PC-Technician™ PC Diagnostics
Version 3.53
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Product Description

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PC-Technician™ | PC-Diagnosys™ | About

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Product Description

Powerful and Reliable

PC-Technician Professional-Level PC Diagnostic Software is a very powerful and reliable diskette-based diagnostic "tool" for troubleshooting desktop PCs.

First released in 1984, PC-Technician has been continually enhanced and fine-tuned over the years to help service and support personnel quickly and reliably diagnose a malfunctioning personal computer system. Hardware problems, and hardware vs. software issues, can be identified and resolved accurately and economically.

Choice of Professionals

PC-Technician is the overwhelming choice of most of the world's largest service and support organizations because they need a diagnostic tool that really finds "hardware" problems. This is significant because they have made their decision to use PC-Technician after thorough comparative testing in controlled laboratory environments using known bad parts from their repair depot operations.

PC-Technician customers include service leaders like AT&T Corp, NCR Corp, Unisys Corp, Xerox Corp, Wang Labs, Eastman Kodak, Honeywell IAC, Fujitsu-ICL, GTE Corp, etc.

The "Stand-Alone" Advantage

PC-Technician is a "Stand-Alone" diagnostic program that has its own proprietary self-booting operating system. Simply turn the target PC off, insert the PC-Technician Program Diskette into Drive A, turn the target PC on, and PC-Technician will boot and take complete control of the target PC. This "Stand-Alone" advantage allows PC-Technician to operate directly on the PC's hardware without interference from the target system's native operating system. Thus precise and highly reliable test results are consistently achieved.

In contrast, most other utility and diagnostic software products operate as an application program "under" the native operating system (DOS/Windows/etc.). Some even have to be installed on the fixed disk before you can use them. While this approach is effective for software and hardware "configuration" issues, attempting to diagnose "hardware malfunctions" through all the various layers of operating system and application software dramatically affects the quality and reliability of the tests.

High-Precision Tool

"Windsor has the product to beat in this category. No other product can beat PC-Technician in all the different tests.... For all-around, full-system diagnostics, this is the best on the market...." Service News Magazine

PC-Technician is the high-precision diagnostic software "tool preferred by service and support professionals because:

  • PC-Technician uses its own proprietary operating system and is self-loading. This allows it to:
    • Boot and troubleshoot a malfunctioning PC system regardless of its native operating system (DOS, Windows, Unix, Linux, OS/2, etc.). You can even troubleshoot a PC with no fixed disk drive!
    • Produce precise and reliable test results that are unaltered by the native operating system (error handling, retries, filtering, overhead, etc.).
    • Eliminate the false positives and negatives so common with DOS/Windows-based utility-type diagnostic products.
  • PC-Technician is written in assembly language, thus it:
    • Is very small and compact, executes much faster, and produces extremely precise and reliable test results.
    • Uses less than 200K of main memory when loaded. In fact, once the main menu appears PC-Technician's SYSTEM Diskette is no longer required. It can be removed and used to troubleshoot, or burn-in, other PC's.
    • Is capable of program relocation during memory testing. Thus, all of main memory can be tested. This is not possible with the much larger DOS/Windows-dependent programs, written in C, that use most, or all, of main memory when loaded.
  • PC-Technician utilizes its own custom device drivers so that diagnostic routines interact directly with the PC's hardware. This ensures precise and reliable test results. Conversely, most operating system-dependent diagnostics must rely on the use of hardware drivers on the target system to exercise much of the hardware.
  • PC-Technician bypasses standard ROM BIOS routines when they fail to provide an exact picture of the hardware. For example, most IDE fixed disk drives go into "translation mode" to bypass limitations in earlier hardware/software design. This translation mode masks the true information from the ROM BIOS. For accuracy, PC-Technician accesses information directly from the controller and fixed disk drive. If this technique is not used, unpredictable/unreliable results can occur.

