Dell Diagnostic Tools to Diagnose and Fix Hardware Problems on Your Dell Computer, Tablet, or Servers

Summary: This article provides information about the different types of hardware diagnostic tools available on Dell computers, tablets, or servers. Find step-by-step instructions to run aSee more

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Article Content


Symptoms

When your Dell computer, tablet, or server does not seem to be working correctly, diagnostic utilities are available to help you identify a potential hardware issue.

Table of contents

Cause

Running a hardware diagnostics test helps identify a potential hardware failure. It is an essential part of the troubleshooting process.

Resolution

How to run a built-in or offline diagnostic test (also called preboot system assessment)

Dell computers and tablets have a built-in or offline diagnostic utility such as SupportAssist Pre-Boot System Performance Check and other preboot system assessments (PSA or ePSA). The built-in or offline diagnostics test helps diagnose hardware issues and capture error codes. Preboot diagnostics helps test your system hardware without using the operating system. If the operating system will not start but your system turns on, you can run the preboot diagnostics to test your hardware outside of the operating system. Preboot system assessment does not require an active internet connection.

  1. Turn on the Dell computer.
  2. At the Dell logo screen, press F12 key several times to enter One-time Boot Menu.
  3. Use the arrow keys to select Diagnostics and press the Enter key on the keyboard.
  4. Follow the on-screen prompts and respond appropriately to complete the diagnostics.
  5. If the test passes, the hardware devices are working correctly.
  6. If the test fails, write down the error code and validation code. Browse to the SupportAssist Pre-Boot System Performance Check page to get more information about the error code.

How to run an online diagnostic test using SupportAssist

Dell's online diagnostic test helps you scan the computer, recommend troubleshooting steps, get automated fixes, and order replacement parts. The online diagnostics test uses SupportAssist application to scan the hardware.

NOTE: The online replacement part service depends on the warranty coverage of your Dell product. This service is available in select countries.
  1. Browse to the Dell.com/support website.
  2. Identify your Dell product.
    • Click Download & Install SupportAssist to auto-detect your Dell product. Follow the on-screen instructions to install Dell SupportAssist. For more information, see the Dell knowledge base article Dell SupportAssist (formerly Dell System Detect): Overview and Common Questions.
    • Or, enter the Service Tag, Express Service Code, or the Serial number of the Dell product and click Search.
    • Or, click Browse all products to manually select your Dell product from the catalog.
  3. Click the Diagnostics tab.
  4. Choose to run one of the diagnostic tests:
    • Run a quick Test - Run a quick test when you notice issues such as system is slow or does not respond, hard drive errors, system is making noise, system is freezing or randomly restarting, files will not open and so on. The quick test includes components that are most likely to cause issues, such as hard drive or memory. If an error is detected, we will fix it automatically, suggest troubleshooting steps, recommend further tests or help you get compatible replacement parts. Quick test will take approximately 10 minutes to complete.
    • Run a full Test - Run a full test to perform a thorough analysis of your Dell computer or tablet. This test runs a stress test on all the hardware devices on your Dell computer or tablet. This test will take approximately 40 minutes or more to complete.
    • Run a Custom Component Test - Custom Component Test allows you to select one or more devices that you want to test. We will combine your selection into a single test to run. This test will take approximately 20 minutes or more to complete, depending on the selected hardware devices.
NOTE: SupportAssist is required to identify your Dell device and run a diagnostic test. Follow the on-screen instructions to download and install Dell SupportAssist app and Dell SupportAssist. To learn more, see Dell SupportAssist (formerly Dell System Detect): Overview and Common Questions and Dell SupportAssist.
NOTE: You must have administrator privileges to install SupportAssist.
NOTE: Some diagnostic tests may display graphical patterns to test the video or display and some status dialog box that may require your response. The diagnostic test results may show incorrectly if there is no response that is provided when required.

Diagnostic tools for Enterprise products

Dell SupportAssist for enterprise systems (servers, storage, and networking)

SupportAssist Enterprise is our comprehensive and easy to use, proactive, and predictive, automated support technology. SupportAssist automatically identifies hardware faults, creates a case, and initiates contact from Dell EMC to the customer.

SupportAssist Enterprise monitors up to 15,000 server, storage, and networking devices. It can be used as a stand-alone application or with OpenManage Essentials (OME) or Microsoft System Center Operations Manager (SCOM). SupportAssist Enterprise can be downloaded on either a Windows or Linux management server.

For technical documents, videos or to ask questions go to our SupportAssist Community at Dell.com/SupportAssistGroup.

To learn more about different diagnostic tools available for servers, storage and networking products, go to our Servers, Storage, and Networking support library on how to run the online diagnostics.

Additional Information

Helpful resources

Frequently asked questions

Dell monitors are equipped with an integrated diagnostic tool that helps determine if the screen abnormality is an inherent problem with the Dell monitor.

