there are many low light areas inside the computer’s case and within closets and basements where cable modems/routers are often set up, having a flashlight will eliminate frustration and make the computer service technicians job easier to perform.
- Tie Wraps. While not critical to the repair job itself– keeping cords and cables neatly wrapped up and organized is one thing that distinguishes a computer service professional from an amateur.
- Portable Air Compressor. While this item is the least practical to transport it should still be brought with to every computer service job. Many times it will remain in the trunk of the vehicle and not be needed, however should you open the customers computer case and find that it is full of dirt and dust a technician will need to have a way to clean it out.
Few things can be more frustrating or embarrassing to a computer repair or data recovery technician than travelling to a job only to find out that they haven’t got the right tools with them to complete it. By ensuring that you have these ten things with you on every computer service appointment you will eliminate frustration, maintain a professional image and prevent unnecessary repeat visits.