How to test for hardware failures in a computer

Updated: 09/03/2019 by Computer Hope
Repairing computer hardware

If 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 in 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 basic troubleshooting for a good starting point.

Computer HDD (hard disk drive)

Computer RAM (random-access memory)

Computer motherboard & CPU (central processing unit)

Computer PSU (power supply unit)

Although some programs, such as SpeedFan, helps 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, the motherboard, and components connected to it, this information is not posted on Computer Hope. Due to their relatively low cost and easy installation, we recommend users replace the power supply if it's believed to be failing or bad.

Computer CD/DVD disc drives

Computer network, Wi-Fi, or Internet

If you are having problems connecting to the Internet on 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.