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HP Desktop PCs - Testing for Hardware Failures (Windows 7)

This information applies to HP and Compaq desktop computers with Windows 7.
HP has included several tools with your new computer to help you maintain and troubleshoot problems when they arise. The following list describes these tools and when you would use them:
  • HP Support Assistant
     note:
    Diagnostics can be accessed from HP Support Assistant on Consumer desktop products. Commercial products include HP Support Assistant, but the diagnostics are designed to be run from a CD/DVD or a USB device and are therefore not available through HP Support Assistant. For Commercial products, please refer to HP Vision Diagnostics. While most hardware components are testable for both Commercial and Consumer products, it is possible that some tests will not be available on all systems.
    If the computer boots into Windows, you have the option of using the HP Support Assistant tools. With these tools, you can run limited diagnostic tests on the network and Internet connectivity, printing and scanning, and the mouse and keyboard.
    If you don't have the most recent version of HP Support Assistant, download the most recent version using the steps in the Downloading HP Support Assistant section.
  • HP Vision Diagnostics
    HP Vision Diagnostics is included on HP and Compaq consumer desktop computers that were manufactured and sold since September 2010, and all Commercial desktop products that were manufactured and sold since September of 2009.
    If the computer does not boot into Windows, Windows loads but intermittently freezes or crashes, or the hard drive is making a strange noise, use the HP Vision Diagnostics. Since these tests run outside the Windows operating system, use them when you need to isolate whether the issue is caused by the computer hardware or the operating system, or when Windows will not start.
    If you don't have the most recent version of HP Vision Diagnostics, download the most recent version onto a CD or flash drive using the steps in the Creating HP Vision Diagnostic Media section.
  • Bios Diagnostic tests
    If the computer does not boot, and you do not have a Vision Diagnostics CD available, use the BIOS diagnostic tests. The HP Vision Diagnostics tests are built into the BIOS of your computer and are a quick and easy way to identify basic computer hardware problems.
  • Hardware Diagnostic Tools
    Hardware Diagnostic Tools is included on HP and Compaq consumer desktop computers that were manufactured prior to September 2010.
    If Windows is working, you can open Hardware Diagnostic Tools to test for hardware failures. If the computer does not open to Windows, you can test from the recovery partition or from a bootable diagnostic disc.
HP Support Assistant (Consumer desktop products only)
This section describes how to troubleshoot problems using HP Support Assistant.
Determining if your computer has HP Vision Diagnostics or Hardware Diagnostic Tools
If your computer came with Windows 7, it has EITHER HP Vision Diagnostics or Hardware Diagnostic Tools, but not both.
To check the diagnostic tool on your computer, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start , All Programs, and then click PC Help & Tools.
  2. Look for one of the following choices:
    • HP Vision Diagnostics Disc Creation: Go to the HP Vision Diagnostics section.
      Figure : HP Vision Diagnostics Disc Creation
      Image of Start Menu
    • Hardware Diagnostic Tools: Go to the Hardware Diagnostic Tools section.
      Figure : Hardware Diagnostic Tools
      Image of Start Menu
HP Vision Diagnostics
Use HP Vision Diagnostics to check computer memory or perform hardware troubleshooting. Since HP Vision Diagnostics runs outside the operating system, it can help you find out if the issue is being caused by the computer hardware or the operating system. The following sections describe how to set up Vision Diagnostics on media and how to run the tests.
 note:
If the computer does not boot, and you do not have a Vision Diagnostics CD available, use the BIOS diagnostic tests.
Creating the HP Vision Diagnostic Media
Create HP Vision Diagnostics Media by downloading and installing it from the Web or by using the HP Vision Diagnostics Disc Creation tool (available on some products).
Starting the HP Vision Diagnostics
Use the following steps:
  1. Insert the disc or USB drive you created and turn off the computer.
  2. Turn the computer on and immediately press the Esc key repeatedly, about once every second.
  3. When the Startup Menu displays, press the F9 key to select a boot device.
    Figure : Startup Menu
    Startup Menu
  4. Use the arrow keys to scroll down to the disc drive or USB drive, and then press the Enter key.
    Figure : Select boot device
    Select boot device
  5. Press 1 on the keyboard to start the Vision Diagnostics.
    Figure : Starting HP Vision Diagnostics
    Starting HP Vision Diagnostics
  6. Wait while Windows loads the files necessary to run the tests. This might take seven or eight minutes.
    Figure : Loading files
    Loading the files
  7. When the files are done loading, the Starting Diagnostics... please wait screen displays.
    Figure : Starting Diagnostics screen
    Starting Diagnostics screen
  8. When the language screen displays, click your language and then click Continue.
    Figure : Selecting your language
    Selecting your language
  9. The license agreement screen displays. Click Agree.
    Figure : License Agreement
    License Agreement
  10. Wait while HP Vision Hardware Diagnostics collects information about the system hardware and device definitions.
    Figure : Collecting system and device information
    Collecting system and device information
  11. HP Vision Hardware Diagnostics opens to the main menu. Older versions of the main menu might have a different appearance.
    Figure : HP Vision Hardware Diagnostics main menu
    HP Vision Hardware Diagnostics main menu
Testing with HP Vision Diagnostics
Use the following sections to test a hardware component that is suspected of failure:
Hardware Diagnostic Tools
Hardware Diagnostic Tools is a program you can use to test computer hardware and troubleshoot computer issues. Use one of the following sections to test for hardware problems.

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