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Randy The Tech Professor

April 8, 2012 at 3:22 pm

Computer Repair Tools That I Can’t Live Without (Part 10.5: Utilities On My USB Flash Drive)


Hello everyone,

In the past year and a half or so I’ve repaired over 350 computers. In this series I’m describing the very repair tools that I use daily. If you would like, you can see the entire series (up to this point) by following these links: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7, part 8, part 9, part 10, part 10.1, part 10.2, part 10.3 and part 10.4.

Part 10.5: Continuing what I started in part 10, 10.1, 10.2, 10.3, and 10.4, in the next few posts I’ll continue to show you the repair tools that I have on my USB flash drives and tell you what they are used for. At the moment I carry around six USB drives so let’s take a look at some more programs that I have on flash drive #3:

1) Tech Tools 3.0: Tech Tools has been extremely useful to me! Imagine having a bunch of great, free repair tools that you can update automatically to the most recent version!

Tech Tools is for techs and people who work on computers everyday, and need updated programs to keep with them on their usb key. Tech Tools uses Ketarin, which is an application downloader that checks to see if an application has been updated and downloads it if so. The genius in this tool is that we don’t have to have you download all these tools at one time from our website, you’re going to be downloading each file individually from the app’s website. This helps with our bandwidth costs and some authors of the applications, while freeware, wanted the only download of  their software to be at their own sites.

2) LiberKey 5.7: A selection of great portable apps with automatic online updates. You gotta check this one out!

LiberKey is a collection of portable apps in a variety of categories that can be run on your local PC or from any portable media. Take these important apps with you and use on any computer. LiberKey is a complete application platform for local or portable use. It allows you to manage your applications quickly and without skill. Installation of an application from LiberKey catalog is done with 2 clicks but you can easily add any other application. After LiberKey 5.7 installation, the user has the choice to install Ultimate, Standard or Basic suites (so always updated) or to define its own suite with the online catalog.

3) CheckDisk: This tool will save you a lot of time! CheckDisk automates the Windows chkdsk.exe command line tool to run until no bad sectors, lost clusters, cross-linked files, or directory errors are found.

How would you like coming back to a system after running chkdsk.exe and still having file system errors? It can get irritating for the 20 minutes to several hours it takes chkdsk.exe to run, to have to check in on it and restart chkdsk manually 3-5 times or more. CheckDisk will use chkdsk.exe to scan the partitions as many times as it takes until chkdsk.exe reports that no errors are found, so the only user interaction required is to start the process.

Ultimately, this is a technician’s tool. It’s great for those of us running chkdsk.exe from a “Tech Bench” computer or bootable WinPE based CD, where you don’t *need* to scan your OS partition.

…but it can be quite useful for others.  Anyone with multiple partitions and hard drives will find it useful for maintenance on all of their non-OS partitions, and in the event their OS partition needs repair, you can use it to schedule autochk.exe to run on the next startup.

4) ClamXav 2 and FlashbackChecker: I have not had to use either of these tools yet but I have them on my flash drive just in case I have to work on an Apple system (malicious website code can exploit a vulnerability in Java runtime).

ClamXav is a free virus scanner for Mac OS X. It uses the very popular ClamAV open source antivirus engine as a back end and has the ability to detect both Windows and Mac threats. ClamXav can be setup up as passive or active: scan only the files you tell it to or your entire hard drive, whichever you prefer; you can also choose to activate Sentry to monitor your hard drive and scan new files as they arrive.

FlashbackChecker checks and reports the presence of Flashback malware, it does not remove it!

5) Memtest86+: I can’t tell you how many times I have tested and diagnosed bad memory using this gem of a tool. Memtest86 on your flash drive is simply a must!

Memtest86 is a thorough, stand alone memory test for x86 architecture computers. BIOS based memory tests are a quick, cursory check and often miss many of the failures that are detected by Memtest86.

Professor Randy says: A computer repair technician without great tools is like milk without cookies! Pointless! Fill your flash drive up with great tools and you’ll have the solution to the problem in the palm of your hand!

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  • NELO-
    1:20 am on February 26th, 2013 1

    Mr. Randy:
    JUST to Say Thankyou for a VERY Inportant INFO,.. for TECHIES to carry around!

  • Randy Knowles
    1:21 pm on February 26th, 2013 2

    Thanks for the comment NELO,

    Glad that you found something worthwhile in my post. Thanks for visiting my site!

    Best wishes,
    Randy Knowles

  • john
    3:53 am on August 20th, 2014 3

    This is about the same thing I use, but mine has way more on it, like mini windows 98, xp and 7 that boot from either a dvd or usb, depending on how you want to do it, but with the programs I use you will need at minimum a 4gb flash drive

  • Richard Cooke
    10:16 am on March 31st, 2017 4

    Thanks for these useful tools, just to let you ClamXAv is no longer free it is £19.99 + Vat.


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