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How to Build Your Own Computer Repair Kit

Worried about computer issues? Build your own computer repair kit, full of cheap and useful tools to tackle any problem that comes your way.

By
Eric Escobar,
October 1, 2015
Episode #191

Page 1 of 2

Have you ever had something break on your computer, or needed to have some minor work done on it? First, you have to find a reputable place somewhere in your area. You check Yelp reviews, Google for answers, and maybe even crack open a phone book—all for a 15 minute repair that cost you over $200. It's not that uncommon.

Most people think that computers are really complicated on the inside, which is pretty accurate. The circuitry, wiring, and logic that goes into a modern computer is staggering. However, almost every computer on the market is built with the same modular components that are easily swapped in and out. This means simple upgrades or repairs can take as little as a screw driver to fix.

Over the years of fixing the computers of friends and family, I’ve built up the equivalent of handyman’s toolbox to help me diagnose a computer problem and fix it. With this kit, I can even build a computer from the ground up with just the raw parts purchased at a store or online.

Essential Toolbox Items

So let’s crack open my toolbox and see what’s inside. First and foremost is my handy $20 kit made by Rosewell. This kit has 45 pieces in it and includes a multitude of screw driver tips and a ratcheting screwdriver base. It also comes with a set of precision plyers, extra screws, some great forceps for when something falls into a hard to reach spot in the computer, and a set of Allen wrenches. My favorite part about this thing though is that it comes in a really nice looking case that fits pretty much anywhere to keep everything organized. I’ve posted a link to it in the show notes if you want to take a look.

What this kit allows you to do is to open up pretty much any electronic hardware. Specifically, this is built for someone who takes apart desktops and laptops regularly. I’ve had this exact kit for around five years, and it covers a large majority of the repairs I have to do. I even bought a second one for my office so I wouldn’t have to tote mine back and forth.

Now the other things I would add into this kit include an inexpensive flashlight so that you can see in darker places like behind a desk or into a computer cabinet, along with a more extensive screw driver set that allows you a lot more options when trying to find the perfect ultra small screw driver for the job. The flashlight is about $3, and the extra screw driver set is about $9, which makes its really affordable. I’ll also toss in the fact that I’ve owned these two parts of my kit for about three years, and they’ve held up to daily use with no issues at all.

Malware

Now that we can tear into just about any machine. Let’s look into some actual computer hardware fixing. The two things that people run into the most are getting malware on their computer. Typically, standard malware can be cleaned with a standard antivirus, which means running a quick scan on someone’s computer clears up most everything.

However, once malware is on a computer, it generally won’t allow you to run a scan that will remove it so it blocks antiviruses from running. The easiest way to combat this is to take out the hard drive from their computer and scan it with another computer. Typically, when you pull a hard drive out of a computer and connect it to another computer (provided it isn’t encrypted). It will act like a big flash drive or portable hard drive.

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