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Diagnostic Software


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#1 NCJason

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 06:57 AM

I just finished a format and OS reinstall after unsuccessfully trying to repair my Windows installation. For more information on that see this thread.

Now that everything looks good. I would like to run a hardware test before I spend a lot of time reloading all of my programs and data. Are there any diagnostic programs that you recommend that will test all of the computers components?

Thanks,
Jason

EDIT: Moved from XP to more appropriate Internal Hardware ~ Hamluis.

Edited by hamluis, 18 May 2010 - 07:13 AM.


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#2 MrBruce1959

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 11:57 AM

Hi and Welcome to Bleepingcomputer!

I would suggest going to cnet's website and look around for some free diagnostic programs. I have found quite a few good ones on their site that do different types of testing, but not all are created equal and work only with certain operating systems.

So with that being said I think its best to point you to the so called store, but allow you to do your own shopping.

http://www.cnet.com look for the downloads tab.

Unless you want to purchase a program, I suggest you try using either trial versions or freeware versions.

Although most of those freeware programs are scanned for bad code on Cnet, I still scan them anyways, just for peace of mind.

Edited by MrBruce1959, 18 May 2010 - 11:58 AM.

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#3 tg1911

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 04:47 PM

There are also a few listed in the Freeware Replacements For Common Commercial Apps topic, in the first post, under Hard Drive & System Utilites.
These programs are tested, used, and suggested by our members.

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#4 Sneakycyber

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 07:30 PM

PCWizard from CPUid has benchmarking capabilities built in and its FREE.

Edited by Sneakycyber, 18 May 2010 - 07:31 PM.

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#5 AustrAlien

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 07:05 AM

Jason .... picking up from your other thread with thcbytes ....

Check in Device Manager for any yellow exclamation marks indicating a problem with drivers.

What drivers have been loaded? Have you loaded the motherboard drivers from the Gateway web site? Graphics card drivers? Others?

How did you install XP on the SATA hard drive? Did you install the SATA drivers first or alter the BIOS configuration first to enable the XP installation disk to see the SATA hard drive?
====================

Ensure that the inside of the box is clean: Blow it out with compressed air .... including the power supply. Ensure that ventilation is good.

You have mentioned that you have three hard drives. (I note that you have already run the Hitachi DFT on your system hard drive.)These should all be tested with the hard drive manufacturer's diagnostic utility. You should also run chkdsk /r (the same as "Error checking with both boxes ticked) on each drive. You should also examine the S.M.A.R.T. characteristics of each hard drive.
If the S.M.A.R.T. characteristics are not displayed in the DFT test, you can download and use HD Tune
http://www.hdtune.com/download.html
(not the Pro version which you would need to pay for) to further test the hard drives and display the S.M.A.R.T. characteristics.

(IMPORTANT: Do not neglect to to run the above tests on your other hard drives)
=================

STRESS TESTING or STABILITY TESTING of the system.

I recommend the following guide (I use these tests on the computers that I put together for my own use)
Guidelines for Thorough Stability Testing
http://www.overclockers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=335813

Step 1. (some extra notes)
Download prime95 (p95v2414) from the following link (archived versions of Prime95):
ftp://mersenne.org/gimps_archive/archived_executables/
p95v2414.exe or p95v2414.zip
(Using this older version of Prime95 will allow you to follow the instructions in the Stability Testing article: The later versions are a little different and cannot be configured as outlined in the article.)

Also test with Toast
http://majorgeeks.com/Toast_d867.html
at the same time monitoring the CPU temperature with a program such as Motherboard Monitor 5
http://majorgeeks.com/Motherboard_Monitor_d311.html
or Speedfan
http://www.almico.com/speedfan.php
Run Toast for 20 minutes while watching the CPU temperature. This will test the effectiveness of your cooling system.

Step 2.
3DMark

Step 3.
memtest86+
(You have said that you have completed this test already, but have you let it run for 24 hours?)

If the result of all that testing is good .... then I would say you can proceed to use your system with confidence. Visit Windows Updates until there are no more updates available. Install an antivirus program .... and some other security features, if you are that way inclined .... and you are right to go.

Any questions ... ? Fire away!
Regards,
'Alien

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#6 NCJason

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 09:25 AM

Jason .... picking up from your other thread with thcbytes ....

Check in Device Manager for any yellow exclamation marks indicating a problem with drivers.

What drivers have been loaded? Have you loaded the motherboard drivers from the Gateway web site? Graphics card drivers? Others?

How did you install XP on the SATA hard drive? Did you install the SATA drivers first or alter the BIOS configuration first to enable the XP installation disk to see the SATA hard drive?


I have a disk that came with the computer that reimaged the hard drive to the way it was out of the box. It installed all of the drivers and preloaded software. I did not have to do anything special to get the disk to see the hard drive.

I need to install some Windows Updates and check for new versions of drivers on the gateway website but I wanted to test the hardware before I put a lot of time into the computer.

I will follow your instructions and post an update with my results and any questions.




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