Windows Utilities Treasure Trove
While the following trove of Windows utilities would most likely benefit any custom-PC building geek, it will most certainly help fill your own tool belt of helpful Windows Utilities.
The following is a list of test utilities for DIY computer builders:
Note: If you are OverClocking or use any automatic overclocking BIOS features, Intel EIST or Turbo Mode (Disable it), then drop back to the stock speed as a starting point. Disconnect any other internal hard drives and external USB devices.
First try running Memtest86+, this runs from a boot disk or CD and should eliminate or confirm if your one or more of your memory sticks are bad or the SPD values in the BIOS are correct. Let it run for as long as you can: 2,4,6,8 or more hours, if no errors by then your ram is OK.
Memtest86+ Guide/How To’s (use the .ISO to create a bootable CD)
Hard drive Testing – Bootable CD:
If you have a new Seagate hard drive the very next thing would be to download Seagate’s Seatools (the bootable CD) and check for bad sectors:
For Western Digital drives use WdDiag: http://support.wdc.com/product/download.asp?lang=en
Fujitsu’s Utilities: http://www.fujitsu.com/us/services/computing/storage/hdd/support/utilities.html
Samsung’s Disk manager software: http://www.samsung.com/Products/HardDiskDrive/utilities/shdiag.htm
Hitachi’s Drive Fitness Test software: http://www.hgst.com/hdd/support/download.htm#DFT
Did you install the motherboard manufacture’s latest device drivers? Check their support site for the latest drivers as the CD that came with the motherboard may have older less stable drivers.
Check the Graphics card manufacture’s download site for the most recent Windows 7 drivers for your card.
Also check out Nvidia’s “Smoke” test or ATI equivilent.
Prime 95: http://www.mersenne.org/freesoft/
• It’s a stand alone .exe file contained in a .zip archive.
• Just choose to run the “stress test” option for 3 hours or more.
• If your PC can pass this test both your memory and CPU are fine (close the case cover to maintain proper ventilation)
Monitor the temperature of each core of your processor. For non overclockers using the stock Intel/AMD heatsink and cooling fan you can expect a temperature of 35 to 40C at idle and from 60C to 65C max when running Prime95
Shows the clock speed of the CPU under various load conditions (when using Intel’s EIST speed step technology). Also has two tabs (Memory and SPD) which show the actual memory speed and ‘SPD’ tab shows the rated speeds for each memory slot that is populated.
FurMark GPU (Graphic card) Stress Test:
CPUID HWMonitor is a hardware monitoring program that reads PC systems main health sensors: voltages, temperatures, fans speed.
PassMarks burn in test: http://www.passmark.com/
The Burnin test and their benchmark test both give a good workout of all the major parts of Windows.
Provides drive info and has an option (error scan tab ) to test your drive.
Monitors internal temperatures and has an online drive health analysis feature (SMART tab) for hard drives. It will display your drives model number compares your drive with other drives of the same make and model.
A lightweight utility designed to give you all information about your video card and GPU.
A powerful utility designed especially for detection of hardware, also some more analysis. It’s able to identify a large scale of system components and supports the latest technologies and standards.
Partition Wizard Home Edition:
(There is also a bootable CD version)
Some of the features and Functions include: Resizing and Move partitions, Restore Partition after accidental deletion, Create partition, Delete partition, Format partition, Convert partition, Explore partition, Hide partition, Change drive letter, Set active partition. Note: To complete any task use the ‘Pending Operations’ box located in the lower left.
UBCD4Win is a bootable recovery CD that contains software used for repairing, restoring, or diagnosing almost any computer problem.
MyEventViewer – An easy way to view your event logs: