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Hardware Diagnostics Software

Posted on 2011-02-16
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Hello,
I am a PC repair individual in a small town. I have my MCSE and have a pretty good if not a very good handle on viruses (trojans, etc.), software issues, etc. but feel I am a little weak on the hardware side.
I work on desktops and laptops with XP, Vista and W 7 as the operating systems.
I am looking for professional suggestions for Hardware Diagnostics Software. I don't need the soft ware to tell me whether the problem is a capacitor (i.e. that intensive and low level)  but to tell me whether the problem is say the PSU, the MOBO, the HDD, etc.
Below is a link to software made by PC Diagnostics as an example:

http://www.pc-diagnostics.com/?gclid=CLe5pIuljqcCFQkf4QodgxKpcQ

Is the PC Diagnostics software any good? If you are a repair person what is your preference in software?
Any other suggestions,  keeping in mind that the software must be able to be be run in a relatively short period of time (people don't want to pay for $300 for a fix when they can get a new PC for $550) are appreciated.
Thanks,
vlogg5

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Question by:vlogg5
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8 Comments
 
LVL 39

Assisted Solution

by:Aaron Tomosky
Aaron Tomosky earned 80 total points
ID: 34913349
Symptoms will get you close, swapping out parts will get you the rest of the way. The only diagnostic software I've used in years is memtest86 which is free.
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LVL 5

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by:jason987
jason987 earned 400 total points
ID: 34913368
Most (cost effective) hardware diagnosis comes from using utilities specifically designed to measure/gauge certain components.

Ultimate Boot CD has a bunch:
http://www.ultimatebootcd.com

The key is to knowing what the data you are getting back means.  The top areas are RAM errors, CPU temperature, and HDD failures.

There is no one suite of applications that you can run like a virus scanner to diagnose hardware.
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LVL 15

Assisted Solution

by:DonConsolio
DonConsolio earned 80 total points
ID: 34913389
A Live DVD/USB-stick  with Konppix or Ububtu live systems might be helpful
(if you aren't afraid of Linux :-)



http://www.knopper.net/knoppix/index-en.html
http://www.ubuntu.com/desktop/get-ubuntu/download
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LVL 92

Accepted Solution

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nobus earned 1040 total points
ID: 34913909
look at this site; it sums up what a technician needs, or can have needs for :
http://www.lwcomputing.com/tips/static/techtoolkit.asp
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LVL 5

Assisted Solution

by:jarrod_williams
jarrod_williams earned 240 total points
ID: 34914809
I use Ultimate Boot CD. this CD contains a wide variety of hardware diagnostics and even some software tools... It is a great little App that can run a variety of hardware diagnostics. and its FREE! give it a try, i recommend it.

www.ultimatebootcd.com 

Updates happen every two months or so. I check more often than that though.
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LVL 32

Assisted Solution

by:_
_ earned 160 total points
ID: 34922028
Another vote for UBCD.

On systems with a working WinOS, I also use:
CPU-Z (cpu, mobo, ram) and GPU-Z (video cards) for getting quick hardware info.

CPU-Z
http://www.cpuid.com/cpuz.php

GPU-Z
http://www.techpowerup.com/gpuz/

And then there's SIW for finding out more than I want to know.
http://www.gtopala.com/

I haven't played with it yet, but Sardu is getting some good remarks from the Experts that have:
http://www.sarducd.it/
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Author Closing Comment

by:vlogg5
ID: 34922707
Thanks people for a timely and complete solution.
 Sorry DonConsolio I haven't the time to learn Linux.
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LVL 32

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by:_
ID: 34922831
Thank you much.   : )
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