How to perform hardware health checks in Windows

Case #

You need to perform an overall hardware health check in a Windows machine, running either a Windows client or a Windows Server operating system. This article provides guidance on how to perform hardware health checks in Windows.

If you are interested in guidance on how to perform hardware health checks in Linux, refer to the following KB article:

Solution #

Carry out the steps below to perform hardware health checks in Windows.

  • Thoroughly check all Windows event logs (Application, System, Security) for any warnings or errors which may be related to issues you are experiencing with your Windows machine.
  • Check the device management mmc console by running devmgmt.msc. Ensure that you choose to show all hidden devices from the View menu. If you notice any exclamation marks next to any device, you will need to re-install its driver from the respective manufacturer to ensure that there afterwards no warnings in the device management console.
  • Check the health of your RAM memory by running the Windows mdsched.exe command line tool. An alternative free memory test command line tool for Windows is Memtest86. This tool boots from a USB flash drive to test the RAM in your computer for faults.

After the Windows Memory Diagnostic tool has rebooted the system and completed its checks, look in the Windows System Event log for relevant logged events (with Source “MemoryDiagnostics-Results”), to determine if the tool has found any RAM memory errors or not.

For additional diagnostic tools and utilities, it is recommended to boot from a USB stick or DVD drive by using a free bootable ISO, such as the following examples:

Additional bench marking and hardware check tools #

The following benchmarking and stress testing tools are available for download:

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