With over 7years experience as a PC Technician, id like to share with you guys a few of my most valuable diagnostic tools and tricks to fixing any Computer, easily.
1: a PCI PC POST card- which you can pick up from CompUSA (tells you exactly what is wrong with pcs that dont start up at all)
2: Hiren's Boot CD 6.0- this one you will have to find on the web, it consists of the top and most useful hardware diag tools out there. PC Doctor on the cd is the one that i use the most. Runs 350 tests just on the hardware alone.
3: Hitmanpro 2- a fully automated spyware and virus removal. although in dutch, easily worked because it uses nothing but english programs.
I roughly fix close to 15 computer problems daily. Mostly because i own and operate my own Computer Repair Business (http://www.apcronline.com) For every computer that i work on, i always run PC Doctor on them to throughly test out the computer's hardware(even if it is not giving symptoms of hardware failure) PC Doctor will a lot of times pick up something with the computer that is failing. Next if it passes the PC Doctor hardware test, then i know for certain that its a software(windows) problem. So then i will run Hitmanpro2, to fix any spyware or virus problems. 90% of the computers that i fix have either a virus or spyware problem. If the computer passes both the hardware and software tests. Then i would do a data backup and Reload the computers Operating System. I have fixed hundreds of computers since starting my own business, and i have seen just about every kind/type/sort of computer problem there is. And i only use the best tools available.
Hope this helps.
Maryland Computer Repair / A+ Computer Repair