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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Computer Hardware Diagnostics Tools

A computer can have issues in either of its two main components; hardware or software. While software issues are generally resolvable through the built-in repair function of the software, hardware issues require proper diagnosis and evaluation before they can be resolved.

Hardware Diagnostic Tools
Computer hardware diagnostic tools can be either software written expressly for detecting problems with a computer's hardware or external machines that help find what is wrong with the system. Software too can be of two types:
·        Internal, Computer software diagnostic programs reside on the computer with other software to find and resolve hardware issues.
·        External, External tools, on the other hand, are used from outside the computer to scan for hardware issues without operating system influence.

There are two main methods for computer hardware diagnostic tools:
·        Black box methods use known input and output data to analyze issues with the hardware without actually knowing how it works.
·        White box techniques on the other hand test issues directly by understanding the inner functions of the hardware.
There are also continuous monitoring diagnostic systems that monitor operations as they happen to scan for issues.

Computer hardware diagnostic tools can be single-purpose, multipurpose or modular.
·        Single-purpose hardware diagnostic tools have been designed to check for problems in a particular module or hardware only.
·        Multipurpose tools on the other hand would be programs that while created for one main component, also provide troubleshooting options for other hardware components, though at lesser accuracy.
·        Modular diagnostic tools on the other hand are like a kit containing many single-purpose tools that can quickly be applied to check for issues across the board.

Self-Diagnostic Tools
Certain computer hardware components come with built-in self-diagnostic features that allow for easy assessment of the problem. For example, most network routers come with a command prompt function through which hardware experts can determine what is wrong with the router and resolve the issue through a predefined set of commands. Similarly, many hardware devices also have log functions that automatically log all failure events and automatically correct any mis-alignments.

Computer hardware diagnostic tools find application in a wide range of environments, right from manufacturing testing for quality checks to end-client diagnostic testing for easy resolution of live working problems.
These tools can be used directly by a trained technician on the computer system in question or remotely by the service team through an Internet or network connection.


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