The programs that are used to test the computer hardware a d peripherals for correct operation are called diagnostics software. They can diagnose the hard faults of your system very easily and correctly every time. However they are not able to diagnose the soft faults, correctly every time.
A hard fault is one that comes into play because of some technical fault in the computer hardware and it is easy to find. On the other hand soft faults are those which are not easy to find and normally they do not occur every time during testing. For example a memory fault is difficult to find because they do not occur every time the memory location is tested, but occurs only under very specific circumstances.
There are different types of diagnostics software available in PC world. Most PCís run a simple set of system checks when the computer is first turned on, this software is called power on self test (POST) and is stored on ROM (Read Only Memory). If the POST detects an error condition, the computer stops and displays error message on screen. The very simplest types of hardware problem are detected by it.
Improved software that works even when the system would not boot is called ROM- based diagnostic. It is a diagnostic tool which is basically an improved form of POST. It performs chip specific tests. Diagnostics program are equally helpful in location and fixing both hardware and software problems. But they work only if your computer is up and running. A good diagnostic program provides your hardware with a workout. It tests your computerís memory toughly tests every possible data pattern o9n your hard disk and runs your serial port at its maximum speed. There are various industries that provide the diagnostic software. They make utilities with a variety of diagnostic functions. These utilities are counted in third party diagnostic software. There are three classes of diagnostic software they hare hardware diagnostic, general diagnostic diagnostics and windows diagnostics.
The diagnostic which exclusively focuses on hardware related problems are called technical hardware or only diagnostic software. They are technical in nature and they sometime include hardware like loop back plugs to facility the testing of various hardware components. This software is very helpful to find most of the complex hardware faults even.
The general diagnostic software perform both hardware and software diagnostics. They are more consumers friendly and less technical and of course they are easier for the average user to use. They can perform a thorough check for both hardware and software and they require.
The window operating system contains a ser of diagnostic tools (system tools) that can help you to locate many types of system problems. All versions of windows starting from windows 98 contain them and you can access them via start menu as follows:
Start -> Programs -> Accessories -> System tools.
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