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In general or with falling part involved, how to test computer(desktop)?

I want to test everything - performance, fan noise and whatever else that can be tested for a desktop!

(I am already aware about Windows Experience Index)

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Turn it on and see what happens! (Maybe do a visual internal inspection for loose bits first) –  Linker3000 Aug 17 '11 at 23:48
    
I am posting this question from the same computer... I just wanted to test everything you know because I remember reading that for one person, the computer seemed to work fine except later he discovered that hd part is broken(meaning hd videos are not working properly). –  TPR Aug 17 '11 at 23:54
    
plus as I said, even without the failing part involved, how would you test a computer? like load-testing etc...? –  TPR Aug 17 '11 at 23:56
    
There isnt much in the way of moving parts in a computer. If the drives still work and the fans still spin, you should be good to go. –  Keltari Aug 18 '11 at 1:39

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Run various benchmark and diagnostic tools that exercise your video card, hard drive, network, Internet, sound, memory and any other components you have. You can find these for free using Google ("benchmark video card", "diagnose hard drive", etc.) Plug in differet USB devices (printer, phone, mouse, keyboard) into each and every USB port and use them. Rip an 80 minute CD. Rip a double layer DVD. Burn a CD and a DVD.

You're looking for hardware faults rather than speed changes. You want the diagnostics to test every function, looking for that one obscure feature that's borken. Speed tests are important as well, because they'll push the device to the limits showing failures in moving parts (cooling fans, disks, etc.), but the actual speed result isn't important.

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It would help if you suggest your own favorites too, the ones you have already used you know. –  TPR Aug 18 '11 at 0:29
    
I don't have favourites. I've never used them, sorry. :-) –  Hand-E-Food Aug 18 '11 at 0:50
    
There is a thing called Google which seems to be able to do those recomendations that are being asked for. –  Chris Aug 18 '11 at 1:39

For this kind of testing I would suggest trying a Linux-based rescuecd (e.g. http://www.sysresccd.org).

I suspect the below steps should find out the most common failures.

I would be more test the hard drives where good by running badblocks using one the read-only options agasint the drives. The drives are the component that I would worry about failing the most, especially if the computer was on when it fell. If you don't like linux, I am sure someone else can suggest a good tool that will do a surface scan of the disk. Spinrite would be an option if you are willing to buy a license.

Watch a DVD, or play a CD, to check your optical drives. Copy an CD if you want to test a burner.

I would run something like memtest86, which should test that the memory/cpu is fine.

Use one of the various tools to watch the temperatures of the CPU/GPU. That might indicate that the heatsink is loose. Make sure to look at it while it is on, be sure all the fans are actually working.

Listen really closely, do you hear any unusual noises?

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