How to check hardware problems: RAM, HDD, SSD, CPU, etc.

How to check hardware problems: RAM, HDD, SSD, CPU, etc.

If you look for tools to diagnose and check any part of your computer's hardware, check the impressive list we made for you below.

How to check the RAM?

RAM failures are one of the leading causes of system instability.
To analyze RAM modules, you can use the MemTest tool and read this article on how to diagnose PC RAM status using MemTest.

You can also use the Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool:

  • Press Windows + R.
  • In the Run dialog box, type mdsched.exe and press Enter.

You can even scan your RAM from a Windows repair disk:

How to check the HDD or SSD?

At present, hard disks feature S.M.A.R.T technology, allowing you to get information about the device and its health. Here are some tools that use this technology to check the status of your hard drive.

Note: If the computer does not turn on, you can install the hard drive on another computer (as a slave drive or via a USB adapter) to perform the tests.

HDD Health

HDD Health is a utility that can regularly check S.M.A.R.T. health attributes and alert you in the case of any abnormality. To quickly access its options menu, right-click on the hard drive icon located in the system bar (next to the clock):

To view the health status of your hard drive, click on the Show HDD Health option. Then go to the Drive tab > SMART Attributes.


CrystalDiskInfo is compatible with all hard drives. At startup, it informs you of the health status of your hard drive, its running temperature, the time it has been on, the rotation speed, the size of the cache, and the serial number, amongst other details. It can also be configured to send malfunction alerts either by sound or to your email box.


SpeedFan reads the S.M.A.R.T. data from your hard drive and sends it to its online database to compare values recorded by similar models. Based on this information, it tells you the actual health status of your drive.

HD Tune

HD Tune has numerous tools to evaluate the performance of your hard drive. It provides the data transfer rate and access time of the hard disk:

It also has a tab that presents the S.MA.R.T. information collected by the drive:

You can even do an in-depth analysis of the drive to find bad sectors:


CrystalDiskMark allows you to evaluate the performance of all your storage drives, such as solid-state drives, external hard drives, USB sticks, etc.

Ariolic Disk Scanner

Ariolic Disk Scanner performs a complete scan of your hard disk and detects any errors that may affect its proper functioning.


CheckDrive is a diagnostic tool designed to detect and, in some cases, it can even correct errors on your hard drives.

Drive Health

Drive Health’s task is to estimate the life of your hard drive.

How to scan an SSD hard disk?

The software for assessing the condition of SSDs is generally the same as that used on HDDs. However, some developers and manufacturers offer specific tools, such as:


SSD-Z is a tool developed by the same creators of the famous CPU-Z program. It is free of charge.

SSD Lite Pro

SSD Lite Pro forecasts the life span of your SSD.

Samsung Magician Software

Samsung Magician Software is a program designed specifically to work with SSDs manufactured by Samsung. It can run various performance tests and notify you when a firmware update to the drive is available.

Intel SSD Toolbox

Intel SSD Toolbox Created for Intel branded solid-state drives. It enables you to optimize drive performance, update firmware, and perform secure deletions on drives other than the main drive.

Kingston SSD Toolbox

Kingston SSD Toolbox is a very similar program to the previous ones listed above but created explicitly for Kingston solid-state units.

How to check the CPU performance?

Many programs put your computer's CPU through stress tests to check performance.


CPU-Z is one of the programs that provide complete information about the characteristics of the CPU.

Hot CPU Tester Pro

Hot CPU Tester Pro checks the state and stability of the processor and the various components of the motherboard. Its primary function is to look for errors and faulty elements.


OCCT is ideal for overclocking processes.


Prime95 is a widely used software in overclocking, as it allows you to push the processor and RAM to the extreme. In addition, this serves to detect anomalies.

AMD OverDrive

AMD OverDrive serves to overclock AMD processors.

How to check the motherboard?

Hot CPU Tester Pro is a program that allows you to analyze the state and stability of the system. It tests the processor, the chipset, and virtually all parts of the motherboard for errors, bugs, or defective components.

If your motherboard is old, you can use Motherboard Monitor, a tool that provides information about the state of the motherboard and the CPU.

Some manufacturers have their programs to check the state of the motherboard, fan speeds, etc. For example, the ASUS PC Probe II is the manufacturer's ASUSTeK tool for motherboard diagnostics.

How to check the graphics card?

There are numerous free tools available to check the capabilities of your graphics card that are mainly used for performance and stability testing:


GPU-Z is a benchmark tool for graphics performance. In addition to displaying detailed video adapter information, it measures temperature, speed, memory usage, and more.


Furmark simulates intensive use of the graphics card to detect stability problems.

MSI Kombustor

MSI Kombustor is based on Furmark, which can also take the graphics adapter to extreme limits. It reports the temperature level, the load of the graphics processor, power, etc., in real-time.

