View Full Version : What tools are really needed??

29-09-2003, 11:48 AM
Hi Ya all,
Just looking at buying some tools etc so I can start building/breaking or just generally have fun with some old pcs at home. I also want to start building my own PC and have been looking in general at various computer tool kits but many seem to have a wide variety of tools that I wonder if I will ever need.

Any ideas on what is and isn't needed? What brands are good/not??


John Grieve
29-09-2003, 12:21 PM
I repair and build PCs a fair bit and all I use are the following.

One phillips screwdriver.
Anti-static wrist strap.
Lump of blutack. (the blutack is used by sticking a lump to the end of the phillips screwdriver which holds the screws while screwing them in and if you drop one you shove the screwdriver with the blutack attached onto the dropped screw and hey presto you have recovered it.)
Boot disks for 95/98/2000/XP.
And finally my most important tool - Ranishs Partition Manager (which can fix anything wrong with the partioning on the disc i.e. virus damage/old lilo from linux etc)

29-09-2003, 02:18 PM
Add to that:

Flat-head screwdriver
Long-nosed pliers
Cable ties
Norton ghost boot-disk (used when upgrading to a bigger HDD)
CDRW with all the latest drivers for most popular components - like DirectX9, Nvidia detonator drivers, VIA chipset, intel chipset, sis chipset, winzip, winrar, acrobat reader, latest antivirus definition files, critical windows patchs, top ten virus removal tools, zone alarm, adaware & spybot. - There are probably heaps more but that's what I got on mine :)

29-09-2003, 02:20 PM
Could actually use a USB pen drive instead of a CDRW disc.

I'm just waiting for the price to come down on the 1GB ones!

Murray P
29-09-2003, 02:39 PM
The best tool is the net and the ability to read. Other than that you can get by with, a philips screw driver, long nose pliers and a good artists brush (for older comps), a 25W soldering iron and heat shrink insulation can also be handy if your cut and pasting.

Cheers Murray P

29-09-2003, 03:21 PM
My handpicked selection includes.

2 straight edge screwdrivers
2 phillips head screwdrivers
Set of quality pliers
Selection of various screws

And thats about it..

Oh,and my thermal paste of choice,Arctic Alumina premium ceramic compound.

And i spose i could include the spare mobo's,cpu's,ram,cd drives,cases,power supplies,modems etc etc.

And the pile of older dead computers in the corner that i pilfer parts from.....

29-09-2003, 03:58 PM
i thought we had to have something...umm what was it called...
*goes looking for it*

ahh this is it Antistatic Wrist Strap (http://www.dse.co.nz/cgi-bin/dse.storefront/3f779e8806818e942740c0a87f990786/Product/View/X2042)

29-09-2003, 03:59 PM
oh yeah,and an anti-static wrist strap....

29-09-2003, 04:00 PM
a min 2 slow there buddy :P

29-09-2003, 04:00 PM
jeees,Dick Smith take the cake..

... Due to stock being limited, please be aware that in some cases product may be slightly shop soiled, ex-demonstration, or incomplete.

29-09-2003, 04:02 PM
> a min 2 slow there buddy :P

LOL,i saw your post before i posted my amendment ]:)

29-09-2003, 04:02 PM
yeah that sucks that they do that..but at least they are honest :D
but i wasnt recommending dicks smith...
was more looking at the "item" required when fiddling with a computer

29-09-2003, 06:32 PM
I think you'll find that the acerage household has all that it needs to build up a PC. If it doesn't there is something seriously wrong with that house hold.

One philips head and one ordinary was all I needed.

29-09-2003, 07:03 PM
You forgot a pair of tweezers which I have found better than long nosed pliers for changing jumpers on motherboards and hard disks.


If your eyesight isn't all that good a magnifying glass helps as well to find Pin1 on the Motherboard. :-)

Murray P
29-09-2003, 07:08 PM
I wasn't going to admit to using tweezers (nurled plastic) and a magnifying glass but, seen as you've brocken the ice Elephant, yes they are very handy to have ;)

Cheers Murray P

29-09-2003, 07:17 PM
OK people, looks good so far. I'm actually taking my idea one step further and looking at starting a business aimed at the first time buyers and low knowledge users.