Run the monitor built-in self-test (BIST) when you notice screen abnormalities like flickering, distortion, clarity issues, fuzzy or blurry image, horizontal or vertical lines, color fade, distorted image.

To learn more, see the Dell knowledge base article How to Run a Diagnostic Test on a Dell Monitor.

Dell laptops have a built-in diagnostic tool that helps determine if the screen abnormality is an inherent problem with the LCD screen of the Dell laptop, the video card (GPU), or the display settings on the computer. If you notice screen abnormalities like flickering, distortion, clarity issues, fuzzy or blurry images, horizontal or vertical lines, color fade, bubbles, it is a good practice to isolate the LCD screen by running a diagnostic test.

To learn more, see the Dell knowledge base article How to Run the LCD Built-in Self-Test on a Dell Laptop.

Older (retired or legacy) Dell computers such as Dimension, Studio, and more shipped with a utility partition on the hard drive that contains the legacy 32-bit Dell Diagnostic Utility, to help you determine any hardware issues.

NOTE: The 32-bit diagnostic utility is also available in the Resource CD or DVD that was shipped with the computer. Users can also boot to the CD or DVD to run the 32-bit diagnostic test.
NOTE: For Dell computers purchased after January 1, 2009, see the Dell Knowledge Base article Resolve Hardware Issues With Integrated and Online Diagnostics (SupportAssist ePSA, ePSA, or PSA Error Codes).

To run the built-in Dell 32-bit diagnostics, perform the following steps:

  1. Restart the computer.
  2. At the Dell logo screen, press F12 several times to enter One Time Boot Menu.
  3. In the One Time Boot Menu, select the Boot to Utility Partition or the Diagnostics option and then press Enter to start the legacy 32-bit Dell Diagnostics.
  4. Press the Tab key to select Test System and press Enter to continue to the legacy 32-bit Diagnostics.
    NOTE: Sometimes the preboot system assessment (PSA) diagnostics will run first. When you receive an error during the PSA diagnostics, see the Dell Knowledge Base article Resolve Hardware Issues With Integrated and Online Diagnostics (SupportAssist ePSA, ePSA, or PSA Error Codes).
  5. You will be given the option to go into the 32-bit Diagnostics. Press the N (No) or Y (Yes) key to continue into the legacy 32-bit Diagnostics, when you are asked to Continue Memory Tests.
    • Express Test will run a quick test of devices in the system. This typically can take 10-20 minutes.
    • Extended Test performs a thorough check of devices in the system. This typically can take an hour or more.
    • Custom Test used to test a specific device or customize the tests to be run. Exit to MS-DOS will exit the diagnostics to a command prompt.
    • Symptom Tree. This option lists the most common symptoms and allows you to select tests based on those symptoms.
      NOTE: Express Test is the only test that will not require user involvement.
NOTE: When the diagnostics produces an error, make a note of the error code and contact Dell Technical Support for further assistance.

SupportAssist proactively checks the health of your Dell computers hardware and software. When an issue is detected, SupportAssist notifies you. SupportAssist is preinstalled on all new Dell computers and tablets. If your Dell computer did not come with SupportAssist preinstalled or you want to reinstall SupportAssist, ensure that your device meets the minimum system requirements and download SupportAssist for PCs and Tablets.

How to run a hardware diagnostic test using SupportAssist?

  1. Click Start.
  2. Search for SupportAssist and open the application.
  3. Click the Troubleshooting tab and click to expand I want to troubleshoot my PC.
  4. To run a diagnostic test on a specific component, click I want to check a specific piece of hardware.
    1. From the list, click the component on which you want to run a hardware test.
    2. Follow the on-screen instructions and respond appropriately when prompted.
  5. To run a diagnostic test on the entire computer, click I want to scan my entire PC.
    1. Click Start.
    2. Follow the on-screen instructions and respond appropriately when prompted.

To learn more about SupportAssist, browse to the Dell SupportAssist for PC's and Tablets page.

Article Properties


Affected Product

Chromebox, Alienware, Inspiron, Retired Models, OptiPlex, Vostro, XPS, G Series, Chromebook, G Series, Alienware, Inspiron, Latitude, Vostro, XPS, Retired Models, PowerEdge, Legacy Server Models, Latitude Tablets, Surface, Venue, XPS TabletsChromebox, Alienware, Inspiron, Retired Models, OptiPlex, Vostro, XPS, G Series, Chromebook, G Series, Alienware, Inspiron, Latitude, Vostro, XPS, Retired Models, PowerEdge, Legacy Server Models, Latitude Tablets, Surface, Venue, XPS Tablets, Fixed Workstations, Mobile WorkstationsSee more

Last Published Date

07 Jul 2021

Version

7

Article Type

Solution

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