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HP and Compaq Desktop PCs - Testing for Hardware Problems Using Hardware Diagnostic Tools (Windows 7)

This document applies to HP and Compaq desktop computers with Windows 7 and Hardware Diagnostic Tools.
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.
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.
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 : Close all applications
Save any documents and close all applications before running diagnostics
Figure : 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 : 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 : 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 : 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 : Confirm test
    Confirm test
    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 : 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 headings to expand the information.
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.
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.
Hardware diagnostic troubleshooters
Hardware Diagnostic Tools include several troubleshooters that can automatically detect and fix problems with hardware.








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