GPU Caps Viewer

GPU Caps Viewer performs diagnostic and comparative testing. It is also helpful in evaluating the result of overclocking.

How to detect PC overheating?

Several programs help monitor and detect sudden changes in your system's temperature, including SpeedFan, HW Monitor, Everest Home Edition, and SiSoft Sandra Lite.

How to check the USB drives and memory cards?


H2testw performs writing tests on random areas of the device to detect anomalies. It also serves to find the resting storage capacity.

USB Flash Drive Tester

USB Flash Drive Tester tests different removable drives to detect bad sectors and errors in storage capacity.

How to check the fans?


SpeedFan allows you to change the internal fans' speed according to the system temperature. This also helps control computer noise.


The ASUS PC Probe II is an exclusive diagnostic tool for computers integrating ASUS brand motherboards. It provides information about the rotation speed of the fans, the processor, and the power supply. In addition, it sends notifications if the fans drop to critical values.

From the BIOS

Some manufacturers include an option in the BIOS to obtain information about fans and change their settings.

How to check computer's power supply?

There are certain simple steps you need to adhere to in order to test the power supply of your computer, such as turning off the power switch and removing the plug from the power supply. Then you need to remove the cable and dismantle the power-supply section. This is done to completely remove the power supply. Then locate the ATX connector, the black and green wires, and bond them together. Subsequently, you need to connect the power supply and switch on the system again. After ensuring the system ventilation is functioning well, check if the connection is correct. The 12 volts of power supply should be displayed on the Molex.

To test your computer's power supply, follow the instructions below:

To test your computer's power supply, follow the instructions below:

  • Turn off your power switch and remove the plug from the power supply.
  • Remove the cable from the CPU and start unscrewing the power supply section in order to remove the whole power supply (square metal box) from the CPU. When done, locate the main ATX connector and find the green wire. Also locate the black wire near the green wire and with the use of a paper clip, connect and safely bond the two together with a piece of isolating tape.
  • Switch back the power supply and switch the system on again and ensure that your system ventilation is working.
  • To check whether the connection is correct, the Molex in between the yellow and black wire should display at least 12 volts.

A computer's power supply can be calculated by using a power supply calculator. This is not an easy task as it requires you to give importance to every single part of your computer from the CPU to the Graphics Card, from Primary Optical Drive to Third Optical Drive and from liquid cooling to the wireless card. One should list all the details of these and then, using a calculator, you can work out the power supply.

How to check the battery?


BatteryBar can predict your laptop's battery life based on its charge history. It also displays on the taskbar the percentage and duration of charge.

Battery Eater Pro

Battery Eater Pro measures your battery life in all the power-saving conditions available to your system and also tells you how long your battery will last if your laptop goes into sleep mode.

How to check the CD/DVD drive?

Nero CD-DVD Speed

Nero CD-DVD Speed tests your optical disc drive (player and writer), such as data transfer rate, seek time, and digital audio extraction quality.

How to check the PC monitor?


UDPixel can locate and fix defective pixels on your LCD screen. To achieve this, it generates color changes around the damaged pixels. The program must be left running for at least two hours.

Nokia Monitor Test

Nokia Monitor Test is a program that can detect errors in your screen's convergence, resolution, sharpness, brightness, or contrast. It works with both tube and LCD screens.

How to check the server status?

Server Health Notifier

Server Health Notifier is a tool that notifies the user in case of a problem with the resources of a local or remote computer. It can monitor CPU usage, RAM usage, paging file, etc.

How to check the keyboard?

Keyboard Test Utility

Keyboard Test Utility lets you verify that each key on your keyboard is working correctly.

Passmark KeyboardTest

Besides helping you check that all keys work correctly, Passmark KeyboardTest measures the response speed of each keystroke. It also allows you to download keyboard layouts to test on a model identical to your own. Passmark KeyboardTest download link

How to check the mouse?

You can consult Microsoft Support.

How to check the sound card?

You can consult Microsoft Support.

How to check all components?


BurInTest is a complete diagnostic program for computers. It benchmarks the CPU, RAM, hard drives, video card, optical disk drive, printer, etc. It also includes an option to monitor system temperature.

Sisoft Sandra Lite

Sisoft Sandra Lite displays extensive information about your system's hardware and software. In addition, it tests the performance of components such as the processor, memory, and storage drives.

What to do if your computer doesn't start?

If your computer does not start, you can try to scan its components by booting the computer from an external media (USB, CD, memory card). To uniquely scan the memory, you can use MemTest86 or a Linux live CD with a tool to check the memory (Ubuntu, for example). You can also boot the computer with the Windows installation disc.

If you want to scan other components, you can use rescue disks such as Hiren’s BootCD, Ultimate Boot CD, or Shardana Antivirus Rescue Disk Utility.

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