More often than not, you don’t actually need to visit the repair center or store in case your computer is exhibiting problems. Because a lot of computer problems both software and hardware-related are easy enough to diagnose. All you need are the best diagnostic tools for your PC regardless of whether it’s a laptop or a desktop.
Anything from slow-downs to faulty applications or even viruses can be diagnosed using a simple and often free diagnostic tool.
All you need is a reliable internet connection for downloads and of course, a working computer that allows you to download them.
These diagnostic tools also aren’t just for fixing problems but also for preventing them since they allow you to monitor important hardware and software changes in your Windows machine.
If you need to keep tabs on your hardware’s thermal performance, then one of the best diagnostic tools for the job is HWiNFO. All your major PC components are listed here, and the application will display their temperatures in real-time.
So you can actually use this to see the maximum temperatures they’ll reach under certain scenarios such as during summer while playing a graphically-intense game. You can then remember the numbers and then keep them as a reference for optimal performance so that you’ll know whether the temperature, later on, is higher due to dust or other factors.
If anything, it also allows you to compare your hardware’s temperatures to those of other people to see whether what you received isn’t faulty or a lemon product.
- The Performance Monitor is accessible via the Windows Task Manager, under the Performance tab from the drop-down settings button (usually on the upper left corner)
Speaking of monitoring performance, the Performance Monitor program is an application that comes free with Windows installations, usually. You don’t need to download it.
This tool is for checking how the hardware components are being used and utilized by specific programs. It’s handy for checking whether there’s a virus in your PC that is being utilized for cryptojacking or the act of mining cryptocurrency remotely using another person’s computer whether with consent or without.
So if your desktop is idle and you notice that the CPU, RAM, or GPU usage is spiking or at max for prolonged stretches, it might be a sign of something sinister going on inside.
Beyond that, you can use the Performance Monitor to see whether your CPU or other components might be underperforming compared to an earlier reference or how much a specific program demands performance.
Both hard disk drives (HDD) and their newer solid-state drive (SSD) counterparts have a limited lifespan. Though they usually last longer than your need for your current PC, they can still fail prematurely especially if you use them heavily (i.e., transferring files too frequently).
Programs like CrystalDiskInfo can help you monitor their condition or their current “lifespan.” This application also has a temperature sensor for your storage drive though you can already see that using the aforementioned programs like HWiNFO.
In any case, this allows you to see whether you might need to back up your personal files in the event of an impending drive failure.
If you find yourself constantly running out of storage space and you want to easily see which files or programs are the culprit, then WinDirStat is your friend here. It’s a storage or drive diagnostic tool that visualizes the contents of each drive in blocks to display which ones occupy the most space.
This way, you can surgically target which files to delete in order to free up space. Other than that, you can also use WinDirStat to clean up some temporary files and even see some files you thought were lost to memory.
Windows Memory Diagnostic
- Quickly accessible through the Search icon or through Run in Windows
We’re not saying RAM frequently breaks or wears down, but it can happen and it might be troublesome to deal with. Instead of buying or procuring another set of RAM to check if the old one is faulty, you can first use Windows own built-in tool called the Windows Memory Diagnostic to check if it really is the RAM at fault.
Just open it and then let it do its job. It might ask you for some restarts or shutdowns and the application will try to determine which stick of RAM is the faulty one, assuming the problem was with the RAM, to begin with.
Dead Pixel Checking & PixelHealer
The screen is also among the most important peripherals of the computer since the device is nothing without it and sadly, a lot of screens these days are susceptible to dead pixels.
There are various websites dedicated to finding dead pixels or other screen-related anomalies and artifacts. Once you’ve isolated the dead pixel problem, you can then try to fix it using the PixelHealer application.
It’s worth noting that PixelHealer doesn’t always work and is more effective on stuck or hot pixels than dead pixels. For any other screen artifacts such as color lines and pixel tears, you might be out of luck; those are generally considered to be hardware failures either for the monitor or the GPU.
You can forget about the general spammy and aggressive commercial antivirus because really, Windows Defender has been doing a stellar job of keeping out viruses ever since Windows 10.
If you’ve disabled it to keep your commercial or third-party antivirus software, then you might want to consider re-enabling Windows Defender and ditching that third-party antivirus deal. Most antivirus suites these days are just bloatware that can hamper performance; some even upload your data invasively.
Windows Defender at least doesn’t obstruct performance too much compared to other antivirus software, and it also comes with lots of up-to-date security features that are easier to control.
There are certain viruses that might worm their way into your computer through clicks. Some of them might be persistent enough to get through Windows Defender and other antivirus software and in such cases, you need something a little stronger.
Here’s where Malwarebytes comes in. It’s one of the most accomplished and reliable malware removal tools for Windows though you should only resort to it when the situation is starting to look desperate for your Windows Defender or antivirus (basically any threat that they can’t remove).
It won’t always get the job done, but with Malwarebytes you can safely say that you’ve tried some of the most effective solutions when trying to remove a virus before you resort to a full reformat in case it didn’t manage to resolve the infection.
You can also keep it around if you like it though some consider it a bit pricey, so they just opt for the free trial.