Tips and Tools for Testing Your PC for Failing Hardware

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Tips and Tools for Testing Your PC for Failing Hardware

If you’ve ever opened up your computer, you’re aware that there’s a lot of hardware inside. Everything has the potential to fail. Certain hardware components are more prone to failure than others.

Equipment that creates heat or has moving components fails the most often. Computer hardware checks allow you to scan your system and identify malfunctioning hardware before everything breaks. Fans, hard disk drives, CPUs, and GPUs are the most usually broken components.

What Can Go Wrong With PC Hardware?

RAM is also prone to failure. It is always being written and rewritten in order to (flashed). Solid-state memory can only endure a certain number of flashes before failing. The issue also affects solid-state hard drives.

To prevent being caught off guard, do frequent hardware diagnostic checks on your computer. How to Perform Hardware Tests on Windows 10

The first assesses your computer’s system performance, while the second conducts memory tests on your Windows 10 PC.

Windows 10 has two built-in PC hardware diagnostic tools.

  1. Performance Monitor
  2. Windows Memory Diagnostic

Performance Monitor is the built-in hardware diagnostic software in Windows 10. It is the most comprehensive tool in the operating system for finding and diagnosing hardware and system problems.

Performance Monitor

Open the Start menu, type in its name, and then click the link to launch the program. You may need to wait a few seconds as the program gathers data.

To get a rapid overview of your system’s hardware, browse to Reports > System > System Diagnostics > [Computer Name] on the left-hand side.

It performs several tests on your hardware, software, CPU, network, disk, and RAM, as well as a lengthy list of comprehensive data.

Delve a bit more, and you’ll discover live performance graphs (under Monitoring Tools > Performance Monitor) and customized data sets (in Data Collector Sets).

RAM is used by a computer’s central processor unit (CPU) to store short-term data. When you power off your system, everything in RAM is erased.

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Windows Memory Diagnostic

When your RAM is on the verge of failing, there are several warning indications. Performance degradation, frequent crashes, visual cards failing to load on startup, damaged data files, and erroneous RAM statistics in the Windows System program are among them.

If you want to do a memory test on your RAM, you should use the Windows Memory Diagnostic tool. It operates by writing to and then reading from your computer’s RAM. Diverging readings indicate malfunctioning hardware.

To use the utility, open the Run window by pressing Windows + R, then type mdsched.exe and click Enter. Windows will request that you restart your machine. The exam will only take a few minutes to complete. When it’s finished, your system will restart. When you return to the Windows desktop, the findings will be shown on the screen.

If Windows does not display the results immediately, open the Event Viewer by right-clicking on the Start button, then go to Windows Logs > System and locate the most recent file named MemoryDiagnostic. If you need anything unique or a bit more powerful, you’ll need to use third-party software.

There are several options, but here are four of the finest computer diagnostic applications.

MemTest86 is widely recognized as the finest program for testing RAM on Windows. It outperforms Microsoft’s Windows Memory Diagnostic tool.

The program supports DDR5, DDR4, DDR3, and DDR2 RAM and has 13 different RAM testing techniques. It runs immediately from a USB stick or a CD, and Microsoft has signed the app’s code to ensure Secure Boot compatibility.

Third-Party Hardware Diagnostic Apps

MemTest86, like the Windows utility, offers a full-featured graphical interface.

Install CrystalDiskInfo if you wish to concentrate on testing your hard disks.

1. MemTest86

memtest86-screen-showing-test-in-progress-1
Image Credit: MemTest86

The “Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology” (SMART) exam is the app’s main feature. It offers information on your drives, such as the read error rate, the number of reallocated sectors, the spin-up time, and much more.

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Advanced power management and audio management capabilities are also included in CrystalDiskInfo.

If you keep the program running in the background, it may even send you live notifications if drives overheat or suffer from other issues.

Download: MemTest86 (Free)

2. CrystalDiskInfo

When it comes to the quantity of information provided, HWiNFO is well ahead of the hardware testing pack. Indeed, if you’re new to hardware testing, we suggest avoiding this one until you’re more comfortable with the principles and vocabulary. It is one of the most effective computer diagnostic test applications available.

From the viewpoint of hardware testing, we are mainly interested in the app’s system health monitoring functions. They give precise real-time information and graphs regarding the CPUs, GPUs, mainboards, SSDs, and peripherals in your computer.

You may also download a number of add-ins that extend the capabilities of HWiNFO. Screen tuners, widgets, and log viewers are among them. Finally, we’ll leave you with an uber-geeky tool: RWEverything. It won’t win any design prizes, but it’s quite effective.

You may use it to test practically every part of your machine’s hardware. More importantly, you can write to all of the hardware. This means you can change any option, no matter how little.

Download: CrystalDiskInfo (Free)

3. HWiNFO

Don’t change any settings if you don’t know what you’re doing. You run the risk of permanently harming your hardware. The battery is another element of laptop hardware that is prone to breakdown. If you want to learn more, we’ve written about many tools that can help you assess the health of your laptop battery.

Keeping an eye on your hardware and doing PC hardware checks is simply one aspect of keeping a healthy, smooth-running machine. Cleaning your computer is one of the most essential methods to keep it healthy! Dust and other sorts of build-up in your fans and casing are a sure-fire way to damage your PC. Take the time to pop the side panel off your PC case and clean out the dust every few months—your computer and wallet will thank you.

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You can also download a bunch of add-ins that provide HWiNFO with extra functionality. They include screen tuners, widgets, and log viewers.

Download: HWiNFO (Free)

4. RWEverything

Finally, we’ll leave you with a tool for uber-geeks: RWEverything. It won’t win any design awards, but it’s extraordinarily powerful.

You can use it to check almost every aspect of every piece of hardware in your machine. More pertinently, you can also write to all the hardware. That means you can tweak any setting, no matter how small.

Warning: If you don’t know what you’re doing, don’t start changing settings. You risk irrevocably damaging your hardware.

Download: RWEverything (Free)

Check Your Computer’s Battery Health

Another piece of laptop hardware that’s prone to failure is the battery.

We’ve written about several tools that’ll help your test the health of your laptop battery if you’d like to learn more.

Other Computer Hardware Tests

Keeping an eye on your hardware and running PC hardware tests is only one part of maintaining a healthy computer that runs smoothly. One of the single most important ways to keep your computer healthy is to clean it! Dust and other types of build-up in your fans and case are a sure-fire PC-killer. Take the time to pop the side panel off your PC case and clean out the dust every few months—your computer and wallet will thank you.

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