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I need to select computer repair kit with all of the essential tools

Hello,

I have a small pc repair shop and we have been open a few years.  Recently our repairs have been picking and we are almost always able to find and resolve the computer's problem; however, I feel like there is probably an all inclusive tool(s) needed for every bench.  I am not sure what that is, so I thought I would ask.  This answer may be available in other posts or threads, but I wanted to ask again because things change so quickly that the answers to this questions last month might be different today.

My main idea is I want to find something that will quickly test hardware for problems or failures.  I typically do part swaps looking for failed hardware when I suspect that to be the issue.  Over the past few years we have purchased various tools that are used specifically for bench repairs, but I know there is a all in one package.  I have looked at PC-Doctor's tools offered at http://www.pc-doctor.com/product_listings_technician.php

I am not sure if there is something better out there or not, but I am sure that there is no better place to get recomendations for this since many of the posters here have or work on a bench.  I have found many answers here that has saved me a great amount of time.  In fact if I don't know the answer from the start or I want to see if my thoughts on something is right EE is where I go.

Please let me know the "kit" or collection of kits that you could not live without.
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DSOFKY
Asked:
DSOFKY
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2 Solutions
 
PCBONEZCommented:
Step one:
Create standard check lists (with a notes sections), print them, and use them every time.
-
Might not sound like much but it's an incredible time saver.
It also creates a detailed record of what you've done.
- Helps prevent repeating work when:
A machine comes back weeks later because a fix didn't 'take' (or the customer thinks it didn't).
A machine comes back say a year+ later for something else. (Did you install that or did someone after?)
Tester gets distracted by other jobs and comes back to one.
Coming in the next day when job wasn't finished.
When you have to reassign testers to a job.
When jobs go 'on hold' pending arrival of parts.

I would have separate check lists for at least:
The overall system - hardware
The overall system - software
The motherboard
Hard Drives
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PCBONEZCommented:
I haven't personal used it but I've looked at PC-Doctor's kit before and it looks to be a good one.

Something to keep your eyes open for...
Most POST Cards work in ISA or PCI slots or through a printer port.
The ones that fit PCI slots only work in the old +5v PCI slots.
- There are motherboards out now that have none of those options.
-
I have tried using a printer port POST Card using an add-in printer port card and it doesn't work.
The Cards in ads that appear to be USB are only -powered- by USB. They DON'T read POST through USB.
I have yet to see a PCI-E POST Card.
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DSOFKYAuthor Commented:
PCBONEZ I have been searching all over trying to find the right kit for me.  In my process I recalled seeing a PCI-E Post card, and I recalled you said you have not found one.  http://www.rst.com/rst-pro-pcie.shtml  I don't know how well it works but it is available.
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PCBONEZCommented:
That's a diagnostics card but it's not a POST card.
It seem to be a RAM checker with a built-in OS.

This is a [rather old] POST card.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:BIOS_POST_card.jpg

POST = Power On Self Test.
A POST card reads the test codes during POST and displays it on LEDs.
If BOOT hangs during POST the LEDs tell you which device won't pass the POST test.
- It's basically the same thing as BIO Beep codes but more detailed as it will display -specific- errors rather than general errors. [BEEP Code might say "Video Card" for a dozen different errors while POST Card would be specific and say "Video Card RAM" or "GPU" or similar.]

Once an OS loads [any OS] a POST card doesn't do anything else because to load an OS means the POST has completed.

Still a very interesting test card, just not what I was talking about.
.
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