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Thread: is there a linux distro for hardware diagnostics?

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    is there a linux distro for hardware diagnostics?

    hi didnt really know if this should go here or in the OS section but anyway move if needed
    i have been given a laptop which apparently needs reinstalling the OS on however the reason for this was that it fell down.
    my guess is that maybe the hdd was damaged or something and i dont really want to use it permanently if its going to conk up on me.
    so i wanted to know if theres any linux distro with tools to check the state of all hardware components
    like: memtest, HDDtest...

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    Re: is there a linux distro for hardware diagnostics?

    you can use ultimatebootcd (http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/), not really a linux distro tho..

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    Senior Member watercooled's Avatar
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    Re: is there a linux distro for hardware diagnostics?

    Parted Magic includes some useful tools, although most of them are also included in UBCD IIRC.

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    Re: is there a linux distro for hardware diagnostics?

    What do you see when you boot the laptop?

    How far into the old OS do you get in when you boot it?

    I dont really toubleshoot much generic unix issues anymore nowdays (so not sure if this still applies) but if you suspect you are having issues with your harddrive/filesystem and you can get to the command line, could try give it a

    #fsck -y *

    which should check and try resolve any corruption on your file system.

    Unless you really need anything on the old laptop, why not just try and install you OS of choice over it, you do not have to commit the install, but should flag up if the drive is usable for another install or not which should indicate if you should use the existing hardware permanently.

    A good format could be your answer to any inconsistency, either through a base install, or using something like gparted.

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    Re: is there a linux distro for hardware diagnostics?

    oh it loads up an vista trys to repair its self but fail (as per usuall)
    problem is as they say it aparently fell i just wanted to check that nothing else is damaged
    as you can quite easily know if the HDD is damaged by the squeaking it would make

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    Re: is there a linux distro for hardware diagnostics?

    If it has been dropped, the three items likely to be damaged are the case, the HDD and the screen. There is a small risk that sockets on the board might be damaged (the ones that hold in memory) or that the memory may be displaced/unseated, but if that was the case, you wuld get errors during ost.

    If the screen is damaged, it will be obvious.

    If you boot any of the common live linus distros, you can run the usual hdd tools (like smartctl or hdparm) to see what is being reported. Memtest can be burnt onto a bootabvle device and run, as can gparted which will give some (limited) indication of the state of the file system, but obviously can't do deep diagnosis - it isn't what it is for.

    A live CD - may enable you to get any data off the hard drive, rior to instling a new file system (also known as formatting ) on it, which may help.

    However - if the drive is making any odd noises - I wouldn't re-use it. Get the dat off it and then replace it and re-install the OS.
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    Re: is there a linux distro for hardware diagnostics?

    Booting off any Fedora install CD will at the start of the boot process (before the OS is loaded) give the option of running memtest86. Maybe the live CDs can do that as well, if not just burn a memtest86 CD to test the ram.

    As for the hard drive, best bet is to boot into any Linux (a live CD would do) and run

    smartctl -a /dev/sda

    and near the top the hard drive should be telling you it's health. Mine says:

    === START OF READ SMART DATA SECTION ===
    SMART overall-health self-assessment test result: PASSED


    If you want to make sure, try:

    smartctl --test=long /dev/sda

    to start a full hard drive self test.

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    Re: is there a linux distro for hardware diagnostics?

    hi just wanted to say that i ended up usint the ultimate boot cd and i must say its a must have for any computer DIY it has everything you will need to diagnosticate a computer and it even has parted magic in it

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    Re: is there a linux distro for hardware diagnostics?

    Yeah, I use it all the time... would be lost without one sometimes

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