How to test for hardware failures in a computer

Repairing computer hardwareIf you suspect a specific piece of hardware is not working correctly, click the appropriate links below. Otherwise, if you are unsure which hardware may have an issue, we suggest browsing through the whole document for a proper diagnosis. Although hardware failures most certainly may occur within your computer, it is important to check for as many software issues as you can before proceeding. The fact is, most errors are caused by software (such as drivers) related problems, not by a failing hardware device. See the basic troubleshooting section for a good starting point.

Computer hard drive (HDD)
Computer memory (RAM)
Computer motherboard & processor (CPU)
Computer power supply (PSU)
Computer CD/DVD disc drives
Computer network, Wi-Fi, or Internet

Computer hard drive (HDD)

Computer memory (RAM)

Computer motherboard & processor (CPU)

Computer power supply (PSU)

Although some programs, such as SpeedFan, can help monitor the voltage and power supplied to computer fans, there is no software utility to test the integrity of computer power supplies.

There are methods of testing the connectors on a power supply using a multimeter. However; due to potential damage to the power supply, as well as the motherboard and other components connected to it, this information is not posted on Computer Hope. Due to their relatively low cost and easy installation, we suggest users who believe their power supply is failing or bad replace it.

Computer CD/DVD disc drives

Computer network, Wi-Fi, or Internet

If you are having problems connecting to the Internet on all of your devices you may be encountering a problem with your network or Wi-Fi connection. Below are the steps on troubleshooting networking and Wi-Fi related problems.

Additional information