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Re: [school-discuss] Diagnostic Software

On Sun, May 12, 2013 at 9:39 PM, Joel Kahn <jj2kk4@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
A relative of mine had her Dell laptop fail on her.
It's an MS Windows 7 machine about three years old.
Among other symptoms, it's doing spontaneous reboots
fairly frequently. The built-in diagnostics didn't
show problems, but I don't trust them under the
circumstances. Since the warranty is long over, Dell
charges a ludicrous price to fix it.

Bring on the ideas....

I think I put a few suggestions for diagnostic tools on the Schoolforge.net software list.  Testdisk ( https://schoolforge.net/education-software-download/testdisk ) was something mentioned at our Linux group. It works on Windows and Linux.

Are you looking for Windows based tools or Linux based tools to run Diagnostics?  Have you checked the battery on the system?  I've had problems with reboots because the battery needed to be changed.

I've run across grml ( http://grml.org/ ) live Linux distribution which mentions it can be used for system rescue.

If you need to check memory, you can try http://www.memtest86.com/ or http://www.memtest.org/

You might want to do a search of the Internet with model and symptoms and see if you can limit down possible issues that could cause the behavior you're seeing.  From there, you'll be able to figure out which diagnostic tools might confirm the problem.  Unfortunately, I think most repair places just work by trial and error.  They replace a part, see if it fixes the issue and if not, try another part.  If it's the motherboard/CPU or some major part of the system, then you're usually out-of-luck.

If the problem is software based (like spyware or a virus), you can reinstall an operating system and the problem should be fixed.  I don't know of any good Open Source virus scanners.  (Believe me, I've looked for them.)  Spybot Search and Destroy is a good spyware tool.  I've seen places list it as Open Source, but it really isn't.  I believe it is careware.