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AMIDiag Hardware Diagnostics Software Suite

AMIDiag Hardware Diagnostics Software Suite - PCSTATS
Abstract: AMI, who are better known for their BIOS chips and SCSI cards, have brought out a set of software tools to help diagnose computers on many levels.
Filed under: Software Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: AMI May 29 2001   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Software > AMI AMIDiag

Final Thoughts

Overall we were not very impressed with the windows version of AMIDiag for several reasons. It does have a rather useful "trouble ticket" application built in where all important information about a system can be collected and emailed to a service center. The trouble ticket is very detailed and should help any computer service rep identify major problems quickly. Apart from that the GUI is a little primitive and not something we would expect in commercial software. I'm sure as AMI develop their software the look and feel will improve greatly.

On the other hand, the DOS application is right up AMI's alley (looks like a BIOS GUI). In the DOS application, since Windows is not present there is a much wider range of tests which can be conducted. Where the Windows version is more about information gathering an reporting, the DOS version is almost entirely about various hardware tests.

I must say that after looking at the Windows application I was not expecting too much from the DOS version, but was pleasantly surprised to see a very useful set of tools. The tests range from identifying problems with keyboards, mice, video displays, and well.... all these:

  • CPU Tests
  • Memory Tests
  • BIOS ROM Tests
  • Multi-Processor Tests
  • System Board Tests
  • SMBus Tests
  • SCSI Device Tests
  • IDE Hard Drive Tests
  • IDE CD-ROM Tests
  • IDE DVD-ROM Tests
  • ATAPI Tapes
  • ATAPI, LS120, ZIP Drives
  • Floppy Disk Tests
  • Modem Tests
  • ISA Sound Card Tests
  • CardBus Controller Tests
  • COM Tests
  • Parallel Port Tests
  • Integrated Sound (Intel Chipsets)
  • Network Tests
  • PS/2 Keyboard Tests
  • Video Tests
  • ACPI Tests
  • SMI Tests
  • USB Tests
  • System Information

The main differences between this and programs like SiSoft Sandra are that no benchmarks are performed. Most of the test are along the lines of go-no go, and just report a pass or an error code.

The error codes can be looked up in a booklet which comes with the software. For example if we tested out memory out with some less than perfect RAM modules we might get a message like this: 0180h - wrote the pattern qqqqh at address xxxxxxxxh. The pattern read back from that address was pppph. With this knowledge we could check the book and see unfortunately that we should really just replace the RAM.

For those of you in the position of testing and diagnosing problems with computers on a day to day basis, software like this could be a very useful addition to your tool box.

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Contents of Article: AMI AMIDiag
 Pg 1.  AMIDiag Hardware Diagnostics Software Suite
 Pg 2.  — Final Thoughts

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