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Is there a thumbstick Linux image for checking hardware? Ideally I'd like to take it with me to a second hand shop, boot it up and run a quick round of diagnostics on hardware. It must have both latest NV and AMD drivers, as well as specialized software for detecting if they're damaged.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

You can use the Hiren's BootCD

I used the included Video Memory Stress Test tool to check the video memory on my VAIO laptop after I was getting BSODs. It detected memory faults almost straight away.

It also comes with a great selection of other diagnostic tools.

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Hiren's is impressive. +1 – nerdwaller Jul 10 '13 at 17:48
That's great, but I'm more concerned about dead or buggy shader units or the number not being up to specs. – Alexei Averchenko Jul 11 '13 at 6:44

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