The service I'd offer would be to get a new PC BEFORE the customer from the shop and set it up....updated, Anti Virus, Firewall, Various help websites added to favourites, Internet connection etc and give the machine a full soak test before they even get it in their house.

I would also offer a virus removal and system service/clean up, reformatting and other general things. Backup and basic tuition plus the million and one other little things that people discover they can do to their computers.

Lately in my area I have come across many beginner users who have been taken to the cleaners for "software" servicing and the job has not even been done correctly.

Any opinions??

Jen C
29-09-2003, 07:57 PM
Yeah, tweezers are really handy :D. Also, you can get a set of 6 tiny screw drivers - philips and flathead - for less than $5. They come in handy for the delicate stuff. Also, DSE sell packs of mixed screw types which come in handy when you misplace them.

Billy T
29-09-2003, 08:30 PM
Gee, maybe I'm a bit retentive here, but I would have thought a cheap meter for checking fuses, batteries, connections, powersupply volts etc would be useful in the toolkit.

Swapping bits is all very well but if you are in business, diagnosis is better and makes you look a whole lot smarter in front of the camera (oops, I meant customer :D).


Billy 8-{) :|

29-09-2003, 08:31 PM
dipstick01, I agree sauch an opportunity exists and has merit.

The barrier is in getting a purchaser to recognise the importance before the purchase.
I have no doubts that they will realise what a good idea it would be, after the event.
Then its too late.
If you could get the referral from the shop it would be great, but that may be against their policies in many cases.
People updating their PC would be the best target, they already know how much they don't know, and how daunting these things can be.

29-09-2003, 09:57 PM
whats a Ziptie?

not that im planning on making my own putr just sounds a little weird?


29-09-2003, 09:59 PM
oh and ps wouldnt you need an appropriate bench top or desk to do this fiddling on ?
a large flat bench or area. table top.

something safe and strng ? wooden or not?


Jen C
29-09-2003, 10:05 PM
> whats a Ziptie?

This sort of thing (http://www.dse.co.nz/isroot/dse/images/products/H1997.JPG).

29-09-2003, 10:13 PM
cable tie is called a ziptie? lol we have heaps of zipties in our house then

that does not make me a computer making / breaker / fixerer!!! and all other tools recomended are able to be found round here if you could get them off our son . :D


Terry Porritt
29-09-2003, 10:43 PM
Beetles right, you need a good, well lit work surface with preferably an antistatic mat connected to an earth point, and a convenient multiway power board. Before you know where you are, you will have a full electronics workbench :)

29-09-2003, 11:35 PM
There's quite a lot of things you need but you don't need all of these things, you can still get the job down with a few things from this list.

A benchtop that is big enough to work on, has a deep tray for putting screws and other bits in,
antistatic bags,
a marker pen,
pvc insulation tape,
a small size telescopic mirror,
antistatic mat and wrist band,
an earth power outlet,
spare parts and spare screws, jumpers/shunts,
25W soldering iron, solder of course, duzall (flux),
small penlight,
long nose pliers, diagonal cutters,
wire stripper,
philips, flathead and pozi screwdrivers, (short and long, high voltage protection)
a cordless drill/screwdriver,
a claw pickup tool,
a magnetic pickup tool,
an antistatic dusting brush,
small portable vacumn cleaner,
antistatic wipes,
surge/spike protector,
mobile phone, fax, landline, email etc :P

There's actually more things required but I could be here a while.

oh, and a white lab coat, with your name tag on it, and big glasses, and a protractor in your pocket, as well as a calculator.

29-09-2003, 11:57 PM

Not to destroy your idea, but to add to it, you have to get them to understand the license agreements for the updates and programs that you install, and somehow get yourself out of that agreement, as you are performing the task on their behalf, which means they have agreed to it, make sure it's in black and white as they may turn on you, not saying people are nasty like that, but you have to cover yourself.

If the programs you install on it is freeware/shareware etc, you can not charge for these programs which would state somewhere in the license agreement that without the author's prior consent, you can not use it for your money making scheme. You can charge for your service though, but that's about it.

You should not open a new computer, as you will void the warranty, unless you are providing the warranty. Sometimes I still find this debatable as the warranty not only protects the company from faults, it's also limited the choice of having someone else upgrade your computer, which I find is a bit of a monopoly when they want parts installed. It's a user risk whatever the choice they make.

