There are a lot of tools I carry in my bag. They help me do a lot of tasks from rescuing data off of a crashed computer to getting into that server that you forgot the password to. Here is a list of them and what they can be used for.
Get yourself a good bootable Linux distro. First get yourself a 4 gig USB drive, then download a good disto like Backtrack 4 and install in on your USB drive (here is an easy how to). With this you can boot to Backtrack 4 and have a fully functional computer with all the tools you need to repair or crack a system. You will also be able to mount the drives on the system and look around as needed, or recover lost data.
Now in the event the computer has totally died, you still need to access the hard drive inside of the computer. I found a handy little tool to connect to the drive no matter the condition of the machine. This connects right to the drive and uses its own power source. then you just plug the USB into your laptop andcopy the data you want.
Once you have access to the system or hard drive you may need somewhere to copy data for storage during repair or just to take the data with you. For this you may want to use a removable or external hard drive. These can be had cheap and are nice to have in your bag if you need to grab some data and go. I would try to get a Hard drive at least 500gig, the smaller the better.
More than once I have found a server with no keyboard or mouse. So I always carry those with me. I carry a flexible keyboard, they suck to type on but will save your butt in a pinch. I also carry a cheap USB mouse. Make it a cheap one that you don’t mind forgetting
Tool List with Prices:
- Hard drive to USB adapter $8.99
- 4 gig USB jump drive $7.65
- Bootable linux Distro FREE
- USB mouse $11.43
- USB flexible keyboard $15.72
- 500 gig USB External 2.5 hard drive $73.99
For Just over $100 you could have all the tools you need to have access to most of the systems you come in contact with.