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Old 24th January 2019
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hanzer hanzer is offline
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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?
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Old 25th January 2019
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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.
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Old 28th January 2019
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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.
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