The one surefire way to ensure your PC remains in the best of health is running PC Diagnostics. Computers are machines at the end of the day and can encounter many problems. Whether your PC’s software or hardware is malfunctioning, a diagnostic tool can help resolve it without you needing technical help.
If you’re facing the blue screen of death, lagging interface, and system crashes, it may be time to run a computer diagnostic test. Think of this tool as a doctor that finds out what’s wrong with your body and then recommends a solution. This is where the name comes from. It simply gives the diagnosis of the problem, so that you can resolve it.
There are different kinds of diagnostic tools for your PC. Some hardware feature embedded diagnostics. Some diagnostic tools are available as operating system utilities and standalone software.
The hardware in your PC often runs into problems that may be difficult to understand for a user. Usually, these are the parts that move a lot or generate heat that can stop working out of nowhere. With the right diagnostic tool at your disposal, you can scan your PC to get to the bottom of it.
Your PC’s RAM, CPU, GPU, and hard-disk are some of the most common components that may be facing problems. For instance, the RAM continually gets written, so it’s bound to wear out over time. With regular diagnostic scans, you can avoid potential problems and expensive repairs.
You can give a professional look to your PC too, and don’t necessarily have to spend money. Just follow the simple PC diagnostic steps. If you understand which tool you need to use for the PC health check, you should be fine on your own. The best part is, many PC diagnostic software come free-of-cost.
We can divide PC Diagnostics into roughly three categories:
These comprise of any software that diagnosis problems with the Windows or a particular set of hardware in the PC. Some of these tools are present within the Windows itself, while some come from the PC or hardware manufacturer.
PC hardware diagnostics are specifically targeted towards particular hardware. For instance, the Power-on Self Test or POST runs every time the machine turns on. It’s part of the motherboard of your PC.
This kind of diagnostic tool can help recover lost data. It retrieves, saves, or copies all those files that a PC loses when the hardware malfunctions or the Windows goes corrupt.
Importance of PC Diagnostics
- PC Diagnostics are the first line of defense against faulty software configuration, hardware malfunctions, and ultimately the death of your computer.
- The periodic diagnostic tests will not only help you avoid potential issues but also help you understand how you can improve the overall performance.
Most of these tools are free and even come preinstalled. All you have to do is run them from time to time. By doing so, you can save considerable repair costs too. It’s just the case of eradicating the issues before they become big.
How to Run Diagnostics on a PC
With so many PC diagnostics in the equation, it can be confusing sometimes to know which diagnostic tools to run and how to run them. The only way to ensure a successful diagnosis of the hardware of your PC and its overall health is, you should know what options you have out there.
Vendor-Based PC Diagnostic Tools
Many large-scale manufacturers and name brands produce their exclusive diagnostic tools. These tools are carefully made for specific machines. They are better at targeting the real problem and provide a quick resolution. You can think of these tools as the first line of defense for your PC.
Asus PC Diagnostics Tool
Asus PC diagnostics tool is your go-to PC diagnostic software to analyze the most important hardware pieces in your machine as well as the operating system. It can stress test your Asus PC to give you vital information about how it performs and how it can be improved.
If you have bought an Asus computer, you can find the diagnosis software as part of the MyAsus application. It provides nine different scenarios for testing the computer, including blue screen error, hardware problems, and connectivity issues.
HP PC Diagnostics Tool
HP produces the HP PC Hardware Diagnostics, which is a Windows-based utility. It comes preinstalled in most HP PCs. If you have an HP device that does not have one, you can download it online.
HP even offers Remote HP PC Diagnostics that can help configure HP UEFI Diagnostics on your machine. However, this option is available only for HP business products.
Dell PC Diagnostics Tool
Dell offers a plethora of tools for diagnosing your PC. These utilities provide a comprehensive analysis of each hardware or system within your particular model.
Most PCs from Dell come preinstalled with at least some of the tools. However, you can easily find them on Dell’s official website and other third-party software distributor sites as well. The Enhanced Pre-Boot System Assessment (ePBSA) does not even use an operating system to diagnose the computer’s hardware.
Lenovo PC Diagnostics Tool
Lenovo Diagnostics contains a suite of tools that offer both quick and extended tests for each hardware in the PC. You can find some of them as bootable and downloadable packages.
The Lenovo Vantage app, found on most Lenovo PCs, can also offer support and diagnosis. The newest tool from the company is the Lenovo System Health Manager that targets small and often unnoticed issues to prevent further damage.
List of 8 Best PC Diagnostic Tools
1. Memory Diagnostic Tool
This is the diagnostic tool for your PC’s memory from Windows. It will run a test on the memory and display detailed information. You can resolve any issues that may be hindering the performance of the machine and optimize its speed.
This diagnostic tool is also called mdsched.exe, as that’s the name of the file. As it’s built into every Windows operating system, it’s free and easy to use. Here’s how you can run it:
2. Performance Monitor
The performance monitor is another useful diagnostic tool from Windows you will find in most Windows versions. It’s part of the Windows 10 diagnostic tools as an app.
This provides a way for you to analyze how the system performs while you open specific applications. Once you run it, you will see a percentage of processor time on the sidebar. However, more counters are also available such as disk usage, energy usage, paging file size, etc.
You can simply search for a Performance Monitor from the search bar. Alternatively, you can press Windows+R and type ‘perfmon’ and hit ok.
3. Reliability Monitor
Most Windows users do not even know about this remarkable tool from Windows. It has been a part of Windows ever since Windows Vista was released. The main purpose of this tool is to look at the timeline of errors that may have occurred.
