How to Test Your PC for Failing Hardware: Tips and Tools

Key Takeaways

The commonest PC {hardware} failures embrace GPUs, laborious drives/SSDs, RAM, PSUs, followers, and CPUs.
Built-in Windows 10/11 diagnostic instruments embrace Performance Monitor and Windows Memory Diagnostic.
Third-party diagnostic apps like MemTest86+, CrystalDiskInfo, and HWiNFO present extra complete {hardware} testing choices.

If you’ve got ever opened up your pc, you realize there may be lots of {hardware} in there, and it is all a possible level of failure. Certain items of {hardware} are extra inclined to failure than others, however nothing lasts without end.

Nobody desires their costly {hardware} to die, and with pc {hardware} checks, you may scan your system and spot failing {hardware} in the beginning crashes.

What Can Go Wrong With PC Hardware?
Equipment that both generates warmth or has transferring components tends to fail most frequently. The pc components that mostly break are:

GPUs Hard drives/SSDs RAM PSUs Fans CPUs

Did you notice that CPUs are on the backside of the checklist? CPUs can die, however they will usually be the final PC half to accomplish that, and it is usually brought on by one other problem, like energy issues, overheating, or in any other case. Of all of your PC {hardware} parts, the CPU is the least possible half to have a problem, particularly for those who set up it and then go away it alone (occasional thermal paste reapplications apart).

But regardless of the {hardware}, one of the best ways to keep away from being caught out is to carry out common {hardware} diagnostic checks in your pc, and there are numerous methods to run {hardware} checks on Windows 10 and 11.

Windows 10 and 11 have two built-in PC {hardware} diagnostic instruments.

Performance Monitor Windows Memory Diagnostic

The first analyzes system efficiency in your pc, and the second runs reminiscence checks in your Windows PC.

Performance Monitor

Performance Monitor is the native Windows 10/11 {hardware} diagnostic app. It’s Windows’ most holistic device for finding and diagnosing {hardware} and system points.
Open the Start menu, search for efficiency monitor, and choose the Best Match. For a fast overview of your system’s {hardware}, use the left-hand panel to navigate to Reports > System > System Diagnostics > [Computer Name]. You might have to wait a couple of seconds whereas the app collects knowledge. It supplies a number of checks for your {hardware}, software program, CPU, community, disk, and reminiscence, together with a protracted checklist of detailed statistics. If there isn’t a knowledge, head to Data Collector Sets > System, then double-click System Diagnostics to run the Windows diagnostic scan. The course of usually takes round 60 seconds to full. Once full, head again to Reports > System > System Diagnostics > [Computer Name] and take a look at your outcomes.

That’s the simplest approach to use the Windows Performance Monitor, however if you need extra knowledge, you may discover dwell efficiency graphs in Monitoring Tools > Performance Monitor and customizable knowledge units in Data Collector Sets > User Defined.

Windows Memory Diagnostic

A pc’s central processing unit (CPU) makes use of RAM to retailer short-term info. Anything contained within the RAM is misplaced while you flip off your machine.

There are a number of warning indicators when your RAM is shut to failing. They embrace worsening efficiency, frequent crashes, video playing cards failing to load on boot, corrupted knowledge recordsdata, and incorrect RAM info within the Windows System app.

If you are questioning how to run a reminiscence take a look at on the RAM, you want to use the Windows Memory Diagnostic device. It works by writing to, then studying, your pc’s RAM. Differing values sign defective {hardware}.

To launch the device:

Press Windows + R to open the Run dialog, then kind mdsched.exe and hit Enter. Windows will immediate you to restart your pc, and the take a look at will take a couple of minutes to full. When it is over, your machine will as soon as once more restart. You’ll see the outcomes on the display as soon as you come back to the Windows desktop.

If Windows does not mechanically present you the outcomes, press Win + X to open the Power Menu, then choose Event Viewer. Next, head to Windows Logs > System and discover the newest file known as MemoryDiagnostic.

Third-Party Hardware Diagnostic Apps
If you are trying for one thing particular or slightly extra highly effective, you may want to flip to third-party software program.

There are many Windows diagnostic instruments, however you may diagnose most Windows points with these X apps.

1. MemTest86+

MemTest86+ is well-established as the very best device to take a look at your RAM on Windows. It’s extra highly effective than Microsoft’s Windows Memory Diagnostic device and is free and open supply. Furthermore, not like the Windows device, MemTest86+ additionally has a full-featured graphical interface.

Memtest86+ makes use of two RAM testing algorithms and helps DDR5, DDR4, DDR3, and DDR2 RAM. You boot it instantly from a USB flash drive or a CD, and Microsoft has signed the app’s code for Secure Boot compatibility.

