Go Back   DaemonForums > Miscellaneous > General Hardware

General Hardware General hardware related questions.

Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1   (View Single Post)  
Old 24th January 2019
hanzer's Avatar
hanzer hanzer is offline
Real Name: Adam Jensen
just passing through
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: EST USA
Posts: 314
Default Computer Diagnostics

Much software expects and requires reliable hardware. How do you verify your hardware isn't silently introducing faults into your system and corrupting its functioning?

I bought a refurbished Thinkpad T420 and intend to install OpenBSD on it. The machine I received has some obvious hardware problems and will be returned to the vendor. How can I test the replacement machine to ensure there are no transient or intermittent hardware quirks, glitches or failures?

How do you test your hardware for reliable functionality?
Reply With Quote
  #2   (View Single Post)  
Old 25th January 2019
IdOp's Avatar
IdOp IdOp is offline
Too dumb for a smartphone
Join Date: May 2008
Location: twisting on the daemon's fork(2)
Posts: 917

I'm also interested in this question, and am sure I don't do enough. So, I can only offer some simple things.

For RAM I use memtest.

For hard disks I use badblocks and monitor the SMART info using smartmontools.

When populating a new hard disk (or partitions) with existing data, I use GNU tar, cksum and/or diff to compare old and new.
Reply With Quote
  #3   (View Single Post)  
Old 28th January 2019
Carpetsmoker's Avatar
Carpetsmoker Carpetsmoker is offline
Real Name: Martin
Tcpdump Spy
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Indonesia
Posts: 2,218

Running memtest86+ is a good start. Not all errors show up immediately, so let it run for a day or so.

Disks are also a common point of failure. I don't know what a good tool for that is these days, but back when I did repairs for a computer shop I ran a tool which reads the entire drive. If there are significant dips in read speed then it's time to replace. SMART isn't all that reliable. That was with "old" spindle disks though! I don't know what the best way to test SSDs is, but I guess the same method will work for them as well(?)

Other hardware is more tricky. I remember things like video cards only failing after 15 minutes of full usage, or network cards failing only after intensive usage (but not during casual browsing). I wrote a bunch of tools to stress test various things, but I don't have the code any more. You can probably find some stuff online.

In the end it's pretty much impossible to be 100% sure.
UNIX was not designed to stop you from doing stupid things, because that would also stop you from doing clever things.
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
New desktop computer. fossala OpenBSD General 8 18th December 2012 05:02 PM
Monitor on before computer IdOp General Hardware 13 22nd March 2012 01:48 PM
Really old computer b8e168 General Hardware 4 10th January 2010 05:44 PM
What do you use your computer for? JMJ_coder Off-Topic 17 23rd August 2008 11:08 AM
OS to run in a public computer? Sunnz Off-Topic 31 23rd May 2008 05:47 PM

All times are GMT. The time now is 07:38 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Content copyright © 2007-2010, the authors
Daemon image copyright ©1988, Marshall Kirk McKusick