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Testing computer parts for functionality

armandtech
armandtech asked
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I have been building computers from parts for years.
Lately I have been racking my brains with problems originating from faulty parts.

Just the other day, everything seemed to work fine. Fans came on and everything except computer would not come on into opening CMOS. Finally discovered that the power supply was faulty and not putting out the right amount of power. However I lost several hours time in the process.

Is there a way or a good site to find info on how to pre-determine or check 1)CPU 2)Motherboard 3)power supply 4) Hard Drive 5) Memory to determine if they are functioning as expected.

I mean is there a place to put some kind of test meter on or a device to check CPU speed or Memory or whatever. I have wasted countless hours on a perfectly good setup ruined by faulty parts.
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Quid, Me Anxius Sum?  Illegitimi non carborundum.
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Commented:
Here's the power supply tester

http://www.pcpowercooling.com/products/alarmandaccesories/accessories/popups/index_tester.htm

Here's the memory tester

http://www.simmtester.com/

You're not going to find anything to test the motherboard or the cpu that I Know of.  For the hard disk go to the various manufacturer's sites and download the diagnostic utilities that they offer.  These will test and give you back info on the hard disk.
dos/windows has a neet memory testor, add device=c:\dos\himem.sys /testmem:on (substitute dos with windows for win9x)
this is a good test to catch memory error, but it might point out errors due to faulty settings in BIOS also..

u can also try SiSoft Sandra...or WinChekit.

hdds: many manufacturer provide diagnostic utils. chk out. seagate has at www.seagate.com. they check whole surface and ckts using SMART settings on them.


Don't trust anything that comes with the OS!

Eurosoft, www.eurosoft-uk.com, produce a very good checking system PC-Check.  Tests just about anything, but the suystem has to be built up.  

For motherboard I use a POST card which fits into an available PCI or ISA slot and monitor the boot sequences and reports back via an LED display the POST code of any errors.

Simmtester is very good for memory.

Power supplies use a multimeter.

RT
Chris RipollMaster of None
Commented:
Gota agree with RougeTrader....If the damned thing won't boot, no software is going to help. I have used two different POST cards (Microscope & KickStart IRQ) and they are priceless. The later even has a power supply meter.

Good investment if you build systems.

CR

Commented:
Since you are building these with used parts then the best thing you can do is build a spare system you can use to swap unknown condition parts into so you can test the unknown parts to see if they work. This may be time consuming but if you only test one part at a time then you won't waste time trying to get a junk part working in a "new" system. You would be using known good working parts then.

Author

Commented:
Not building from used parts. How do you read Post Cards with no monitor or do you use the monitor or by a small LCD screen?
Does SIMMtester work with DIMMS?

dbruntonQuid, Me Anxius Sum?  Illegitimi non carborundum.
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Commented:
Does SIMMtester work with DIMMS?

Yes.
Chris RipollMaster of None

Commented:
The POST cards I have used both have an L.E.D. readout which displays POST information and errors if any. The Kickstart unit I have also comes with a reference booklet which covers most BIOSs'. They also have LEDs' which monitor power supply.

If you do have display working, you can run diags and tests via the POST card.

Good luck.
Chris

Author

Commented:
So how do I get the post cards?
Chris RipollMaster of None

Commented:
Try this site. I just did a search on conmputer diagnostics equipment.

http://www.ultra-x.co.uk/hardware.htm

Cheers,
Chris

Author

Commented:
U.K.? Pounds? Sorry, in the U.S. this makes little to no since...

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