Download:MemTest86 (Free)

2. CrystalDiskInfo

If you need to deal with testing your laborious drives, you must set up CrystalDiskInfo.

The app’s key characteristic is the “Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology” (SMART) take a look at. It supplies knowledge about a number of elements of your drives, together with the learn error price, a depend of reallocated sectors, the spin-up time, and an entire lot extra.

CrystalDiskInfo additionally contains superior energy and audio administration instruments for laborious drives and SSDs. You may also configure CrystalDiskInfo to present dwell alerts if drives turn out to be too sizzling or undergo from different failures. You have to preserve CrystalDiskInfo operating within the background to obtain temperature alerts, but it surely’s actually not an issue because it requires little or no processing energy or system reminiscence.

Download:CrystalDiskInfo (Free)


HWiNFO is approach forward of the {hardware} testing pack concerning the quantity of knowledge supplied. But when you rise up to velocity with its intensive vary of information, you may recognize it as among the finest pc diagnostic take a look at apps on the market.

From a {hardware} take a look at standpoint, we’re most within the app’s system well being monitoring options. They present detailed real-time reviews and graphs about your machine’s CPUs, GPUs, mainboards, drives, and peripherals. Double-click any of the sections within the left-hand panel to open a brand new window full of knowledge particular to that {hardware}.

You may also obtain a bunch of add-ins that present HWiNFO with further performance. They embrace display tuners, widgets, and log viewers.

Download:HWiNFO (Free)

Check Your Computer’s Battery Health
Another piece of laptop computer {hardware} that is inclined to failure is the battery.

We’ve written about a number of instruments that’ll provide help to take a look at the well being of your laptop computer battery, however the best choice for Windows customers is the built-in device, powercfg. The highly effective command generates a exact report in your battery standing and historical past, displaying you its capability and extra.

Open the Start Menu, enter CMD, right-click the Best Match, and choose Run as Adminstrator. Alternatively, Windows 11 customers can press Win + X to open the Power Menu and choose Terminal (Admin). Now, enter powercfg /batteryreport and press Enter. It saves a battery report in HTML format to C:Windowssystem32battery-report.html. Browse to the file location and open it. The battery report will open in your browser.

The first a part of the battery report particulars your {hardware}, present battery standing, complete capability, and present capability, which is all nice info. If you scroll down, you may discover extra info on charging standing, intervals, and extra.

Diagnose Windows Hardware With PartedMagic or The Ultimate Boot CD
Another approach to diagnose defective {hardware} on a Windows system is with a Linux Live CD or USB. There are a number of rescue and restoration disks for Windows, however two helpful distros for diagnosing defective Windows {hardware} are PartedMagic and the Ultimate Boot CD.

Ultimate Boot CD

PartedMagic is a paid device however options a number of helpful instruments for benchmarking and checking your {hardware}, not to point out its disk partitioning, closing, rescue, and erasing instruments, whereas the Ultimate Boot CD is totally free and additionally options quite a few Windows {hardware} checking instruments, testing and analytics choices, plus fixes for widespread points. As of Ultimate Boot CD model 5, the rescue disk additionally features a model of PartedMagic (for partitioning and managing laborious drives), so it is a very helpful device to preserve round.

Gavin Phillips/MakeUseOf

To use PartedMagic or the Ultimate Boot CD, you may want an ISO to bootable USB device. I might counsel Rufus, because it’s tremendous easy to use and takes care of your ISO and USB flash drive configuration.

First, obtain PartedMagic; it requires a 15 greenback single price. Alternatively, obtain Ultimate Boot CD, which is free. Use an ISO-to-bootable USB device like Rufus to burn the PartedMagic ISO or Ultimate Boot CD to a USB flash drive. Turn off the pc you need to diagnose. Insert the PartedMagic or Ultimate Boot CD USB flash drive (or CD). Now, you may want to change the boot order to choose the PartedMagic or Ultimate Boot CD drive. Most Windows machines can change boot order by urgent ESC or F8 through the boot course of, however your machine might have a particular key. However, if Windows quick startup is enabled, it’s possible you’ll want to change this off to make the method work. Once booted, you may start troubleshooting and benchmarking Windows utilizing PartedMagic or Ultimate Boot CD.

Download: PartedMagic ($15)

Download: Ultimate Boot CD (Free)

The PartedMagic distro is comparatively easy to use, and higher nonetheless, it really works similar to an everyday working system, so it isn’t a complicated interface.

Keeping an eye fixed in your {hardware} and operating PC {hardware} checks are solely two components of sustaining a clean, wholesome pc. One of a very powerful methods to preserve your pc wholesome is to clear it! Dust and different varieties of build-up in your followers and case are a sure-fire PC-killer. Take the time to pop the facet panel off your PC case and clear out the mud each few months—your pc and pockets will thanks.

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