Even the sturdiest of PCs, with the best software installed on it, is bound to encounter some kind of problem at one time or another. PC diagnostic software is vital to help you identify problems every time your computer malfunctions. You might also encounter problems when you are trying to upgrade your PC or when building an entirely new system. PC diagnostic software enables you to identify and troubleshoot problems related to PC hardware, software, operating systems, and other general problems that might occur on a PC.
PC Diagnostic Software
Many different types of software are available to run diagnostic tests on PCs. Many of these diagnostic software come integrated with hardware, peripheral devices and operating system software. You can use these PC diagnostic software to monitor, identify, and troubleshoot a number of different problems that might occur on your PC. Some of the common PC diagnostic software are discussed below.
POST or the power on self test runs a series of tests to check different components installed on your system. This test routine is contained within the Read Only Memory (ROM) of the motherboard installed on your computer. The test checks chief system components such as memory, CPU, Motherboard Circuits, ROM, and other important peripherals attached to the system. Although a PC diagnostic test run during POST is not very thorough, it is your first step in identifying any serious motherboard problems. If during startup, POST identifies a problem that will stop the system from operating properly, it halts the system and displays an error message identifying the problem. The errors displayed by POST are commonly known as fatal errors because they prevent the system from booting properly.
Peripheral PC Diagnostic Software
Many peripheral devices such as printers, scanners, sound cards, and network adapters are shipped along with special diagnostics software to test their specific functions. Peripheral-specific diagnostic software usually are included on the disk that contains the driver to run the peripheral on the system.
Operating System PC Diagnostic Software
Windows operating systems such as Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows NT, Windows 2000 and Windows XP come equipped with a number of different PC diagnostic utilities. These utilities enable you to monitor the performance of various PC components and identify any problems occurring in them. Windows XP includes a number of utilities, tools, and error-reporting programs that make it quite easy for you to determine the reason behind an error.
Manufacturer-Supplied PC Diagnostic Software
Major manufacturers such as Dell, HP, and IBM, develop special diagnostics software that consist of a number of tests to thoroughly examine your PC. These diagnostics software usually come along with the system or you may need to download it from the manufacturer’s Web site. At times, you may even need to purchase the software.
Other PC Diagnostic Software
Many manufacturers have developed generic PC diagnostic software that usually come as a package with other diagnostic tools and utilities. For example, a manufacturer may decide to include a registry maintenance tool that you can use to run regular scans on your system registry and repair the registry to remove all invalid, incorrect, and corrupt entries from it. All generic PC diagnostic software are bundled together and launched into the market as a PC toolkit.
Different PC diagnostic software are available today to help you identify and troubleshoot various hardware and software related problems on your PC. POST runs every time you switch on your PC and runs a series of tests to check the functioning of hardware components on the PC. You can also use diagnostic software that come with peripherals and operating systems to run various diagnostic tests on your computer. Additionally, manufacturer supplied and other generic diagnostic software are available in the market that you can use to keep your PC error free.