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Proper PC Troubleshooting/Repairing

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Old 09-26-05, 04:46 PM Thread Starter   #1
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Proper PC Troubleshooting/Repairing


hello guys,

i've been performing pc maintenance at my high school.

adaware/spybot/spywareblaster/reg supreme/internet washer/avg; all freeware.

it seems that i've done a pretty good job cause my school asked me to build 2 pc's for them, which i did and everythings going smooth.

#1. here's my inquiry, now i have alot of the admin/teachers at my school that want me to fix their home pc's. preferrably doing so without a reformat.

what equipment will i need?

i was thinking -
laptop
external hdd or thumbdrive?

is there anything else?

also proper ways to do backups and what i should back up? like their desktop, outlook etc(i don't know how to do this).

#2. since i will be paid is it illegal for me to use the freeware above?

i wanted to follow suggestions many of you use so i can increase my chances of a successful repair.

i did do a search and methods were posted but not the procedure to do it? for example can i load adaware, spybot etc to an external hdd and update to keep it current, then hook it up to the varios pc's i repair/troubleshoot?

i'm a newb and for most of you this is elementary but i'm somewhat paranoid of doing something incorrectly.

thanks,
eddie
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Old 09-26-05, 04:58 PM   #2
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You're being paid to operate the software--not to sell them the software. Disclaimer, I'm not a lawyer.

When I did that sort of thing, reformatting was carte blanche at the system fixing level, and here's why: The average home user has NEVER run any system maintenance program OR reformatted their hard drives, which have probably become so fragged and rotten that they need it. In the Past, I spent more time trying to affect repairs than it would've taken to backup what really mattered and nuke the whole thing, starting from scratch. (Case study: It once took me less than thirty minutes to perform the actual restoration, after making the backups, which didn't take too long either. This was on a Sony Vaio, which thankfully had all-in-one restore discs.)

Backup their documents, their outlook mailboxes and addresses, their Quicken/QBooks/... data, and their bookmarks, at the minimum.

Just my $0.02

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Old 09-26-05, 11:59 PM Thread Starter   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Newbie
You're being paid to operate the software--not to sell them the software. Disclaimer, I'm not a lawyer.

When I did that sort of thing, reformatting was carte blanche at the system fixing level, and here's why: The average home user has NEVER run any system maintenance program OR reformatted their hard drives, which have probably become so fragged and rotten that they need it. In the Past, I spent more time trying to affect repairs than it would've taken to backup what really mattered and nuke the whole thing, starting from scratch. (Case study: It once took me less than thirty minutes to perform the actual restoration, after making the backups, which didn't take too long either. This was on a Sony Vaio, which thankfully had all-in-one restore discs.)

Backup their documents, their outlook mailboxes and addresses, their Quicken/QBooks/... data, and their bookmarks, at the minimum.

Just my $0.02

thanks for your post

i'm in the process of kitting an external hdd, another forum member pm'd me about using a laptop hdd because they run solely from a usb/firewire port.

i checked them out and they are very expensive.

this computer has no restore disks and i'm assuming that this will happen alot more.

anyone else have some more suggestion?

thanks
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Old 09-27-05, 06:48 AM   #4
mortimer
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As far as licensing goes, those are all free for home use. May not ne free for use at the school. Send an email to the vendors. The fact that you are being paid is probably not relevent.

I would add a PS tester and a 'spare' PS. The PS tester also has the added advantage that you can run use it to operate the PS without a computer. Useful for testing fans and the like. I got mine at CompUSA.

You should have good anti-static protection including a mat (Apogee Kits) and a comfortable wrist strap. I have one that is like a watch band.

A digital mutimeter. A book on how to use it properly and safely.

Maybe an external CD burner for backups.

You should probably pick a set of 'free' tools to set them up with including a firewall. I used to put Zone Alarm on all client systems. I noticed on return trips that the users really did not understand when to say yes or no to programs requesting service. You might want to pick a different one that is more of the strong and silent type.
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Old 09-28-05, 12:30 AM Thread Starter   #5
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thanks for the post mortimer

i wear the anti-static wrist strap on my ankle.

i'll see if there are any external cd kits, i have a couple of extra burners i don't use.

i was recommended laptop external cdrw/hdd's because they get data and power from the usb, anybody have alot of experience with them on their reliability?

psu tester is something i've read in other threads, i've seen some at fry's (vantec brand i think) for $15-$18. i'll definitely invest in one.

i'm checking out the zone alarm freeware version, thanks for the tip . i'll also look around for strong and silent type ones too.

can you guys post a comprehensive list of the gear you guys take?

i did my first paid pc troubleshooting/repair today.

the pc had a dead video card(tnt2???) and i replaced it with a trident 3d accelerator. i also performed adaware/spybot/spywareblaster/avg scans and her pc is running noticably faster.

i start sending emails to the owners of the freeware programs i've been using.
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