2.1. Identifying Troubleshooting Tools

A good troubleshooting arsenal contains many weapons, both hardware and software. After all, not every computer problem is related to the hardware. And even when it is, software tools can sometimes help with the diagnosis. If you are doing field support, create a troubleshooting kit in a handy carrying case with all the tools you use most often.

2.1.1. Hardware tools

To properly troubleshoot equipment-related issues, you want to use the right tool for the job. This section takes a look at the hardware tools you should have, and what jobs you will perform with them.

2.1.1.1. Multimeter

You could buy a meter to measure voltage (volts; V), a meter to measure resistance (ohms; Ω), and a meter to measure continuity and current (milliamps [mA] and amps [A]). Or you could just buy a multimeter, which is a combination of all of these different types of meters.

NOTE

Make sure that you know what the multimeter is capable of measuring. You will need to identify the proper times to use one, although not details of its operation.

You can find both digital and analog multimeters, and your choice is based solely on personal preference. Many people find digital multimeters easier to read. Also, when testing resistance in circuits, digital meters use only 1.5V rather than 9V, and the lesser voltage is less likely to damage the circuit.

Both digital and analog multimeters are shown in Figure 2-1. The meter usually has a dial that lets you choose what you ...

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