Diagnostic software

  iqs 18:22 22 Jul 2009


What would you say is the best PC diagnostic software on the market?.

I'm looking at purchasing software which will help diagnose hardware issues.

While at college we used Microscope,but we didn't think much of it to be honest

So what bootable diagnostic software would you recommended please.


  DieSse 19:15 22 Jul 2009

The only hardware diagnostics I've ever used are

Memory testers

Hard drive testers.

Both have excellent free versions, the hard drive usually from the manufacturers site (eg Seatools from Seagate).

Otherwise system hardware issues are best dealt with by substitution. There are PSU checkers - but they don't tell the whole story - more of a go-nogo check.

I've been troubleshooting PCs since there were PCs and never purchased or felt the need for diagnostics like Microscope.

For what purpose are you looking?

  iqs 19:32 22 Jul 2009

Hi ,thanks for the reply.

The reason for the diagnostic software......

Yesterday I was fixing a PC.My post card did not detect any errors,and the free software I have will not test a MB.

After the usual checks,swapping known good for suspected faulty,it turned out the MB was at fault.I'm not sure which component of the MB is faulty

Fitted another MB,and the PC worked fine.Hence the software which can test MB's and its components :-)

Thanks DieSse

  sunnystaines 19:44 22 Jul 2009

i have seen a pci card that goes into a M/B and can diagonse a whole host of problems also has some sort of memory backup. but never seen one in the shops.

  sunnystaines 19:45 22 Jul 2009

as for software sisoftsandra and if you have a floppy drive memtest86 for testing ram not sure if they have a cd version.

  DieSse 20:54 22 Jul 2009

"Hence the software which can test MB's and its components :-)"

It's not worth the bother IMHO. You'll not likely have access to most components, and the common components (caps, chokes, etc) are unlikely to show up specifically on a test program.

If a test program will run, the boards basically working.

Equipment to replace surface mounted chips is expensive and difficult to use. Replacing components on multi-layer boards is a chancy exercise at the best of times.

That's why board manufacturers use automated test rigs that are VERY expensive, and need to be programmed for individual board types.

My advice - maybe get a POST board if you really want to - otherwise just stick to substitution if you want to save time and make any money at it. Remember - an average motherboard is only worth about an hour of your time.

  DieSse 20:59 22 Jul 2009

PS - the POST runs basic checks on a motherboards hardware.

If POST will run it's vanishingly unlikely that software will find anything different (apart from soak testing RAM - and drive testing, as per my first post).

If POST doesn't run, then you already know you have a motherboard issue - just replace it.

Apart of course for CMOS/BIOS/battery issues, and the obvious I/O port failures.

  spuds 22:37 22 Jul 2009

You can obtain a POST unit via eBay very easily. They are not very expensive, in fact extremely cheap, but only problem would be the delay getting it from possibly Hong Kong.

I bought one that with work with laptops and desktops, but haven't got around to trying it out yet. Took about 7 to 10 days to arrive with full warranty, but at the price paid including airmail delivery, the warranty would not be worth claiming if the item was faulty.

  iqs 11:20 23 Jul 2009


And thank you all for your comments and advice,it was appreciated.cheers

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