tutorials

Mac Tips Daily! # 211 - Apple Hardware Test

If you are having erratic behavior on your Mac (kernel panics, frequent crashes, etc), it could be a hardware related issue. All Macs since 2000 come with a Hardware Test disc. I have seen different variations: stand alone disc or included on the Software Install disc. The hardware test can check internal components of your mac, such as the logic board, memory, modems, etc. Dvd80X80 It doesn't check any 3rd party peripherals, only what is built into your mac. Here is how to use it: First, locate the Hardware Test Disc. Read the front of it, and it should say how to boot your Mac with it. Normally, it will tell you to hold down the C or D key while booting, but you may need to boot it in a different way - follow the directions on the disc. Note the correct way to do it. On some older Macs, I have seen where you need to hold down the OPTION key when your mac boots. This will start the boot manager, and you can choose the CD/DVD to boot. One of the above methods should work for you. Now, Insert it into your drive, and shut down your Mac. Disconnect all peripherals, except your keyboard and mouse. Follow the boot-up method listed above. Once you boot into the Hardware Test, Follow the directions on the screen. It will do a quick test, unless you choose 'Extended Test'. This test take a considerable amount of time, which is determined by the speed of your machine, how much memory you have, etc. It's actually a good idea to run this one several times, especially overnight if you can. There is a looping mode you can use to make this occur. Ram problems are especially tricky, and may not appear as a failure after just one run. During the test, you may notice that your screen will blank, fans speed up, etc. This is all normal. When the hardware test is done, it will show a No trouble Found message, or it will give you an error code. If you receive an error code, be sure to write this down, and then you can give it to Apple Care or whoever supports your Mac. Once the test is done, select Shut Down. Now, re-attach any devices you removed before running the hardware test, and then press the Power button on your mac to turn it back on. For more info on this, check these Apple Documents. Intel Mac Hardware Test Apple Hardware Test