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You Need An IT Tool Box

IT Tool Box or DIY Computer Repairs Tool Kit, all the software you need to repair a computer...

How to make your Tool Box ... Before you need IT!

When it comes to troubleshooting and then repairing your computer not all problems are hardware, to find the problem you need something to start the computer to do diagnostics, this is a great place to start.

The seven essential software tools you need in your IT Tool Box to troubleshoot, repair, and maintain your computer, or what every tech or geek has in their pocket on a pen drive!

Also known as:

  • computer repair tools
  • computer repair kits

An IT Toolbox will help you diagnose problems, troubleshoot, and repair your computer. From bringing a dead system back to life to keeping that computer in tip top condition.As the commercial says: "What is in Your IT Toolbox?" hummmmm??

These are some of the things I use when I am working on a computer from a dead system to optimizing the OS to make it faster. Each link will open in a new window so you can stay on this page as you gather your tools for your Tool Box.

Hardware wise to repair a computer you will need:

  • Cross point #3 screw driver (also known as a Philips #3).
  • Common screw driver (also known as a flat tip).
  • Maybe a #8 Torx driver.
  • Wrist ground strap.

Why you need each software item in your IT Tool Box (geek to everyday English translations):

  1. BartPE can be installed on a cd, USB flash drive, or an external bootable hard drive. This is a Preinstall Environment (PE), this allows you to: Fix a boot problem, extract data files from a failed OS (Operating System) before reloading it, diagnose hardware problems. Replace or remove drivers that has caused a 'Blue Screen Of Death'. Run anti virus, anti spyware, and anti Trojan programs to clean a highly infected system. Create or restore a ghost image of a partition. (BartPE will not see newer Operating Systems nor will newer computers load the PE of XP with out additional drivers for the SATA II and III.)

  2. ERD Commander is also a PE bootable OS, although no longer supported or sold by Microsoft it may be available for purchase on some web sites. It will allow you to fix boot problems, registry problems, extract data files from a hard drive the OS  has failed on, and diagnose hardware problems. All the things that BartPE will do. In addition the last version will repair boot/registry/driver files automatically if you direct it to on startup. (ERD Commander will not see newer Operating Systems nor will newer computers load the PE of XP with out additional drivers for the SATA II and III.)

  3. Windows 7 ERD. Using Windows 7 backup program to create a boot Emergency Repair Disc. I made a boot ERD with Vista but the darn thing wouldn't work. Where as with Windows 7 I have repaired Windows 7 and Vista. I also have re-imaged a couple of computers with XP installed. If you have access or have a Windows 7 Operating System installed it would be a great idea to create the boot CD (it could be a DVD but that would be a waste of space, you can not add any files to the CD/DVD or it will not boot). My custom made ERD, you can have one also, make it yourslf... or?

    Note: With the Windows 7 Emergency Repair Disc any additional tools such as those listed below need to be on a separate device such as another CD or pen/flash drive or on another drive in the computer). (or make your own ERD)

  4. Bootable device, a separate bootable device is required now days because DOS will not do you any good if you want to access your data on a Windows Operating System. You need a device that will hold an OS that will access the Windows OS, these PE Operating Systems are to large for a floppy, you will need at least 250 meg of space to install them. So you need to make a bootable CD, USB Flash drive, or bootable external hard drive.

  5. DOS, with 32 bit and 64 bit Operating Systems the hardware in the computer is protected from direct access. By keeping programs from accessing the hardware directly the Operating System is protected, that is a program testing the hardware can not crash (most of the time) the Operating System. With DOS you have direct contact and control of the hardware, testing and diagnostic results are more reliable. It is also the smallest, fastest, and most robust Operating System designed. Although not essential for a IT Tool Box having a device with DOS on it will come in handy.

  6. Imaging programs - Ghost is a program that will make an image of your hard drive volumes. This is very useful as a backup for recovery purposes. Suppose you needed a special program, you go out to the internet and find some programs that are 30 day trial. You install the program but it isn't what you expected. Then when you go to uninstall the program it trashes your OS so bad it won't start. You can reinstall the OS and all your programs to get the system back where it was before installing the trial program or you can just put your backup image back on the hard drive. Thus saving you countless hours and trying to find all those cd keys. You can run this program from DOS, BartPE, ERD, or from a non OS partition from Windows.  

  7. Anti Virus, Spyware, Trojan, and Malware detection and removal programs are needed to keep hackers/crackers/thieves from gaining access to your data. You should have them installed on the computer and also have a version that will run from your bootable device. If you run these programs from a bootable device you stand a better chance of cleaning out all infections than you would if your computer was running normally.

  8. A How to guides & manuals are handy if you are not familiar with all the tasks you need to do when repairing a computer from cleaning out infections to upgrading your system.

  9. DIY Computer Repairs Checklists and Guides individual printable checklists or guides for a single task, each one written in everyday English that takes you through the repair or task step by step in an easy 1-2-3 process. You can print the one(s) you need and put them in a binder for fast easy access. And decrease the time it takes to do your repairs.

Software items you would do well to have available:

The image, table, or PDF was removed because it will not display on your device. Check back on a PC....
1) BartPE or BartPE Software Review
2) ERD Commander Erd Software Review
3) Windows 7 Emergency Repair Disk (ERD) You can make this from the Backup menu in the Control Panel (or make your own)
4) Ghost or an imaging program Ghost Software Review
5) Boot Floppy, CD, or USB Drive for your ERD
6) Anti virus program AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition
7) Anti spyware program Spy Sweeper
8) Anti Trojan program Spyware Doctor
9) A How to guides & manuals IT Tool Box must have: Self Computer Repair Unleashed! 2nd Edition - Is IT in yours?
10) DIY Computer Repairs Checklists and Guides DIY Computer Repairs Checklists and Guides
11) A DOS bootable floppy or USB drive Although not essential you may want to create this and have hardware diagnostic and test programs,  a smaller USB pen drive would work nicely.

For ERD Commander or the Windows 7/8/10 ERD you can use a cd or a pen drive for your IT Tool Box.

You will find more IT Tool Kit software suggestions in the Self Computer Repair Unleashed! 2nd Edition Self Computer Repair Unleashed! 2nd Edition E-Book..

For BartPE I would suggest you use a pen drive because when you run the BartPE OS you can add more tools to the drive with out corrupting the file system on the pen drive, a suggestion for your IT Tool Box.

This IT Tool Box will help you resolve those problems (issues as the IT dept calls them Smile! Click! ).

Here is a tutorial on BartPE and ERD Commander.

All the above programs, tutorials, checklists, and guides can be on one device (such as a cd / dvd or flash drive) however DOS will not run the 32 or 64 bit programs, if you need DOS you should use a separate media. 

Stuck with the generic Windows 7 / 8 / 10 Emergency Repair Disk? You can make your own, before you go consider this:

Is it better to have IT and not need IT or really need IT bad and not have your IT Tool Box?

Your disaster
depends on
your backup and your tools to get
the job DONE!


No backup? NO RECOVERY!

Emergency Repair
isk (ERD) - Will Yours Work?

Repair Disk

Custom made for you...

You keyboard isn't thirsty, and it doesn't need calcium. Milk and other liquids will ruin a keyaboard!

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