7 Essential Computer Repair Tools

When getting ready to fix a computer, there are seven essential tools that can be used to make sure the technician stays safe and the job gets done.  Most of these are hand tools and they come in computer tool kit.  They range between twenty to fifty dollars depending on what is included in the kit.   The first tool is an ESD wrist strap that helps  ground the technician and protect the computer from static electricity.  This is used to prevent static electricity from shorting out different parts of the motherboard.  The best way to to discharge yourself is to touch the metal part of the computer  case.The second tool is a screwdriver that comes with removable tips.  This tool provides more options when taking apart a computer and finding many sizes/types of screws.  Some of the more common types of screws you will find are flat-head, phillips-head, torx and hex.  Also, most screwdrivers have a magnetic head which helps with small screws. The third tool is a needle nose pliers.  This tool can be helpful in a few different ways. First of all, if you drop a screw into the computer case this is the best way to fish it out. Sometimes cases are magnetic and screws seem to stick on the bottom or the sides.  This pliers is also used  to work with small parts. For example, when changing the jumpers on the motherboard or an old hard drive.  Lastly, some needle nose pliers have an area closest to the handle where it can be used to cut wire. The fourth tool is a multimeter.  This device...

How to build quality self-service guide for end user

Building a quality self service guide may seem rather simple for the average IT professional; however, it is important to speak in terms that are understandable by the average user reading your guide. If you don't give clear demonstrations and explanations while speaking in understandable terms, the end user will most likely be utterly lost. Building a Self-Service Guide It can be overwhelming when deciding what to put into a self-service guide at times. That is why I use a template; a template should have a logical and easy to understand progression. A good template should include but is not limited to: a table of contents, written step-by-step instructions, organized easy-to-read and clear text, straightforward explanations, and should be broken down into sections. Sections should include sub-sections when more explaining, demonstrating, or defining is required. Using examples and comparisons can also be quite helpful. If you find something to be overwhelming or too complex to explain to the average end user with just a description, you should include examples or comparisons to make it simple and easy to understand. Make your self-service guide appear clear, concise, and easy on the eyes. Make sure to bold certain terms or important words; it is best is some phrases catch the eyes easier. Techniques such as using bold words or phrases can make information ‘stick' to the user's brain a little bit more than it otherwise would (ex. “Select the New Virtual Machine option”). Highlighting and color coding can also be useful to make certain things stand out or to be grouped in a logical manner. It is also important, that if...

How to validate that your home router is not compromised

The wireless router can be the easiest target for hackers to compromise your network, if configured improperly. Hackers will employ many different methods to attempt to hack your router. Some of these methods that I will be talking about include Wi-Fi hacking and DNS hijacking. There are many different preventative measures than can be taken to ensure that you have a secure router. Setting up a secure router is very important because not only can your network and personal information be compromised, but you may be held legally responsible for all of the potentially illegal traffic that goes through your network. Validate that your router is secure A popular method for hackers to compromise all devices in DNS hijacking; DNS hijacking is when a hacker subverts the resolution of DNS queries. In other words, they can direct you to malicious websites even when you try to visit a known secure website such as your online banking website. This can be done to a personal computer within a network, or even the router if a router has vulnerabilities within its firmware. There are tools that exist to test if you are a victim of DNS hijacking. One such tool is F-Secure, you can check your security with this tool by visiting f-secure.com/router-checker/. What this tool does is analyze your own router’s DNS requests to see if they are being redirected to a third-party rogue DNS, or if the DNS requests are acting as they should.   Hackers may also try to gain access to your router by cracking your Wi-Fi password or simply joining your network if it is left...

How to install latest version of Debian Linux using Virtual Box

Pre-Installation and General Information Navigate to https://www.debian.org/distrib/ in a web browser and click ‘Download an installation image’ to download the latest stable version of Debian Linux For reference, the hardware requirements can be found here Absolute bare minimum requirements for a Desktop system: CPU – 1 GHz —– RAM – 256 MB —– Hard Drive 10 GB Configuration First, to create a new virtual machine click the ‘New’ button Type a name for the virtual machine From the ‘Type’ menu choose: Linux From the ‘Version’ menu choose: Debian (64-bit) Set the memory to at least the minimum requirement of 256 MB       Create a new Virtual Hard Disk Choose the options: VDI and Dynamically Allocated Make the virtual disk at least the required minimum size of 10 GB Click ‘Create‘ to create the newly configured virtual machine         Start the Debian virtual machine that was just created by clicking the green ‘Start‘ Button Choose the installation image that you downloaded from the Debian website, then click the ‘Start‘ Button   Linux Installation Choose the ‘Graphical Install‘ option The next three steps will prompt you to choose your language, location, and key-map. Choose the appropriate options for your scenario.       Now the installer will load the rest of the necessary installation components from the installation image. From here it will try to configure networking via DHCP and ask you for a hostname (choose whatever you want as long as it's not in use by another PC on the network). Enter your domain name if you want to use this virtual machine in a domain along...

How to share files in the cloud using Dropbox

Sharing files using an online cloud storage provider can provide many benefits. Convenience, productivity, selective sharing, integration, and access anywhere/anytime are the most prominent benefits to using a cloud storage provider. There are many different cloud storage providers such as: Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Box, Dropbox, and more. I will be covering Dropbox, because it provides an excellent implementation of every one of the benefits that I have listed.   Dropbox allows you to easily integrate their services with a variety of different operating systems. Dropbox can be accessed through an internet browser; however, it supports integration with Mobile, Windows, Linux, and more. This means that essentially whatever platform you are using or have access to, you will be able to access your Dropbox files. With Dropbox integration, you will be able to edit files in a local Dropbox folder even without an internet connection (files which were synced last time you had an internet connection) and they will automatically sync and update next time you are reconnected. In order to upload Files, you may simply copy them to the Dropbox folder or upload them on the Dropbox website. Once files are uploaded they are automatically synced across devices using the most recently modified version. Sharing is quite simple as well; to share files from your integrated Dropbox folder, simply right click your file(s)/folder(s) that you want to share and click the “Share” button with the Dropbox logo next to it. The process is similar for the web interface. On the web interface you can click the “New share folder” button to either create a new folder and share...

How to give second life to old devices

Revitalize with new components Solid State Drive (SSD) – Solid State Drives present a tremendous performance improvement over the traditional mechanical drives. Full performance will be achieved if your device supports SATA3 (600MBPS) Even if the device only supports older SATA revisions, SATA2 (300MBPS) and SATA1 (150MBPS), an SSD will still deliver a performance increase over a mechanical drive If an older SATA interface is used, a the SSD will be limited by the speed and capabilities of the interface RAM Upgrade – Upgrading the RAM on an older system can help bring it up to par with newer systems Older system was designed with RAM requirements for the time in which it was released Make sure that you buy enough RAM to at least meet the requirements of your intended operating system Windows 10 – 32bit = 1GB minimum 32bit systems can only have a maximum of 4GB RAM Check RAM compatibility Lookup the model of your device or look at the internal RAM sticks Motherboard compatibility (speed, DDR standard, number of slots) and number on pins are the most important Revitalize with software Perform maintenance Delete old and unused programs Choose which programs run on startup Remove programs from the list that you do not need to start on login (Ex. iTunes) This may tremendously speed up login time and reduce RAM usage Located under the ‘Startup' tab of windows 10 ‘Task Manager' Check for viruses Viruses may be taking up valuable resources or reducing performance Set a disk defragment schedule Defragmenting the hard disk will help speed up performance by rearranging fragmented data Check the size...