Maximize Your Workflow as a Tech

Published 7th December 2013 By Micah Lahren
workflow for techs

As technicians, we often have a wide range of tasks, from estimates, invoices, and contracts, in addition to the actual tech work we perform. This involves customer relationship management solutions, billing solutions, software tool updates, and much more. If you haven’t given much attention to your workflow, you might be jumping from one unrelated task to another and wasting a lot of time and effort in the process. The well known adage ‘time is money’ applies quite well here, so let’s take a look at some ways you can maximize your workflow. In fact, an easy way to remember the tips is simply the acronym ‘IDEA’.

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Evolve or Die: 5 New Service Areas You Should Be Looking At

Published 25th November 2013 By Derrick Wlodarz
evolve or die

If 2013 taught us anything about computer repair, it’s that our industry is changing, and changing fast. While traditional computer repair will not die for the forseeable future, as even the tablet craze hasn’t bumped users from their primary workhorse machines, technicians need to be forward looking so they don’t get caught with their pants down. There has been a lot of hot air in the media about PC sales being destroyed by alternative devices, but recent reports are proving this to be not as drastic as originally reported. Windows 8.1 is helping lift PC sales, with a US year over year drop in sales only at 0.2% which is negligible at best if you ask me. The titanic isn’t sinking, no matter how much the media blowhards love to scare us in the repair industry.

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Guide to Using DDRescue to Recover Data

Published 14th November 2013 By Contributor
Guide to DDRescue

This guide was written by one of our forum members SilverLeaf and was originally written as a forum post. This guide is intended for people who are looking to do quality data recovery using free tools. This guide is fairly technical requiring you to deal with the Linux command line. Some paid software is more straight forward than the steps here, but this is a great way to get the job done for free. Use at you own risk. Technibble and SilverLeaf take no responsibility for the loss of any data, business, reputation etc..

It seems that a guide for using ddrescue might be of some benefit to many members who may be shy of the linux terminal. So, I’ve decided to document some real-world examples from in the shop. I plan on doing this in 3 parts to cover the most common scenarios.

Part 1: Creating an image from a failing disk
Part 2: Restoring an image to a new disk & cloning directly to a new disk
Part 3: Working with the image files

In will be using Parted Magic as a platform for this guide. I usually PXE boot (or boot from a live CD) the machine that I am working on to Parted Magic for this purpose. If you run linux on your test bench machine and prefer to attach the failing drives to it, this guide will give you the basics, but obviously the screenshots will be different.

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CryptoPrevent – Protect Windows from Cryptolocker Infections

Published 6th November 2013 By Bryce Whitty
cryptoprevent-thumb

Computer Technicians and System admins across the internet are hearing more and more about the Cryptolocker threat. If you havent heard about it, Cryptolocker is a nasty piece of ransomware that will seek out certain files on computers, attached drives and networks and encrypt them. Once it has finished encrypting the files, it will show a popup that tells the user that their files are encrypted and they have to pay a ransom to decrypt them before the 96 hour countdown completes. If the user doesnt pay the ransom during the countdown, the private key used to encrypt the files is destroyed and the users files become unrecoverable.

Nick from FoolishIT (creator of the popular tool “D7″) took the “How to prevent Cryptolocker steps” from BleepingComputers guide and turned them into a handy executable.

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Inventory Management for Techs

Published 29th October 2013 By Micah Lahren
inventory management

‘What happened to that stack of hard drives I just had? I could have sworn I had three video cards in stock, but they’re nowhere to be seen!’ If you’re having issues tracking your inventory, or failing to track it at all, it will seriously hamper your efficiency and can even cause your workflow to grind to a halt. There are some excellent inventory management systems available now, and they’re not that expensive. In fact, some won’t cost you a thing, and they may provide exactly what you need. If a simple spreadsheet just isn’t working for you anymore, it’s time to get something more advanced. I’d like to cover just a few options you should try out if you need a good inventory management system.

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Comodo Cleaning Essentials – Detect and Remove Malware

Published 24th October 2013 By Husayn Jamal
Comodo Cleaning Essentials featured

Comodo Cleaning Essentials (CCE) is a fairly large, portable and freeware software that allows you to remove malware and unsafe processes from your client’s computer.
Although there is no perfect solution when removing malware from a client’s system, having one more program in your toolkit never hurts.

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Top Twitterers for Techs

Published 22nd October 2013 By Micah Lahren
Top Twitterers for Techs

Just as RSS feeds are a great way to keep up on Tech news, Twitter is another way to keep up to date with Tech news, reviews, and stories in the technology industry. As a Tech, though, why bother with Twitter? There are several reasons.

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Memory Testing Tips for Techs

Published By Micah Lahren
memory testing

Your client brings in a machine that is acting oddly. Certain applications either won’t run or they constantly crash, especially memory intensive ones. It reboots at seemingly random moments, with the ‘recovered from a serious error’ message. Often, the machine will just go into a boot loop.

The infamous Blue Screen of Death may also make an appearance. These may not be the only symptoms, but such odd behavior often indicates that the memory is either faulty or is failing completely. There are more than a few ways to test memory sticks, and some tests are more exhaustive than others. Here are some basic tips for testing memory or troubleshooting when you believe the issue is with memory or the memory slots themselves.

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Posted in Hardware

DriverBackup – Quickly Backup and Restore Drivers

Published 17th October 2013 By Husayn Jamal
DriverBackup Featured

DriverBackup is a small, portable and freeware software that allows you to backup, copy and restore drivers on your client’s computer.
As a technician, downloading and installing drivers can be a very repetitive part of your job, especially when you need to reformat a client’s computer. DriverBackup allows you to backup and restore all of the drivers on your client’s computer.

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Mobile Device Repair for Techs

Published 15th October 2013 By Micah Lahren
mobile device repair

The move from the desktop and laptop to tablets and smartphones in the residential tech sector has been a cause of concern among many PC Techs. Tablets are often less expensive, harder to repair, and that means they’re easier to dispose of and just replace with a new device. If you’re an expert on conventional machine repair and are finding yourself a little uneasy about the current trend towards mobile devices, don’t despair, go into tablet repair!

While it sounds easier said than done, the fact is, tablet repair resources are popping up on the internet, making it easier for experienced technicians to move into this field without feeling completely in the dark. The tools may be a little more specialized for the job than the usual PC repair tools, and the components inside tablets are more delicate than your common computer hardware, but with a steady hand, a light touch, the right slim tools, good repair resources, and a firm grasp on technique, you can slide into tablet repair with ease.

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