Diagnostic Tests on Computers

by Melly Parker

When a computer is running slow or isn't working correctly, running a diagnostic test may help a user understand the exact problem. Diagnostic tests for computers are simple and user-friendly, allowing even novice owners to check their system health. Different problems require different diagnostic tests, and usually an action has to be taken to correct the problems diagnosed by the test.

Hardware Problems

Windows has built-in diagnostic tests that run on your computer when a hardware problem is detected, and also offers additional tests when they're needed. Hardware diagnostic tests run automatically if the unit detects a problem. If you think there's a hardware problem and the computer hasn't tested itself, try shutting down and seeing if the computer runs a diagnostic when you boot it up. If it doesn't, right-click on "My Computer" and open the "Properties" option; Click "Tools." Open "Error-Checking" and select "Check Now." When none of the built-in tests are showing errors, you can download Windows Memory Diagnostic from Microsoft. Save it to a disc, then boot up your computer with the disc in the machine. It will run a test checking for hardware errors and report the problem to you within 30 minutes.

Virus Tests

Every computer that connects to the Internet or downloads files from a disc is at risk of contracting a virus. If you believe your machine has a virus, you can run a virus diagnostic. These scans are included with any antivirus program. You simply open your program, choose to scan your drives for viruses and wait for the test to complete. If viruses aren't found, check to be sure you have the latest virus definition updates, then run the diagnostic again.


Spyware, like viruses, can be picked up off of the Internet. Spyware reports to remote users about your Internet activity, usage and sometimes even personal information that you type into forms. Spyware detectors, like antivirus programs, can monitor your computer for spyware activity. Once you have a spyware killer installed, you should open the program and choose to scan all your discs. When the diagnostic is complete, you'll have the option to remove all spyware files.

About the Author

Melly Parker has been writing since 2007, focusing on health, business, technology and home improvement. She has also worked as a teacher and a bioassay laboratory technician. Parker now serves as a marketing specialist at one of the largest mobile app developers in the world. She holds a Master of Science in English.

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