from the diagnostics-are-underrated dept.
Etylowy writes "Over the years I have repaired my own PC and those belonging to family and friends many, many times. While in most cases it turned out to be restoring a system after malware/the user/Windows made a mess, or simple cases of 'follow the smell of smoke and molten plastic,' there were some nasty ones where the computer mostly works. By 'mostly,' I mean: you can boot it up, it might even work for a while, but will crash way too often to blame it all on Microsoft — what do you do then? Once you strip it of any extra hardware (which, with today's motherboards that have pretty much everything integrated, might not be an option) you are left with the CPU, motherboard, graphics card, RAM and HDD. You can test the HDD, you can run memtest86+ to check the RAM, but how do you go about testing the CPU, motherboard and graphics card trio to find which is to blame? Replacing them one by one isn't really an option. Do you know of any software that would help the way memtest helps with RAM?"