Essential computer geek tools

Discussion in 'Tech' started by MSP, Aug 2, 2006.

  1. MSP

    MSP Haunting a dead forum...

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    On a recent business trip I was given a copy of Winternal 2005 and was blown away how useful it was, and how I had never used it! You can boot into a broken install of Windows, crack passwords, transfer files, etc. Good stuff. So it got me to thinking, what other essential tools are out there that I'm missing out on? So list your favorite software and hardware tools here and what you use them for.

    Here's an updated list and all of the helpful links moved to the top of the thread for easy access, per the suggestion of our fearless leader Dan. Just let me know if I missed anything or you have more to add!

    1) Winternals 2005 and / or other BOOT CD (see links below)
    2) Partition Magic
    3) A small tool kit - screw drivers, wrenches, wire cutters, pliers, tweezers, etc.
    4) A USB IDE / SATA adapter - for data recovery
    5) Hard Drive Scanner - a free tool that's great to determining what is taking up disk space
    6) Soldering iron
    7) Hammer
    8) Crossover cable
    9) USB thumb drive

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Knoppix Linux Boot CD - KNOPPIX Linux Live CD
    USB hard drive cable - Newegg.com - Once You Know, You Newegg
    Windows XP "rebuild command" - Langa Letter: XP's Little-Known 'Rebuild' Command - News by InformationWeek
    Windows XP SP2 slipstreaming how-to - http://www.winsupersite.com/showcase/windowsxp_sp2_slipstream.asp
    Ultimate Boot CD - Ultimate Boot CD - Overview
    Hiren's Boot CD - Hiren's boot CD - Google Search
    Hard Drive Scanner - Freeware Section
  2. XEN

    XEN E Pluribus Funk

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    1. Soldering iron
    2. Hammer
  3. El_Presidente_Pufferfish

    El_Presidente_Pufferfish I grew up here

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  4. MSP

    MSP Haunting a dead forum...

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    So what is it?
  5. El_Presidente_Pufferfish

    El_Presidente_Pufferfish I grew up here

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    linux livecd with a bunch of useful stuff and hardware detection on it
    http://www.knoppix.org/
  6. hans5849

    hans5849 Serious as a heart attack

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    So uh, MSP how would i get a coppy of that.
  7. MSP

    MSP Haunting a dead forum...

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    Winternals? I haven't looked on torrent but I'm sure it's out there. That's basically what I want to do - collect a list of essentials and then torrent the shit out of them! :D
  8. Electric_Head

    Electric_Head New Member

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    That's all I need besides what is allready built into winblows itself. A crossover Cat5e cable, a laptop, IDE -> USB adapter.
  9. c6comp

    c6comp the game belongs to me

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    its out their, i downloaded it a long time ago....
  10. Jamsan

    Jamsan Junior Member

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    Don't forget a usb enclosure that can support laptop drives as well!

    also, Bart PE (similar to knoppix)
  11. MSP

    MSP Haunting a dead forum...

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    Yeah, that USB hard drive cable supports laptop drives too. Talk about a cheap way to have an external drive! Check it out...

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16812156102
  12. ivanolo

    ivanolo Guest

    Knoppix, System Rescue CD.

    Also, read this article and memorize it.
  13. Undertaker989

    Undertaker989 New Member

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    -A bootable USB Key Drive with BartPE and toolkits built in.


    I lost the link to the webpage containing a guide on where to download it and how to use it.
  14. MSP

    MSP Haunting a dead forum...

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    Man, I'm getting some great ideas from this thread. Knoppix is downloading now, I've slipstreamed my Windows XP install CD (I've been meaning to do that anyway), and I'll order me a USB key drive shortly. Keep 'em coming guys! What about physical tools? Soldering iron? Yeah, I need to add that too. But I have these I forgot to mention:

    6) Cable tester (both patch and in-wall)
    7) Refillable air can
  15. Electric_Head

    Electric_Head New Member

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    Small pliers and tweezers, along with a good seating philipshead.
  16. msgwtco

    msgwtco Divides by Zero

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    make sure you make a Bootable CD of it too. not all PCs can boot off of USB devices.
  17. MSP

    MSP Haunting a dead forum...

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    You know, I think this thread deserves to be a sticky. There is some damned good info in here.
  18. Undertaker989

    Undertaker989 New Member

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    yeah, thats a good point. It all depends on if the BIOS supports booting from USB devices or not.

    As far as other additions, anything from Sysinternals is a winner IMO. I enjoy their PageDefrag program, TCPview, ProcessExplorer, Rootkit Revealer, and of course, PSTools.

    If you want to image machines via a LAN, but you don't want to do a Powercast or Ghost broadcast, you can use UniversalBootDisk that works with allmost any nic and put your ghosting programs on that. It has support for Win32 networked enviornments, so you can join domains, map network drives, and anything else you want via a DOS prompt.
  19. Axl_Rose

    Axl_Rose Junior Member

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    Can't forget a keyboard and monitor :p
  20. Devzero

    Devzero New Member

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    Hiren's boot CD has everything you will ever need. The Winternals tools are not that impressive. You will need a thumb drive with the newest versions of: hijackthis, rootkit revealer, icesword (if you can find it =P), crap cleaner, winsock fix, and I always like to have a copy of spysweeper and ewido with the latest def files.

    Any version of Linux can be very useful for data rescue. Knoppix is a good way to go.
  21. Devzero

    Devzero New Member

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    OH! And NEVER forget your sack of PwNaGe!
  22. tweakmonkey

    tweakmonkey Webmaster Staff Member

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    Ultimate Boot CD's another alternative that's quick, free, and easy. For memory, hard drive, and CPU stability tests it's pretty useful.
  23. MSP

    MSP Haunting a dead forum...

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    Hiren's boot CD? Looking for that now. And I ordered a 2GB thumb drive last night. :)
  24. Cartman

    Cartman Junior Member

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    i've used this a few times... it was pretty nice to use

    u DONT need knopix if u have Winternals 2005 btw dont waist your time
  25. Undertaker989

    Undertaker989 New Member

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    I've used that before. it is a lifesaver if you don't want to boot into any OS but need to run something that accesses network shares.

    For example, we used UBD to boot to DOS, authenticated to the domain, mapped a network drive to a server with image files on it and then started up Powerquest image center to image the box in question.

    this method was better than using a boot disk w/ the powercast client that powerquest supports b/c the powercasting can sometimes bog down the network too much and the school we admin doesn't like it when we break their internets.