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Recommendations for hardware diagnostic software (bootable)?

My company issued Dell laptop has a pretty robust system diagnostic tool that you can boot into before Windows. It can check the hard disk for bad sectors, check the RAM, check the temperatures, etc etc etc. Altogether it takes about 12 hours to run the entire suite, it's pretty damn thorough.

Is there anything similar available as freeware? I'd like to have an equally (if not more) effective tool for my desktop, but I built it myself so I don't have any fancy manufacturer's gizmo.

Thank you!

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marked as duplicate by Sathya, studiohack, Diago Dec 3 '10 at 6:51

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

There are a lot of individual tools out there, not so much in the way of suites, that are free anyway. Look at the Ultimate Boot CD, it is probably the one of the more comprehensive boot diagnostic utilities that is free. –  MaQleod Dec 2 '10 at 23:02
Yep, and if you install grub2.0 you can boot an iso like a partition –  hbdgaf Dec 2 '10 at 23:11
WELL State on here what Software it is. Look at it and see. Then a)it'll be interesting for people b)it'll help look for equivalents. –  barlop Dec 2 '10 at 23:41

2 Answers 2

It's been mentioned in the comments but I would recommend every IT Pro has a copy of Ultimate Boot CD in their toolkit its such a useful tool. It can also be put onto a USB stick for netbooks etc

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I agree with Joe that Ultimate Boot CD is a great tool for what you're asking. I would point out though that in my experience the Linux version (which Joe linked to) is easier to set up and use than the Windows version... just in case you come across that as well and wonder which you should use.

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