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HP Notebook PCs - Testing for Hardware Failures (Windows 7, Vista)

This document pertains to HP Notebook PCs with Windows 7 or Windows Vista.
HP PC Diagnostics UEFI or the HP System Diagnostics provides access to a comprehensive set of tests to check for hardware failures. These diagnostics are accessed by pressing the F2 key while the computer is starting. HP Support Assistant is accessed from Windows and includes a more limited set of hardware diagnostics tests.
Checking for the latest updates
The UEFI System Diagnostic is available on most HP notebook PCs, manufactured after late-2008. An updated BIOS and updated System Diagnostic may be available for your computer. If so, download and install the UEFI. Go to the Software Drivers and Downloads page for more information.
Many issues with HP Support Assistant can be resolved by downloading and installing the latest version of HP Support Assistant from the HP Support Assistant home site.
Testing using HP PC Hardware Diagnostics UEFI
HP PC Hardware Diagnostics UEFI enables you to test the main components on your computer using quick tests or longer, more comprehensive tests. You can use HP PC Hardware Diagnostics UEFI even if the computer does not open to Windows. Follow these steps to run the hardware diagnostics tests:
  1. Hold the power button for at least five seconds to turn off the computer.
  2. Turn on the computer and immediately press the F2 key repeatedly, about once every second, until you see one of the following screens:
If this screen is displayed, continue with UEFI System and Component Testing.
If this screen is displayed, see Basic hardware diagnostics tests.
If this screen is displayed, see Testing using HP System Diagnostics.
 note:
If your HP PC Hardware Diagnostics UEFI is older than the version used here, you can upgrade it to the latest version. For the latest software version and installation instructions, go to Checking for the latest updates.
The HP PC Hardware Diagnostics UEFI main menu has system information, tests, and test logs. The steps in this section describe how to run the tests and view the test logs.
Figure : HP PC Hardware Diagnostics UEFI
Diagnostics UEFI opening screen - options
UEFI System and Component Testing
Use one of the following tests to check for hardware failures:
System Diagnostics basic hardware diagnostics tests
If the hard drive is not detected or is reporting problems, the following screen is displayed with two testing options: Memory Test, and Hard Disk Check.
Figure : Basic HP System Diagnostics
Basic HP System Diagnostics showing the memory and hard disk tests
Running the Memory Test in System Diagnostics
To run the Memory Test, use the keyboard arrows to select Memory Test.
Figure : Memory Test
Running the memory test
After starting the test, there are two screens displayed: test in progress, and after the test, a pass or fail screen.
Running the Hard Disk Check in System Diagnostics
To run the Hard Disk test, use the keyboard arrows to select Hard Disk Check.
Figure : Hard Disk Check
Running the hard disk test
After starting the test, there are two screens displayed: test in progress, and after the test, a pass or fail screen.
Testing using HP System Diagnostics
HP System Diagnostics is a program built into the BIOS of your computer and is a quick and easy way to identify basic computer hardware problems. Since it is built into the BIOS, HP System Diagnostics can be opened even when you cannot open the computer to Windows.
 note:
Some computers that came with Windows Vista may not have HP System Diagnostics.
Testing using HP Support Assistant in Windows 7 or Vista
HP Support Assistant provides easy access to several hardware diagnostic tests. This section describes how to test for hardware problems with HP Support Assistant Diagnostics.
 note:
Many issues with HP Support Assistant can be resolved by downloading and installing the latest version of HP Support Assistant from the HP Support Assistant home site (in English).
HP Support Assistant can be used only if the computer boots into Windows. If the computer does not boot into Windows, use the UEFI.
The hard drive test in HP Support Assistant has been removed because of its inability to test in RAID and eSATA environments. To test the hard drive, restart the computer and perform the test from the UEFI environment. See the Component Tests in UEFI.
Opening the HP Support Assistant Diagnostics in Windows 7 or Vista
To open the HP Support Assistant Diagnostics, complete the following steps:
  1. Click Start .
  2. Click All Programs.
  3. In the Programs list, click HP, and then click HP Support Assistant.
  4. A welcome screen appears if it has not been deactivated. Use this screen to set how HP Support Assistant handles updates, whether a taskbar icon or pop-ups are displayed, and to share anonymous usage data with HP. Remove the check next to Show this screen when I open HP Support Assistant to avoid seeing this window in the future.
    Figure : Welcome screen
     HP Support Assistant welcome screen
  5. Click Next to go to the HP Support Assistant main page.
    Figure : HP Support Assistant
     HP Support Assistant
  6. To access the HP diagnostic tools using HP Support Assistant, click the My computer button from the main page.
    Figure : My computer button
     My computer button
  7. Click the Diagnostics tab. The tests available on this page depend on your system configuration. Some test examples are explained in the following sections.
    Figure : HP Support Assistant Diagnostics
    Diagnostics tab in HP Support Assistant
  8. Proceed to the section for the test you want to run.

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