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Here's what would be ideal:

  1. A list of all the hardware components potentially found in one's computer
  2. A method (or list of methods) for testing each of these
  3. The accuracy of these methods

My personal requests are:

-How to test your motherboard
-How to test your wireless receiving aperatus
-How to test CD/DVD RW drive
-How to test your laptop battery
-How to test your Heat sink(s) ?
-How to test the effectiveness of your fan(s)

Favorite answers: OS-independent tests which GUARANTEE the concerned hardware works PERFECTLY

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1  
No test can ever guarantee that anything works PERFECTLY... –  Shinrai Aug 16 '10 at 14:40

3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

No test suite can guarantee that anything works perfectly, they can only tell you if the computer passed the tests.

This Live-CD does some of it, I have never seen anyone test the CD/DVD or wifi. But any live-cd meant for ordinary use should allow you to test that manually.

StressLinux

StressLinux is a minimal linux distribution running from a bootable cdrom (LiveCD) or via PXE. Stresslinux is dedicated to users who want to test their system(s) entirely on high load and monitoring the health.

Features:

  • stress 0.18.1 (A tool to impose certain types of stress on a POSIX system.)
  • CPUBurn 1.4 (CPU maximum load (heat) stability test)
  • CPU Burn-In 1.00 (CPU burn-in test)
  • nbench 2.2.1 (CPU test suite)
  • iometer 2003.12.16 (I/O performance meter)
  • hddtemp 0.3beta11 (A program to display the temperature of your hard drive.)
  • lm_sensors 2.8.7 (LM78 and other hardware monitor drivers.)
  • busybox 1.0.0rc3 (Single small executable which contains common UNIX utilities)
  • lshw A.01.07 (Hardware lister)
  • bonnie++ 1.03a (Hard drive benchmark)
  • netio 1.23 (Network benchmark)
  • smartmontools 5.32 (S.M.A.R.T. drivetests)
  • x86info 1.12b (CPU information)
  • memtest86 3.1a (A stand-alone memory diagnostic)
  • memtest86+ 1.15 (An other stand-alone memory diagnostic)
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actual homepage: stresslinux.org/sl –  sml Aug 16 '10 at 10:50
    
@scott - updated url –  Nifle Aug 16 '10 at 11:16
    
@Nifle Are there any risks to the hardware associated with using stresslinux? For example, could pushing my CPU to the limit possibly break the CPU or melt any surrounding part? –  Shawn Aug 16 '10 at 20:44
    
@Shawn - No. What it can (in theory) do is push any partly defective part far enough so that it fails completely. It can't destroy or harm a functioning computer. –  Nifle Aug 17 '10 at 16:05
    
@Nifle So if I suspect some parts of being defective, should I run the tests? –  Shawn Aug 17 '10 at 21:24

If money is no object the PC Doctor testing suite is pretty damned good. It's pretty damned expensive though...

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2  
If I had that much money, I would buy a new computer :D –  Shawn Dec 6 '10 at 4:07
1  
@Shawn - No debate there. ;) –  Shinrai Dec 6 '10 at 15:47

Or a very easy way: go to a computer store and pay a small sum, and they will do this test for you. If all else fails, download a simple tuning program which can typically give the computer a test.

If you have a HP computer they normally have a POST test and some diagnostic tools built-in to them, telling you if something fails. AKA the S.M.A.R.T test for hard drives.

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