Finally, a book for hardware diagnostics-and-utilities junkies. If you've ever wished you had a utility for performing a burn-in on a new system, swapping one IRQ assignment for another, testing an on-board speaker, verifying the performance of a parallel port, or any of a hundred other hardware-related tasks, get this book. Its accompanying CD-ROM comes packed with scores of programs (mostly shareware) that do these tasks and many others.
On the CD-ROM, don't look for a lot of SCSI optimization utilities or Fibre Channel diagnostics. Bigelow focuses his effort on programs that make simple, common tasks easier. A word of caution: Some of the utilities here also make it really easy to render your computer inoperable, so be careful! The text mainly takes the form of documentation for the utilities and diagnostics on the CD, including charts of command-line switches.
One might argue that in the age of Plug-and-Play, when operating systems are supposed to identify and resolve hardware conflicts and inefficiencies, command-line problem-solvers such as the ones included with this book would be obsolete. Not so. Windows NT still doesn't support Plug-and-Play, and Windows 95 doesn't always get things right. Those facts, along with the fact that most computer professionals have to support old machines, guarantee that this book will be relevant for some time.
From the Back Cover
Here's the ultimate PC diagnostic software compendium! 100+ ready-to-use tools on CD-ROM, with expert how-to, when-to guidance for each. There are many freeware and shareware programs that can help you pinpoint PC problems more quickly and realiably, but they're not always easy to find-and many of them include minimal doucmentation, or presume a level of expertise that you may not have. Problems solved! This unique book/CD-ROM set gives you instant access to more than 100 freeware and shareware programs on the companion CD-ROM-and explains exactly why, when, and how to use them. These programs do essentially the same job as commercially available applications, costing many hundreds of dollars more, but are provided here for you far more conveniently, economically, and above all, usefully. The toolkit will enhance your ability to: Test the motherboard, chipsets, and support circuitry; Pinpoint problems with ports, controller cards, and video adapters; Clean and align floppy drives; Make sure your monitor is "pixel-perfect"; Monitor CD-ROM and hard drive performance; Troubleshoot peripherals; Detect and remove computer viruses; Perform regular system maintenance and backup procedures; Fine-tune systems for optimum performance. With its terrific set of ready-to-use tools, expert guidance regarding the purpose and use of each, time-saving tips and practical "symptom-oriented" approach, Bigelow's Computer Repair Toolkit is an essential addition to any PC repair technician's troubleshooting "bag of tricks."