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Testing for Hardware Problems Using Hardware Diagnostic Tools (Windows 7)

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This document applies to HP and Compaq desktop computers with Windows 7 and Hardware Diagnostic Tools.
NOTE:Depending on the version of Hardware Diagnostic Tools you are using, some of the features may not be present.
Hardware Diagnostic Tools is a program you can use to test computer hardware and troubleshoot computer issues.
NOTE:If you cannot find the information you are looking for in this document, click the More Information button () at the top of the Hardware Diagnostic Tools window for more helpful information. View detailed information about the individual tests and recommendations for fixing common hardware issues.

Using Hardware Diagnostic Tools from Windows

This section explains how to use the Hardware Diagnostic Tools when Windows 7 is working and you are able to open the program from Windows. If you cannot access Windows 7 or open the Hardware Diagnostic Tools from Windows, see Using Hardware Diagnostic Tools when Windows will not open or Using the Bootable Diagnostic Disc .

Step 1: Before you begin

Close all programs and turn off the screen saver. Most of the tests take only a few minutes to complete, however, some tests may take longer and use a lot of system resources. Turn off non-essential applications to help the tests run more efficiently.
NOTE: Hardware Diagnostic Tools provides a lot of information. For best results, read and follow the instructions as they are displayed. The instructions may be displayed before, during, or after the tests are run.

Step 2: Start Hardware Diagnostic Tools

Click Start , All Programs, PC Help & Tools, and Hardware Diagnostic Tools.
If you are prompted for an Administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
A window opens and displays a message to close all applications. Close all non-essential applications and click OK to continue.
Figure 1: Close all applications
Save any documents and close all applications before running diagnostics
Figure 2: Collecting information
Please wait while Hardware Diagnostic Tools collects information

Step 3: Check Alert Messages

Hardware Diagnostic Tools scans the computer for any disabled or misconfigured devices. Detected issues are displayed in the Alerts section at the top of the main page. Always check the Alerts first, the computer issue may be related to an alert.
Figure 3: Alerts
Hardware Diagnostic Tools Alerts
  1. Click Alerts and review the messages.
    If no alerts are displayed go to Step 4 to start testing.
  2. Record a bootable diagnostic disc (optional).
    The first alert is usually a reminder to record a bootable diagnostic disc. In case the computer is ever unable to start, the bootable disc can be used to open Hardware Diagnostic Tools to help diagnose the problem.
    Figure 4: Alert: Create Bootable Diagnostic Disc
    Alert: Create Bootable Diagnostic Disc
    Click Bootable Diagnostic Media Creator and follow the on-screen instructions to create a bootable disc.
  3. Review any other alerts. Read the information and decide whether it relates to the issue you are troubleshooting.

Step 4: Test a device

The Hardware Diagnostic Tools main page displays device categories. Mouse over the category to view more information.
Figure 5: Hardware Diagnostic Tools: main page
Hardware Diagnostic Tools
  1. Select a category from the list on the left or from the groups on the main page.
  2. Look for any Misconfigured devices.
    Do one of the following:
    • Click the device and review the device information.
    • Click one of the System Tools and resolve the misconfiguration issue.
    • Do not troubleshoot the misconfigured device. The misconfigured device is not related to your current issue. Resolve the misconfigured device issue another time.
  3. Select a device and click Run test.
  4. Click Yes to continue.
    Figure 6: Confirm test
    Confirm test
    NOTE:Some tests may display additional messages. Follow the instructions and click OK to continue.

Step 5: Understanding test results

Three test results are possible:
  • Pass: No problems were detected for the hardware device tested. This may indicate that the computer issue is caused by a software program and not the hardware.
  • Fail or Specific problem description: A problem was detected with the hardware device. Follow the detailed instructions to help fix the problem, or click one of the links to view related help topics in the Help and Support Center or in the Hardware Diagnostic Tools online help.
  • Aborted: The test was cancelled.
Figure 7: Test results
Test results

Using Hardware Diagnostic Tools when Windows does not open

If you cannot access Windows 7, you can still use the Hardware Diagnostic Tools to test for hardware issues.
Click the following heading or the accompanying plus (+) sign to expand the information.
Use the following steps to perform a hardware test from the hard drive through the Recovery Manager upon system startup:

Step 1: Start Hardware Diagnostic Tools

NOTE: Hardware Diagnostic Tools provides a lot of information. For best results, read and follow the instructions as they are displayed. The instructions may be displayed before, during, and after the tests are run.
  1. Turn off the computer.
  2. Disconnect all connected devices (such as the Personal Media Drive, USB drives, printer, and fax), remove media from drives, and remove any recently added internal hardware. Do not disconnect the monitor, keyboard, mouse, or power cord.
  3. Turn on the computer.
  4. Do one of the following actions depending on how Windows 7 was installed:
    • If Windows 7 came pre-installed on your computer, or you upgraded from Windows Vista, press the F11 key repeatedly when the first screen opens (the logo screen), until the Recovery Manager program opens on the screen.
    • If your computer was upgraded from Windows XP to Windows 7, press the F10 key repeatedly when the first screen opens (the logo screen) until the Recovery Manager program opens on the screen.
    Figure 8: Recovery manager
    Recovery Manager
  5. Click Run Computer Checkup.

