Diagnosing Windows is not only something IT analysts need toworry about. Anyone who owns a computer should be comfortable using Windowsdiagnostics tools to do basic troubleshooting.
Believe it or not, you can fix most problems yourself if youhave the right tools available and know how to use them.
Diagnosing Windows problems doesn’t require complicatedtools or advanced computer knowledge either. With the right tools, any computerowner should be able to narrow down issues they may be having.
The following are 15 of the most effective Windowsdiagnostics tools you can use to identify what may be ailing your Windows PC.
The first tool is one of those diagnostics apps you don’t realize you need until you’ve used it. Most computer experts will direct you to use the Processes tab in Task Manager to see what applications may be consuming all your CPU time.
The problem with Task Manager is it only shows top level processes. On the other hand, Process Explorer uses a tree structure to show you not only top-level processes, but also child processes connected to that application.
This tool is a favorite among programmers looking to make sure their application processes don’t have memory leaks or CPU usage issues.
Process Explorer also includes all the following diagnosticsfeatures:
Download Process Explorer
When you’re working with a remote help desk and need CPUinformation, CPUID is a powerful tool to view everything you need to know aboutyour CPU. It can also help gather GPU or memory card information if you’relooking to upgrade your system and want to find a perfect match.
It’s free to download and use and works on both 32-bit and64-bit systems. The amount of information it shows you about your CPU and othersystem information is impressive.
System Explorer is an impressive tool that gives you moreinsight into your overall system performance than most other available tools.
In addition to running processes, it includes real-timecharting, all active internet connections, and a history of process activity.
Features in System Explorer include:
Download System Explorer
There is one useful diagnostics tool built right into Windows 10 that you can use without the need for an install. This is called the Reliability Monito r.
To open it, click Startand type reliability. Select View reliability history.
The reliability history graph shows you where any errorshave occurred in your Windows system. These are the same errors you might seein the Windows Event Logs but laid out in a graphical way where errors are easyto spot.
How to use the Reliability Monitor:
You don’t need to worry about all errors and warnings. MostWindows systems have random errors that occur. But if you see a recurringpattern of critical errors over a long period of time, you might haveidentified an issue that’s impacting your system performance.
This is a free application you can install from the Microsoft Store. It’s a powerful tool for quickly analyzing all wireless networks where you are.
It provides the current strength of available Wi-Fi signals.It also shows you a breakdown of details for the network you’re currentlyconnected to. These include the channel, frequency, bandwidth, and more.
Other features of the free version include:
Download Wi-Fi Analyzer
If you feel like the bandwidth of your current network seems slow, you can use a tool like Angry IP Scanner. This tool will scan your entire network and show you all devices connected to your network .
Actively connected devices show up as IP addresses with blue dots. You’ll also see the device hostname and current ping status.
Features of Angry IP Scanner include:
Install Angry IP Scanner
This is a powerful tool for analyzing your disk drives. Findwhich folders consume the most space and discover areas where you might haveold files wasting space.
When you first launch the tool, it’ll perform a full diskdrive scan and analysis. This information is presented in three areas andformats:
The graphical display at the bottom lets you quickly spot what’s taking up most of the space on your disk drives.
If you click on the largest areas, you’ll see a list of those files and their locations so you can remove them and quickly clean up your drive space .
This free utility is another useful tool for analyzing the hard drives on your system. It’s a useful tool for monitoring your drives and making sure they’re running optimally. View temperatures, error rates, power issues, and more.
Key features of CrystalDiskInfo include:
This is a simple app, but it’s very powerful for getting ajump on disk issues before they get to serious and you lose all your data.
This impressive diagnostics utility combines existingWindows diagnostics tools all into one single package.
It provides you with insight into your entire system,including information about hardware in your system, real-time monitoring of allyour system components, and the ability to log and export in-depth reportsabout your computer.
This freeware tool provides you with multiple tools for hard drive diagnostics for any kind of hard drive, including RAID arrays, USB drives, or SSD drives.
The software includes test features for checking for badblocks, bad sectors, and gathers multiple parameters about your hard drives.
Process Explorer listed in #1 is a SysInternals appavailable for download from the Microsoft website. SysInternals offers anentire suite of utilities and tools. You can download them all at once bydownloading the entire suite.
This suite includes utilities like:
If you want software that can monitor processes, hardware,services, and everything else about your system, this utility suite is probablythe best single diagnostics suite you can download.
Malware is a scourge that infests computers, slows down yoursystem, and interrupts your time spent on the internet. Antivirus software isgreat for cleaning up viruses and infected files, but it can sometimes overlookmalware.
Malwarebytes is a tool built specifically to identify andclean your system of any malware that might have made its way into your system.
Using Malwarebytes is also easy. Once you install it, justrun a full system scan and see what the utility discovers. You can alsoconfigure the application to run automatically on a schedule, so you don’t haveto worry about your system getting cluttered with more malware as time goes on.
This online utility is probably the easiest diagnostics toolto use since it’s web based.
If you’ve ever had a bright dot that remains on your screenno matter what you do, this is caused by what’s known as a “stuck pixel”. Youcan look for these by viewing a black screen and looking for light dots.
Using the JScreenFix utility, you can drag the static blockover the stuck pixel, and it’ll fix the problem in less than 10 minutes.
If you don’t want to dig through system errors andtroubleshoot yourself, you could try this all-in-one tool that’ll scan yoursystem and try to diagnose typical system issues for you.
It’s a free application that’s normally integrated into theESET Antivirus software. It’s at least an excellent first tool to try if you’renot sure where to start. The software scans and detects issues with all thefollowing:
Even if you don’t find the answer, it’ll at least point you in the right direction.
Download ESET SysInspector
This tool for advanced Windows users allows you to take fullmemory dumps of a Windows process and have Debug Diagnostics analyze the file.
This diagnostics tool will allow you to analyze dump filesin a way that’s easier to understand than digging through the files yourself.
This tool is best suited for users who already understandhow dump files work (and how to create them). The tool will make your jobanalyzing these files much easier.
As you can see there are many tools available for manydifferent purposes. The one you choose depends on what kind of problems you’rehaving.
The list above should help you decide which one to downloadand use to fix whatever Windows problems you may be having.