IT Essentials v6.0 – Chapter 2: Introduction to Lab Procedures and Tool Use

Sections & Objectives

2.1 Safe Lab procedures

  • Explain the purpose of safe working conditions and safe lab procedures.

2.2 Proper Use of Tools

  • Explain how to use tools and software with personal computer components.

2.1 Safe Lab Procedures

2.2.1 Procedures to Protect People

General Safety

  • Make sure a first-aid kit is available.
  • Unsecured cables create tripping hazards.
  • Food and drinks should not be in the workspace.
  • Remove jewelry.

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Electrical Safety

  • Computer power supplies are dangerous when disassembled.
  • Watch for printer areas that are hot or that use high voltage.
  • Check the voltage output of AC adapters and chargers before connecting them to devices.

Fire Safety

  • Turn off the power and unplug equipment before performing service.
  • Different types of fires require different types of fire extinguishers; make sure to use to correct one.
  • Be alert for odors emitting from computers and electronic devices.

2.1.2 Procedures to Protect Equipment and Data

ESD and EMI

  • ESD can cause damage to computer equipment if not discharged properly.
  • ESD can build up on you as you walk on a carpeted floor.
  • EMI distorts the signals, degrading computer communication.
  • EMI can be generated by large motors, power lines, electrical storms, or any other source of electromagnetic energy.
  • Wireless networks are affected by RFI.
  • RFI is caused by radio transmitters transmitting in the same frequency.

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Environmental temperature and humidity levels also affect computers. 

Power Fluctuation Types

  • Power fluctuations may impact the operation of computer components.
  • Blackouts, brownouts, noise, spike and power surge are types of power fluctuations that can cause data loss or hardware failure.

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Power Protection Devices

  • Surge suppressors, UPSs, SPSs are devices designed to protect computer systems from power fluctuations.
  • Laser printers should not be plugged to UPSs

2.2.3 Procedures to Protect the Environment

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Safety Data Sheet

  • Use an SDS to obtain information about a material, including procedures for proper disposal.
  • The SDS contains information on the material’s composition, how it can affect personal health, fire hazards, and first-aid requirements.
  • It also includes protective measures for the safe handling and storage of materials and spill, leak, and disposal procedures.

Equipment Disposal

  • Computer equipment contains hazardous materials and should be properly disposed.
  • Follow regulations to protect the environment and avoid fines.
  • Batteries, monitors, toner kits, cartridges, developers, chemical solvents and aerosol cans are examples of equipment that must be properly disposed.

2.2 Proper Use of Tools

2.2.1 Hardware Tools

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Hardware tools are grouped into:

ESD Tools

  • Antistatic wrist strap and antistatic mat

Hand Tools

  • Include screwdrivers, flashlights and pliers.

Cable Tools

  • Include wire cutters and strippers, crimpers and punch down tool.

Cleaning Tools

  • Include special cloths, chemicals and cable ties.

Diagnostic Tools

  • Include digital multimeters, loopback adapters, WiFi analyzer, external HDD enclosure

2.2.2 Software Tools

Like hardware tools, software tools are task-specific.

Used to diagnose problems, maintain hardware, and protect the data stored on a computer.

Disk Management Tools

  • Used for disk management, formatting, error checking, drive optimization, disk cleanup and more.

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Protection Software Tools

  • Malicious software can damage or compromise operating systems, applications, and data.
  • Software protection tools include antivirus, antispyware, firewalls and update manager software.

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2.2.3 Organizational Tools

It is important that a technician document all services and repairs for future reference.

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Personal Reference Tools

  • Include troubleshooting guides, manufacturer manuals, quick reference guides, and repair journals.
  • History of repairs and a notepad can be extremely useful as a technician performs troubleshooting and repairs.
  • The Internet can be a great reference tool by providing access to specialized forums, search engines, manufacturer’s FAQs, and more.

Miscellaneous Tools

  • Additional secondary items can be added to the toolkit.
  • Masking tape, a working computer and even pencil eraser can be very useful additions to a technician’s kit.

2.3 Chapter Summary

  • This chapter discussed safe lab procedures, correct tool usage, and the proper disposal of computer components and supplies.
  • Work in a safe manner to protect users and equipment.
  • Follow all safety guidelines to prevent injuries to yourself and others.
  • Know how to protect equipment from ESD damage.
  • Know about and be able to prevent power issues that can cause equipment damage or data loss.
  • Know which products and supplies require special disposal procedures.
  • Familiarize yourself with the SDS for safety issues and disposal restrictions to help protect the environment.
  • Be able to use the correct tools for the task.
  • Know how to clean components safely.
  • Use organizational tools during computer repairs.

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