Step 2: Run tests

  1. Click Basic Test to test the CPU, hard disk drive, and computer memory.
  2. For more detailed analysis of the hard drive, optical drive, CPU or memory, choose one of the tests under Advanced Category.
    Figure 9: Hardware Diagnostic Tools
    Hardware Diagnostic Tools
  3. On the test screen, click Run.
    Three test results are possible:
    • Passed: No problems were detected for the hardware device tested. This may indicate that the computer issue is caused by software program and not the hardware.
    • Failed: A problem was detected with the hardware device. Make a note of the error code. Replace the bad component or have your computer serviced.
    • Aborted: The test was cancelled.
  4. When the test is complete, click Quit to finish using Hardware Diagnostic Tools and restart the computer.
  5. Click Quit to finish using the Hardware Diagnostic Tools and restart the computer.
If your computer was manufactured in 2008 or later, you may be able to run a hardware diagnostic test during the startup process. To do so, turn on the computer and press the F9 key during the screen with the HP or Compaq logo.
Figure 10: Example of Boot screen that displays the key press to enter the BIOS test.
Diagnostic Tools opens and performs a variety of hardware tests. Green checkmarks appear next to hardware items that pass the test. Any problems found are reported.
Figure 11: Screen example: Diagnostic Tools test

Using the Bootable Diagnostic Disc

If you cannot access Windows 7 or the Recovery Manager, you can use a Bootable Diagnostic Disc to run the Hardware Diagnostic Tools. The Bootable Diagnostic Disc is created using the Hardware Diagnostic Tools in Windows 7. For more information about creating the Bootable Diagnostic Disc, see Using Hardware Diagnostic Tools from Windows .
Once you have created the Bootable Diagnostic Disc, use these steps to run Hardware Diagnostic Tools from the disc:
  1. Insert the Bootable Diagnostic Disc into the disc drive.
  2. Restart the computer.
  3. On the Language Selection screen, type the letter that corresponds to your language. For example, type A to select English.
  4. On the Introduction screen, press the spacebar to continue.
  5. From the Symptoms menu, press the number key that corresponds to the symptom you are experiencing. If you are not sure which symptom to use, press the 4 key to run the basic test suite.
  6. Based on the symptom you chose, the Hardware Diagnostic Tools run tests on your computer hardware.
    Three test results are possible:
    • Passed: No problems were detected for the hardware device tested. This may indicate that the computer issue is caused by software program and not the hardware.
    • Failed: A problem was detected with the hardware device. Make a note of the error code in the test log. To view the test log, press the spacebar to return to the Symptoms menu, then press the 7 key.
      Replace the bad component or have your computer serviced.
    • Aborted: The test was cancelled.
  7. Press the spacebar to return to the Symptoms menu.
  8. To view detailed information about each test performed, press the 7 key from the Symptoms menu.
  9. Press 8 to exit Hardware Diagnostic Tools.
  10. Remove the disc from the drive, then press any key to restart the system.

Performance and Configuration History

Performance and Configuration History displays a calendar view showing tests, scans, hardware changes and critical events. This information can be useful in finding the cause of hardware problems and in tracking trends.
Follow these steps to view Performance and Configuration History:
  1. Click Performance and Configuration History.
    Figure 12: Hardware Diagnostic Tools
    Hardware Diagnostic Tools main page, showing location of Performance and Configuration History
  2. Click View Test History to display the results of past hardware tests.
    Figure 13: Performance and Configuration History
    Performance and Configuration History
  3. To view a history item, click the X or - for that item.
    Figure 14: Critical Event
    Performance and Configuration History, with a Critical Event expanded

Hardware diagnostic troubleshooters

Hardware Diagnostic Tools include several troubleshooters that can automatically detect and fix problems with hardware.
Follow these steps to use the troubleshooters:
  1. Click Start , All Programs, PC Help & Tools, and then click Troubleshooter.
    If you are prompted for an Administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
    Figure 15: Opening a Troubleshooter
    Opening a Troubleshooter from the Start menu
  2. Click the name of the troubleshooter you want to open.
  3. Click Next.
    Figure 16: Network Troubleshooter
    Network Troubleshooter
    The troubleshooter detects problems.
    Figure 17: Detecting problems
    Network Troubleshooter, detecting problems
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to troubleshoot.
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