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How to test parts

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June 9, 2010 6:12:53 PM

Hey there, so i am 100% sure i have a hardware failure somewhere, but i dont know how to find it. Could i possibly get some help on what programs to use to test each part individually? i know memtest for memory but aside from that any ideas?

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a b B Homebuilt system
June 9, 2010 6:24:56 PM

Breadboard testing is a standard faultfinder,

run the rig on minimum hardware, mobo, power, one stick of ram, integrated gfx if you have, known good card if not, make sure its running fine, then as you add more hardware the problem item should be eqasier to identify.
hope this helps a bit,
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June 9, 2010 6:28:16 PM

ok but what if its still malfunctioning on the minimum. is there any software or hardware way to test each individually. I know the mobo has to work because it posts fine, then enter set up fine. but aside from that im not sure
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 9, 2010 6:29:59 PM

if it still hates life on minimum, your most likely looking at,
either psu problem, (try a known good unit to rule out), or
a Mobo issue (worth trying your cards,psu etc on another known working Mobo if poss,) or
Ram issue, but you say you've memtested it all so I'm assuming all sticks are fine.
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a c 122 B Homebuilt system
June 10, 2010 10:29:09 AM

bdbeall said:
I know the mobo has to work because it posts fine, then enter set up fine. but aside from that im not sure

Unfortunately, you don't know that. The POST is only a basic test.

For example, I used to have a P4 Celeron in an Asus motherboard with integrated sound and graphics. A few years ago, the sound chip died. That had no effect on anything else. I just plugged a cheap sound card in and kept going.

A couple of years ago the video chip died (well, technically the GPU is part of the chipset and not a separate chip). The system still POSTed, but it had no video. Well, the POST routines can only test the interface between the CPU and GPU. It cannot test the circuits inside the GPU. You need the Mark I Eyeball for that.

The only certain way to test components is either by substituting known good components in a questionable system or by substituting questionable components in a known good system.
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Best solution

June 10, 2010 2:57:35 PM

How I test my hardware when I need too.

*(DISCLAIMER)* These are tactics i've used to test things, im not sure how safe they are but have worked for me.

HDD - put into a external enclosure and run tests on it when it is a slave, I use the seagate tools

RAM - put into a compatable computer and run memtest

PSU - connect the power sensor cable so it will turn on when main switch is on then test with a multi meter

Video Card - test in a compatable system or put a known good one in or use integrated

Mobo - (this is not reccommended but ive done it to find stuff out)
1. put everything, then take things out one at a time in between starts untill you see a change
2. start with video card, then ram, then cpu, if it dosent give an alarm at all when you take the ram out then its not even working long enough to need the ram.
3. if ram works then try with cpu by taking it out


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June 10, 2010 3:10:46 PM

Best answer selected by bdbeall.
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 10, 2010 5:35:10 PM

Glad you got sorted man :) 
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