How to Test Your PC for Failing Hardware

A Comprehensive Guide: How to Test Your PC for Failing Hardware

Your computer is a complex machine with various hardware components working together to deliver the performance you rely on daily. 

Over time, hardware can degrade or fail, leading to issues like crashes, slowdowns, and data loss. 

To ensure the longevity and optimal functioning of your PC, it’s crucial to regularly test for failing hardware. 

In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of identifying and diagnosing potential hardware issues.

How do I test my computer hardware?

To test if any piece of hardware on your computer is failing, you can use diagnostic software or built-in diagnostic tools. 

Here are some steps you can take:

1. Run a hardware diagnostic test provided by your computer manufacturer. Many computers have built-in diagnostic tools that can be accessed during the startup process.

2. Use third-party diagnostic software to test specific hardware components such as the RAM, CPU, hard drive, and graphics card. 

3. There are many reputable diagnostic tools available for download online.

4. Monitor the performance of your hardware using system monitoring software. Look for signs of overheating, unusual noises, or performance issues that could indicate hardware problems.

Firstly, check the Device Manager in your operating system to see if any hardware components are showing error messages or warnings.

By following these steps, you can identify and diagnose potential hardware issues on your computer

If you need help with running diagnostic tests yourself, consider seeking assistance from an expert technician. Here, let’s see: ESET SysInspector is an easy-to-use diagnostic tool that helps troubleshoot a wide range of system issues.

Explore Your BIOS

The BIOS, or Basic Input/Output System, serves as the firmware orchestrating your hardware settings and boot procedures. 

Not only does it govern the initiation of your system, but it also supplies valuable insights and diagnostics regarding critical hardware components like CPU temperature, fan speed, voltage, memory, and hard drive status.

Accessing your BIOS is a straightforward process that involves restarting your computer and pressing a designated key—typically F2, F10, F12, or Delete—before the operating system takes control. 

Once you’ve entered the BIOS interface, you gain access to a series of menus offering a comprehensive view of your system’s vital statistics.

Within the BIOS, you can scrutinize for any warnings, errors, or irregular readings that might hint at potential hardware issues. 

Moreover, you have the option to fine-tune certain settings, such as fan speed or voltage, to enhance your hardware’s performance and stability. 

It’s important to exercise caution, however, when making adjustments, especially if you’re uncertain about a particular setting. Incorrect modifications can lead to complications or damage to your hardware.

Check for Warning Signs:

Before diving into diagnostics, it is essential to be aware of common warning signs that may indicate failing hardware. These include sudden crashes, system freezes, unexpected restarts, strange noises, overheating, and unresponsive peripherals. If you notice any of these issues, it’s time to perform a thorough hardware check.

Run Built-In Diagnostics:

Most operating systems come with built-in diagnostic tools that can help identify potential hardware problems. Many free or paid software tools can perform these tests, such as MemTest86, HWMonitor, CrystalDiskInfo, or Prime95. These tools can test different aspects of your hardware, such as memory, CPU, or GPU, disk, and report any errors, failures, or anomalies.

For example:

  • On Windows, use the built-in Windows Memory Diagnostic tool to check your RAM for errors.
  • Mac users can run the Apple Hardware Test or Apple Diagnostics (for newer Macs) by holding down the appropriate key during startup.
  • Linux users can utilize various command-line tools like Memtest86 for RAM testing or SMART tools for hard drive health.

Monitor Temperatures:

Overheating is a common cause of hardware failure. Use temperature monitoring tools such as HWMonitor, Core Temp, or Open Hardware Monitor to check the temperatures of your CPU and GPU. Excessive heat can lead to component damage, so ensure that your cooling system is functioning correctly.

Perform a Disk Check:

Hard drives are prone to wear and tear over time. Running a disk check can help identify bad sectors and potential issues. On Windows, use the built-in Check Disk utility (check disk). For Mac users, the Disk Utility tool can be used to check and repair disk errors.

Test Your RAM:

Random Access Memory (RAM) is susceptible to failure, and faulty RAM can cause a variety of issues. Utilize tools like Memtest86 or Windows Memory Diagnostic to perform thorough tests on your system’s memory modules. Running these tests can help identify and isolate any problematic RAM sticks.

Check Power Supply Unit (PSU):

A failing power supply can cause instability and random crashes. Test your PSU by using a multimeter to measure the voltage outputs. Alternatively, PSU testing tools are available for purchase and can help identify issues with power delivery.

Graphics Card Stress Test:

If you’re experiencing graphical glitches, artifacts, or crashes during graphic-intensive tasks, it may be a sign of a failing graphics card. Use stress-testing tools like FurMark or MSI Kombustor to assess the stability of your GPU under heavy loads.

Update Drivers and Firmware:

Outdated drivers or firmware can lead to hardware malfunctions. Ensure that all your device drivers and firmware are up-to-date by regularly checking the manufacturer’s website or using built-in update tools.

Use Windows tools

Windows has some built-in tools that can help you check your hardware’s health, such as Device Manager, Task Manager, and Resource Monitor. 

You can access these tools by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Delete and selecting them from the menu or by typing their names in the search box. Task Manager shows you how much CPU, memory, disk, and network resources your system and applications are using and allows you to end any processes that are hogging them. 

Device Manager lists all your hardware devices and drivers and lets you update, disable, or uninstall them. You can also check for any devices that have a yellow exclamation mark, which indicates a problem or conflict. 

Resource Monitor gives you more detailed information and graphs about your hardware performance and activity, such as CPU frequency, disk queue length, memory usage, and network traffic.


Regularly testing your PC for failing hardware is a proactive approach to maintaining a healthy and reliable system. 

By identifying potential issues early on, you can address them before they escalate, preventing data loss and expensive repairs. 

Incorporate these hardware testing steps into your routine maintenance to keep your computer running smoothly for years to come. Comment here.

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