Where to Find PC Hardware Diagnostic Tools

Where to Find PC Hardware Diagnostic Tools

Windows does not come with certain hardware diagnostic tools. However, when a new hardware device is added to your computer or the manufacturer installs it, diagnostic tools or software may be available.
For example, your computer display adapter software might include a diagnostic tool: Find the name of the adapter, such as ATI (Intel) or Nvidia, in the All Programs submenu of the Start menu. Or, you may find the diagnostic tool accessible from the notification area: right-click the manufacturer icon and choose Diagnostic Tool from the popup menu.
Likewise, a network adapter may have its own diagnostic tool or toolkit available. The only way to know for sure is research.

If you own a utility kit, such as Norton Utilities, you may find hard drive diagnostics as well as other utilities for scanning various computer components.

  • Hardware diagnostic tools can be time consuming.


  • Video diagnoses can be something to watch: the colors are great. Watching your display adapter change between different text and graphics modes can be fun to watch. But often the diagnosis is carried out by repeated tests that have no effect on the screen.


  • The best diagnostics usually come on bootable discs. This is because in order to really make sure that the hardware is being scanned, the software must have direct access to the bowels of the computer. You can’t do this on Windows.

However, few diagnostic tools available to the general public follow the boot disk approach. Only professional diagnostic tools are available on boot disks. Even then, few PC technicians use it because replacing parts is cheaper than doing a real, deep level troubleshooting.