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I know how to check hard disk integrity, and how to check RAM integrity (with live cd), but is there a way to check if others hardware is working well or is broken?

For example graphic card, audio card, etc.. ?

I'm not trying to check in an hardware works well with ubuntu (aka driver question), i need to check if an hardware is broken or not

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I don't think you can. The OS has to be able to talk to the device to test it. RAM & hard disks are just standard enough that talking to not-broken ones is guaranteed, and hard disks have onboard diagnostic utilities, which drivers are implemented to understand. Checking hardware for which you have no could you do that? The OS wouldn't know what to do to test. And since you have to rely on drivers working to get accurate results, a driver bug will of course screw up the results too. – maco Aug 18 '10 at 19:51
How do you check hard disk and RAM integrity? Can you do it without a CD? – B Seven Oct 27 '11 at 13:35
up vote 6 down vote accepted

In System->Administration->System Testing there are a set of tests that check your system. They might not cover every piece of hardware but they do a decent job of getting the basics, network, sound, etc.

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This should check if an hardware (or driver) works correctly on ubuntu, not if an hardware is broken..or not? – Strae Aug 18 '10 at 17:44
If it doesn't work, then it's either a broken driver or broken hardware. I don't think an OS can determine on its own which it is. Comparing between two OSes (and I don't mean two distros) might though. – maco Aug 18 '10 at 18:04
In my case, on a old desktop the graphic card drivers seem to work, but the card itself seem to be damaged/broken in some way, it display black shadows around black items in the screen (its not a monitor problem, i tryed with differents monitors). So, how can i check if is really the graphic card, or something else? – Strae Aug 18 '10 at 21:35
By trying with a different OS and seeing if you can reproduce the problem – maco Aug 19 '10 at 5:35

You can test your sound stuff like this:


Completely contingent upon having working drivers though.

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You can check the health of your hard drive with System > Administration > Disk Utility

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... if it's S.M.A.R.T. capable, that is. – Nathan Osman Aug 18 '10 at 21:06
Are most new hard drives S.M.A.R.T. capable? I really don't know. I know that at least two of mine are. – mac9416 Aug 18 '10 at 22:25
Yes, but most USB enclosures don't pass SMART info, so it's only useful for internal disks. – maco Aug 19 '10 at 0:13

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