7 Tips and Tricks for Diagnosing Hardware Related Issues on a Desktop PC

Yes, there are several tips and tricks that you can use to diagnose hardware-related issues on a desktop PC:

  1. Check for physical damage: First, check for any physical damage to the computer, such as bent or broken components, loose cables or connections, or signs of overheating. This can help identify issues that may be causing the problem.
  2. Check the power supply: The power supply is a common cause of hardware issues, so make sure that it is properly connected and functioning correctly. You can use a power supply tester to check the voltage output of the power supply.

How to check the power supply?

There are a few ways to check the power supply of a desktop PC. Here are some steps you can follow:

  • First, make sure the computer is unplugged and that you are grounded to avoid any static discharge.
  • Open the computer case and locate the power supply unit (PSU). The PSU is usually a rectangular metal box with a fan on one side and power cables coming out of the other side.
  • Check the power cables that are connected to the PSU and the motherboard to ensure that they are properly connected and secured.
  • Check the power switch on the back of the PSU. Make sure that it is turned on and in the “I” position.
  • Use a multimeter to check the voltage output of the PSU. Set the multimeter to DC voltage and select the 20V range. Connect the red probe to the PSU’s 12V connector and the black probe to the PSU’s ground connector.
  • Turn on the computer and check the voltage reading on the multimeter. The voltage reading should be within 5% of the rated voltage for the PSU.
  • If the voltage reading is significantly lower than the rated voltage, the PSU may be faulty and need to be replaced.
  • You can also use a power supply tester to check the voltage output of the PSU. A power supply tester is a device that connects to the PSU’s power cables and displays the voltage readings on an LCD display.

By following these steps, you can check the power supply of your desktop PC and determine if it is functioning correctly. If you suspect that the power supply is faulty, it’s best to replace it with a new one to avoid any further damage to your computer.

Tricks for Diagnosing Hardware Related Issues on a Desktop PC
photo: Pixabay

    3. Check the RAM: The RAM is another common cause of hardware issues, so make sure that it is properly seated and functioning correctly. You can use a memory diagnostic tool to check for any errors in the RAM.

How to check the RAM?

There are several ways to check the RAM on your desktop PC:

  • Use the built-in Windows Memory Diagnostic tool: Windows has a built-in Memory Diagnostic tool that can check your RAM for errors. To access this tool, go to the Start menu and type “Windows Memory Diagnostic” in the search box. Select the “Windows Memory Diagnostic” application from the search results, and then choose to restart the computer and run the test.
  • Use a third-party memory diagnostic tool: There are many third-party memory diagnostic tools available that can check your RAM for errors. Some popular options include Memtest86, MemTest, and HCI MemTest. These tools can be downloaded and installed on a USB drive or CD, and then booted from to run the memory test.
  • Physically check the RAM: You can also physically check the RAM to ensure that it is properly seated and functioning correctly. Turn off your computer and unplug it, then open the computer case and locate the RAM modules. Carefully remove the RAM modules and then reinsert them into the RAM slots, making sure that they are properly seated. You can also try switching the RAM modules between different slots to test if the issue is with a particular slot.
  • Monitor the RAM usage: You can also monitor the RAM usage of your computer to see if any particular program or process is using a lot of RAM. To do this, open the Task Manager in Windows (press “Ctrl+Shift+Esc” or “Ctrl+Alt+Delete” and choose Task Manager), and go to the “Performance” tab. Here you can see how much RAM is being used and by which programs.

By following these steps, you can check your RAM and identify any issues that may be causing problems with your computer. If the RAM is faulty, it may need to be replaced with new RAM modules.

      4. Test the hard drive:

The hard drive can also cause hardware issues, so make sure that it is properly connected and functioning correctly. You can use a hard drive diagnostic tool to check for any errors in the hard drive.

How to Test the hard drive?

You can test your desktop PC’s hard drive using a variety of methods. Here are a few ways to test your hard drive:

  • Check for errors using the built-in Windows utility: Windows has a built-in utility called “Error Checking” that can scan your hard drive for errors and bad sectors. To access this tool, right-click on the drive you want to check and select “Properties.” Then, go to the “Tools” tab and click on “Check” under the “Error checking” section. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the scan.
  • Use a third-party hard drive diagnostic tool: Many third-party tools can be used to diagnose hard drive issues. Some popular options include CrystalDiskInfo, HD Tune, and Western Digital Data Lifeguard Diagnostics. These tools can be downloaded from their respective websites, installed on your computer, and used to perform a scan of your hard drive.
  • Monitor the hard drive’s performance: You can also monitor the performance of your hard drive using a built-in Windows utility called “Performance Monitor.” To access this tool, type “perfmon” in the Windows search bar and open the “Performance Monitor” application. Here, you can monitor the performance of your hard drive in real-time and identify any issues that may be causing problems.
  • Listen for unusual sounds: If your hard drive is making unusual sounds such as clicking, grinding, or buzzing, this could be a sign of a physical issue with the drive. In this case, it’s best to back up your data immediately and consider replacing the hard drive.

