Buying a Used Laptop: This is How to Test the Computer’s Health

Do you want to learn how to check computer health before you buy one?

Research has found that 66% of Americans own at least two digital devices. After smartphones, laptops are the second-most common device people use.

If you’re on a budget, buying a used laptop is a great way to make the most out of that budget. However, you can’t always be sure a laptop’s health is what the seller promises. If you want to learn how to perform a computer health test, keep reading.

Confirm Its OS Is Genuine

Where the hardware is the physical body of your computer, the software is the brain. When you’re buying a computer, you want to make sure its OS is working, activated, and genuine. If you have a computer that doesn’t have licensed software, you’re likely to encounter bugs, viruses, and data leakage.

The end is coming for the Windows 7 Operating System (OS). Microsoft recommends buying PCs that are brand-new. However, if you’re fine with working on an old OS, you still have to check its legitimacy.

Get a Feel of Its Performance Speed

The performance of any computer depends on the RAM. If you don’t check the RAM before you buy the laptop, you may end up seeing the blue screen of death a lot. You may also see some problems when booting up your computer.

Do you want to learn how to check if RAM is bad?

Put aside 30 minutes or more of your time before you do because this takes a while. Next, use Memtest86+, a self-booting memory-testing software.

Know the HDD or SSD Health

A computer contains either a hard disk drive (HDD) or a solid-state drive (SSD). No matter which one the PC has, both function as a mass storage device and data reader/writer. These drives maintain your data even when your computer is off.

To check your SSD health, use apps like SSDlife. If you’re using an HDD, refer to HDSentitel. You’ll also need to see the manufacturer’s qualifications as a bad HDD.

Having a few IO errors on the record is okay. You don’t need to look for a different laptop yet. However, if there are too many bad sectors, look for other options.

You can also check a hard drive’s health by listening to it during startup. If you hear unusual noises from the laptop, it’s not healthy. You’ll also notice the computer slows down whenever you hear the noise.

Observe the CPU and GPU 

Whether you’re buying used CPU for work or play, you need to get one with healthy CPU and GPU. These are the core parts that do all the processing when you’re using the laptop. If neither of these is healthy, you’re off better buying a new computer instead.

Test your CPU by opening the CPU burner and pressing Start. If the computer shuts down, flickers, or hangs up without warning, you have a problem. This problem is either a fault in the hardware or not enough cooling.

Test your GPU while the computer is running. Do some games or open a few apps. If the screen distorts and flickers, your graphics card has a problem.

Some computers, especially low-end models, won’t have a dedicated GPU. The best way to maximize working on this is to set your resolution to 1270×720. If you have a medium- to a high-end computer, the best resolution for you is 1280×720 to 1920×1080.

When Buying a Used Laptop, Type a Pangram on It

Do you remember the quick brown fox that jumped over the lazy dog? This sentence that has all the letters in the alphabet in it is a pangram. When you’re buying a used laptop, you want to make sure all the keys on that device works.

It won’t sound like a big deal, but once you chat with friends, it will be one. You can try online tools like Keyboard Tester or try them all one by one. You want to make sure all keys work, even the Print Screen, F6, and especially the Power key.

Play Music and Take a Photo

Do you see yourself making a lot of video calls in the future? Will you watch movies or video content on your laptop? Even if you’re not likely to do either of those, you want to ensure the laptop’s camera and speakers work.

You don’t want to be ready to jam at home and find out only then that the speakers don’t work. Get a few songs that have a good range and play them on the laptop. In the same way, check that the laptop has a Cameras app for the webcam.

Look for Dead Pixels on the Screen

Speaking of watching movies, won’t it be annoying to see a film with dead pixels on your screen? Your screen displays red, green, and blue pixels to create an image. Dead pixels are tiny bits of the screen that don’t work anymore.

To check, you want to get online and look for tools that can find dead pixels. CheckPixels and Dead Pixels Test are great examples of these tools. Remember, when you test your screen for dead pixels on a browser, press F11 to enter full-screen mode.

Test All Ports and Inputs

All functions of a computer are important. That includes the ports and inputs, especially charging ports. While you’re on the task of testing the laptop, bring along a clean flash drive and headphones to test the ports with.

You don’t want a laptop with ports that don’t work. How else will you transfer files or open flash drives? You may also see these problems after buying a used computer if you didn’t check before paying for it.

Buy a Healthy Laptop With Confidence 

Now you know how to check a computer’s health when you’re buying a used laptop.

When you’re in the market for used computers, remember that not all are unhealthy or broken. Many sellers still offer those that work well and without issues. You only have to find them.

If you want to learn more or read on the best place to buy used PC parts, check out our blog. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to tell us about it.