If an application keeps crashing, this is one place you can find more information and reach the correct diagnosis. Here’s how you can use Reliability Monitor in Windows:
- Launch Control Panel
- Go to Systems & Security
- Now click on Security & Maintenance, and then Maintenance
- Click on ‘View Reliability History’
4. Intel Processor Diagnostic Tool
This is a pretty handy tool to have in your PC. Even though processors rarely develop problems, this tool can find any problem there is with your Intel processor. Intel remains the most popular processor in PCs, so you should get it. It’s free, and there are two versions 32-bit and 64-bit.
The tool can perform various stress tests, some of which analyze specific features of the processor. Once complete, it will display all the information. If something is off or an aspect does not meet the required standard, you will have the opportunity to fix it or replace the processor.
Once you install it in your PC, you simply run it and perform the diagnosis. It has a default configuration that can be changed. You can set configuration by going to tools > config > Edit. You can also save the test results every time you perform it for future comparisons.
If you want to run a diagnostic test for your solid-state hard drive, you can use CrystalDiskInfo. It’s a free tool that anyone can use regardless of their PC configuration. The tool will give you a comprehensive report about the state of your SSD, HDD, and even USB drives.
As you run the test, you get critical information like uptime, spin-up time, error rates, and temperature. These measurements can draw a picture of the overall health of the hard disk in your PC. If you detect less than impressive stats, you know it’s time to upgrade before anything bad happens.
This same tool has another version named CrystalDiskMark. That tool can also measure how fast the data drive reads and writes.
CPU-Z is a great software that scans the entire system, identifying different hardware present in the PC. Not only does it identify, but it also provides important information regarding their features and performance.
While it may not be the best program for resolving issues, it can certainly help find out compatibility problems. Especially when you’re about to make upgrades to your machine, this can come in pretty handy.
If you’re buying a used PC, this tool can help you verify whether the PC does contain the hardware that you want.
JScreenFix is a third-party, free diagnostic tool for your PCs screen. If you are seeing tiny spots that are not going away even after you have tried cleaning, it’s probably stuck pixels. Sometimes pixels get stuck and stop changing colors. This can be very distracting when you’re working.
JScreenFix can help you determine if that really is the issue and resolves it. If it fails to resolve, then the diagnosis would be that your screen has a physical problem. When you run JScreenFix, it flushes the screen with hundreds of changing colors. It can fix the stuck pixels in a matter of minutes.
8. Windows System Troubleshooter
The good old Windows System Troubleshooter should be your first go-to when it comes to finding issues with your Windows operating system. On older Windows versions, you can use the Windows Fix It Solution Center to identify and resolve common Windows bugs and issues.
Here’s how you can access Windows troubleshooting tools in Windows 10:
- Click on Start and then go to Settings
- Click on Updates & Security
- Now click on Troubleshoot from the menu on the right
You can find a host of troubleshooting programs for many different parts of your PC experience. In Windows 10, the troubleshoot works automatically, too, fixing issues as they come to light. If there’s any serious issue, there would be suggestions for you.
You can manually troubleshoot different hardware and software like audio, Bluetooth, keyboard, video playback, etc. It’s a quick way to find and resolve minor issues with things you use daily on your PC that may not be related to any major hardware.
How do I check my PC for diagnostics?
You can use the preinstalled diagnostic tools in your PC to check for problems and eventually resolve them. Your Windows operating system, by default, contains several diagnostic programs like Memory Diagnostic Tool and Performance Monitor. You can also use Windows Troubleshooter to find problems with Windows itself.
Your PCs manufacturer may also have its diagnostic tool. These tools are better adept at finding problems, especially in the hardware. For instance, if you have a Dell laptop, you would want to run Dell diagnostic tools. Your PC might already have them installed, or you can find them online to download for free.
What is a computer diagnostic test?
A computer diagnostic test is a computer program that runs and performs a test on a computer’s hardware to assess its performance and find any potential issues. Some diagnostic tests cover the overall hardware of your computer while some target specific hardware, for example, the processor.
What is the best PC diagnostics tool?
This is a subjective question as the performance and reliability of the diagnostic test itself depends on several factors. The best PC diagnostics software for your particular machine would be the one you have pre-installed in the PC. It can identify the exact hardware and knows what the ideal condition should be.
If you don’t already have vendor-based diagnostic tools, you can also go for third-party diagnostic software. These may or may not be free but can detect problems that may result in major issues later on.
How do I run diagnostics on Windows 10?
There are several Windows software repair tools you can run on Windows 10. Press Windows+R, so the Run window opens. You can type in ‘perfmon’ to run Performance Monitor to see how the system is performing. You can also find information in the Windows Troubleshooting section in Settings>Update & Security.
How do I check if my RAM is faulty?
Windows has a built-in memory diagnostic tool that you can run to see if there are any issues with your RAM. Simply press Windows+R and type ‘mdsched.exe’ to run the memory diagnostic tool. It will give you a comprehensive review of your memory’s performance and condition, helping identify any faults.
Can computers work without RAM?
No, you cannot run your computer without RAM. It can be considered as a building block of your PC, so without it, you will not be able to operate the machine. The BIOS is loaded into the RAM of the PC.
Even if you start the PC without the RAM, it would show a memory error and not boot. You need at least a small amount of RAM for the PC to start and Windows to load.
Can RAM cause the blue death screen problem?
A faulty RAM can cause many different problems in your PC, including the horrible blue death screen when you turn on the PC or while it’s running.
If you’re facing the blue screen error and suspect the RAM is the culprit, you can perform the Memory Diagnostic Test to see if RAM really is the problem. If the problem occurs when you’re using programs that use memory heavily like games or graphics programs, RAM is most likely the underlying issue.
What are the reasons for RAM failure?
RAM is one of the most crucial parts of your PC. It can make or break the performance of the system and affect the overall health of the PC. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the parts that often sees problems. Here are some of the reasons that result in RAM failure:
- Poor quality
- Power Surge
- Faulty memory controller
- Motherboard issues