By following these steps, you can test your hard drive and identify any issues on a desktop PC that may be causing serious problems with your computer. If the hard drive is faulty, it may need to be replaced with a new one.

       5. Check the graphics card: If you are experiencing issues with graphics, such as display artifacts or crashes, check the graphics card. Make sure that it is properly seated and functioning correctly. You can use a graphics card diagnostic tool to check for any errors in the graphics card.

You can check your desktop PC’s graphics card using several methods. Here are a few ways to do it:

  • Check the Device Manager: The Device Manager is a built-in utility in Windows that can show you the hardware devices installed on your PC. To access it, press the Windows key + X and select “Device Manager.” Under the “Display adapters” section, you should see the name of your graphics card. If it’s not listed, there may be a problem with the graphics card, or it may not be installed correctly.
  • Check the graphics card software: If you have installed software for your graphics card, you can open it to see if there are any issues. For example, if you have an NVIDIA graphics card, you can open the NVIDIA Control Panel and check if there are any errors or warnings.
  • Run a benchmarking test: A benchmarking test can help you determine the performance of your graphics card. There are several benchmarking tools available, such as FurMark, 3DMark, and Unigine Heaven. These tools can be downloaded and installed on your PC, and then run to test the graphics card’s performance. You can compare the results with the specifications of your graphics card to see if it’s performing as it should be.
  • Check for overheating: Overheating can cause performance issues with the graphics card. You can check the temperature of the graphics card using software like HWMonitor or MSI Afterburner. If the temperature is too high, you may need to clean the graphics card or adjust the fan settings.

By following these steps, you can check your graphics card and identify any issues that may be causing problems with your computer’s performance. If the graphics card is faulty, it may need to be replaced with a new one.

        6. Check the CPU: If you are experiencing issues with the computer freezing or shutting down unexpectedly, check the CPU. Make sure that it is properly seated and functioning correctly. You can use a CPU diagnostic tool to check for any errors in the CPU.

How to test your CPU?

You can test your desktop PC’s CPU using several methods. Here are a few ways to do it:

  • Use built-in Windows tools: Windows has several built-in tools that can help you test your CPU’s performance. One such tool is the Task Manager. To access it, right-click on the taskbar and select “Task Manager.” Click on the “Performance” tab and you’ll see your CPU usage. If your CPU usage is high when you’re not running any programs, there may be a problem.

Another tool is the Resource Monitor. To access it, open the Task Manager and click on the “Resource Monitor” button. Click on the “CPU” tab and you’ll see a list of running processes and their CPU usage. You can identify any processes that are using too much CPU and take action accordingly.

  • Use a third-party CPU benchmarking tool: There are many third-party CPU benchmarking tools available that can test your CPU’s performance. These tools can give you a better understanding of your CPU’s capabilities and identify any issues that may be affecting its performance. Popular CPU benchmarking tools include Cinebench, Geekbench, and AIDA64.
  • Stress test your CPU: A stress test can help you determine if your CPU is stable and performing correctly under heavy loads. There are several stress testing tools available, such as Prime95 and IntelBurnTest. These tools can be downloaded and run to put your CPU under heavy load for an extended period. If the CPU is unstable, the stress test may cause it to crash or overheat.

By following these steps, you can test your CPU and identify any issues issues on a desktop PC that may be causing problems with your computer’s performance.

         7. Use a hardware monitoring tool: You can use a hardware monitoring tool to check the temperature and performance of your hardware components. This can help identify any components that may be overheating or underperforming.

How to test PC with hardware monitoring tool?

You can test your desktop PC with a hardware monitoring tool by using software that monitors the performance of your PC’s hardware components. These tools can help you identify any issues that may be affecting your PC’s performance, such as high CPU or GPU temperatures, low memory, or a failing hard drive.

Here are the steps to test your PC with a hardware monitoring tool:

  • Download and install a hardware monitoring tool: There are many hardware monitoring tools available, such as HWMonitor, CPU-Z, and Open Hardware Monitor. Choose a tool that supports the components you want to monitor and that is compatible with your operating system.
  • Run the hardware monitoring tool: Once you have installed the tool, run it to start monitoring your PC’s hardware components. The tool should display information about your CPU, GPU, memory, and other hardware components.
  • Monitor your PC’s hardware performance: Watch the performance of your PC’s hardware components over time. If you notice any spikes in temperature, low memory or storage space, or other issues, take note of them. You can also use the tool to view graphs of your PC’s performance over time.
  • Address any issues: If the hardware monitoring tool identifies any issues, such as high temperatures or low memory, take action to address them. For example, you can clean the dust from your PC’s fans or upgrade your memory or hard drive.

Using a hardware monitoring tool can help you keep your PC running smoothly and identify any issues before they become more serious problems. By monitoring your PC’s hardware performance, you can take steps to keep your PC running optimally and prevent hardware failures.

By following these tips and tricks, you can diagnose hardware-related issues on a desktop PC and identify the components that may be causing the problem.

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