There's heaps more to mention but not enough time.

30-09-2003, 12:54 AM
Sometimes a sledgeammer comes in handy :D

Susan B
30-09-2003, 06:12 AM
> oh, and a white lab coat, with your name tag on it, and big glasses, and a protractor in your pocket, as well as a calculator.

Come on, Kame, you forgot the pocket protector! :D

> I think you'll find that the acerage household has all that it needs to build up a PC. If it doesn't there is something seriously wrong with that household.

I agree. No self-respecting Kiwi bloke would ever be without a minimum of at least one flathead and Philips screwdriver in his house, if not his garage. And a hammer. Any bloke who doesn't have those very basic tools doesn't deserve to be called a bloke. :|
Thinks of one in particular with great scorn.

30-09-2003, 07:47 AM
OK the labcoat and pocket protector are not a problem. I'll just have to take the Joe90 badge off the coat first.
Hammer I have and being politically correct I do not have a sledgehammer but a sensative two way adjuster.

The work bench.....I was thinking of placing a layer of rubber on it to help protect the customers equipment but wouldn't that also prevent any earthing? an inadvertant touch could cause problems.

I already have one shop that I can offer the service too and have contacts with various organisations that help beginner computer users which is how I thought of the idea in the first place. I was planning on offering the service independant of the businesses so they can reccomend me to the customer at the time of sale. That should help eliminate any problems with shop policy.

Terry Porritt
30-09-2003, 08:49 AM
"In the olden days", ie in my time, it used to be a slide rule in the top pocket of the white lab coat :D

Billy T
30-09-2003, 11:36 AM

Impact wrench

Persuasion tool

Focussed-energy location adjustor

Unwanted attraction-retention remover

Inertially-energised resistance eliminator

Call it what you will, but brute force and ignorance will overcome almost any resistance to a desired change of state or location.

Add earmuffs to block out customer's screams when impact wrench is in use on site though.


Billy 8-{) :|

30-09-2003, 12:40 PM
Found a handy multitool is a magnet out of an old speaker.
1/ holds screws
2/picks up those lost screws from the carpet if waved around
3/ Eliminates blu tack as a holder of screws, as you can magnetize driver by stroking along magnet.
4/ Makes lovely patterns on monitor (for experienced users only)

Graham L
30-09-2003, 02:46 PM
And you can hold your floppies to the side of the case with it too. :D

What about the Torx screwdrivers? And the Torx security screwdrivers? :D

A haemostat is the tool for changing drive-select jumpers.

30-09-2003, 06:43 PM
Wondering why no one has mentioned butter knife,

I remember this came in handy when I couldn't find a flathead screwdriver, although I only did this on my own computer. I make sure now I have the right tools for the job.

30-09-2003, 06:46 PM
oh, and most importantly, always keep in stock bourbon and coke (or any alcohol you prefer).

After every job finished successfully calls for a celebration, don't you think?

30-09-2003, 07:40 PM
hic.........does turning the puter on count as a successful job completed??....the puter stayed on

30-09-2003, 09:39 PM
> oh, and most importantly, always keep in stock
> bourbon and coke (or any alcohol you prefer).
> After every job finished successfully calls for a
> celebration, don't you think?

What if you successfully finish six jobs in one day and celebrate after each one?

hic........ :D

30-09-2003, 11:05 PM
hic..... and then celebrating just cos you got a job :D dont have to then do the job too,

but if do do the job do hic ...celebrate then too...... lets celebrate just for the hell oof it to then :D

er what are we celebrating? ?:| well then ill celebrate to that..... hic

:D :p


01-10-2003, 03:26 PM
Y dont u take a Ps 2 apart and build a comp, my neighbour did that, he also did something to the laser with something called an "osicilloscope" or something, i dunno wot it was, nyway and now his ps2 can play cdr's and cd-rw's, as well as that he built his pc on that. Dont ask me how, but it looks great, took him a whilw tho cos he had to finish his thesis for UNI.

Graham L
01-10-2003, 04:19 PM
With the trend of some of these ideas, perhaps a blue and white apron would be more appropriate than a white coat. :D

01-10-2003, 04:56 PM
Unless I have missed it, I don't think anyone has mentioned that PC Cool Tool, the Hot Glue Gun. B-) ;\ ;\ :D