Dell Diagnostics tests the hardware functions of a Dell computer. Whether working with an Inspiron 1720 or any other Dell machine, the diagnostics program starts the same. Tests include determining the functionality of the motherboard, hard drive, keyboard and display. This is a great utility if you are having errors, lockups or other problems with your computer. Dell Diagnostics is located on a hidden partition on your hard drive. It can be started from your hard drive or from the Drivers and Utilities disk that comes with the computer.
Disconnect all external devices connected to the computer. Disconnect or undock it if it is connected to a docking station. Disconnect the power cord from the surge protector and plug it directly into a working wall outlet.
Turn off the computer.
Power the computer on. The "DELL" logo will appear on the screen. Tap the "F12" key on top of your keyboard as soon as the "DELL" logo appears. A boot menu will now appear. Note: If you wait too long and the Microsoft Windows appears, restart the computer and try again.
If the boot menu does not appear after several tries, proceed to Section 2 for an alternate method. If the boot menu does appear, continue with next step.
Use the arrow keys on your keyboard to select "Diagnostics" from the boot menu. Press "Enter."
Answer any questions that appear during this process. Follow the on-screen directions to continue through all tests. Write down any error codes.
Contact Dell with the error codes if the diagnostics can't correct it.
Shut the computer completely off.
Press and hold the "Fn" key on the left side of the keyboard. Press the power button on the computer to turn it on while continuing to hold the "Fn" key. Note: If you see a message stating that no diagnostics utility partition has been found, run Dell Diagnostics from your Drivers and Utilities media. Skip to section 3 for instructions.
Answer any questions that appear during this process. The computer will run a series of tests of the hardware in your computer.
If a failure is detected, the computer stops and beeps. Press "N" to stop the assessment and restart the computer. Press "Y" to continue to the next text. Press "R" to retest the component that failed.
Write down the error code of any device or test that fails. Contact Dell with the error codes if the diagnostics can't correct it.
Insert your Drivers and Utilities CD. Shut down and restart the computer.
Tap "F12" immediately when the "DELL" logo appears. At the boot menu, use the arrow keys to highlight the CD/DVD drive, and then press "Enter."
Select "Boot from CD-ROM" option from the menu that appears, then press "Enter."
Type "1" to start the Drivers and Utilities menu, then press "Enter." Select "Run the 32 Bit Dell Diagnostics" from the numbered list. If multiple versions are listed, select the version appropriate for your computer.
Select the test you want to run at the Dell Diagnostics Main Menu.
After all tests have completed, close the test window to return to the Diagnostics Main Menu.
Remove your Drivers and Utilities CD. Close the Main Menu to exit Dell Diagnostics. Restart the computer.
Write down any error codes that exists. Contact Dell Technical Support for more information on the error codes.
Dell Diagnostics only operates on Dell computers. Write down any error codes and problem descriptions exactly as they appear and follow the instructions on the screen.
Keyboard failure may result when a key on the keyboard is held down for extended periods of time. To avoid possible keyboard failure, press and release "F12" in even intervals until the boot device menu appears.