Thorough and Very Reliable Tests

A PC-Technician SYSTEM Diskette contains multiple diagnostic programs in compressed format. Each program is custom written for a specific microprocessor/bus combination. As PC-Technician loads, the microprocessor/bus combination of the target system is analyzed, and only the appropriate diagnostic program for that system is expanded and loaded into main memory.

Over 200 of the most rigorous tests and functions are then available for testing Main Memory, Extended Memory, Expanded Memory, Fixed Disk Drives (EIDE, IDE, SCSI, ESDI, ST506/412), Diskette Drives, Video Displays and Adapters, Serial and Parallel Interfaces, and Keyboards. Extensive error code information is generated and logged. The Error Log can be viewed or printed.

Tests and Functions

A brief overview of PC-Technician's tests and functions follows. All tests can be run in single pass or continuous mode.

Note: The availability of individual tests is dependent upon the type of PC being tested.

Note: four asterisks (****) after a test or function indicates that it is unique to PC-Technician and is not available in PC-Diagnosys.

  • Configuration Function
    • Current Configuration
    • CPU Speed Test
    • MMX Extensions Test
    • BIOS Information
    • BIOS Checksum Test
    • Switch Positions ****
    • System Memory Size
    • Extended Memory Size
    • Expanded Memory Size
    • CMOS Configuration
    • Edit CMOS settings ****
  • Certification Tests (Quick System Check)
    • Abbreviated System Test ****
    • Extensive System Test ****
    • System Board Test
    • Math Coprocessor Test
    • Main Memory Test
    • Extended Memory Test
    • Expanded Memory Test ****
    • Diskette Drives Test
    • Fixed Disk Drives Test
    • Serial Port Input/Output Test ****
    • Parallel Port Input/Output Test ****
  • Parallel Port Tests (LPT1, LPT2 & LPT3)
    • Interface (Signal Loopback) Test ****
    • Send the ASCII Character Set to a Printer Test ****
    • Echo the Keys Pressed to a Printer Test ****
    • Monitor Handshake and Data Signals While Printing Test
    • Monitor Status Signals from a Printer Test ****
    • Data Test ****
    • Control Test ****
    • Interface Status Test ****
  • Serial Port Tests (COM 1, COM2, COM3, COM4 & up to 64 user-defined port addresses)
    • Internal Operations Test
    • External Operations Test ****
    • Transmitter Test ****
    • Receiver Test ****
    • Data Test ****
    • External/Internal Control Line Tests) ****
  • Diskette Drive Tests (drives A & B)
    • Rotational Timing Test
    • Seek/Read Test
    • Write-Protect Verification Test ****
    • Read Only Test
    • Format Test ****
    • Write/Read/Verify Test ****
    • Select Testing Range Function ****
  • Fixed Disk Tests (drives 0, 1, 2 & 3) - Up to 2000 Gigabytes!
    • Controller Test
    • Seek (Hysteresis) Test
    • Surface Analysis (Read and Verify ECC/CRC) Test
    • Find Optimum Interleave Test ****
    • Low-Level Format - Conditional (Preserve Bad Tracks) ****
    • Low-Level Format - Unconditional ****
    • Media Analysis (Write/Read/Verify) Test ****
    • Find Previously Marked Bad Tracks Function ****
    • Edit and/or Mark Bad Tracks Function ****
    • Reassign Blocks Function ****
    • Select Testing Range Function ****
    • Park the Disk Heads Function ****
  • Main Memory Tests
    • Abbreviated Memory Test ****
    • Extensive Memory Test ****
    • Allzeroes Test (includes Parity Module Test)
    • Allones Test (includes Parity Module Test)
    • Checkerboard Test (includes Parity Module Test)
    • Address Test (includes Parity Module Test)
    • Marching Ones Test (includes Parity Module Test) ****
    • Walking Ones Test (includes Parity Module Test)
    • Select Memory Testing Range Function ****

Note: when any of the Main Memory Tests are run, PC-Technician can be relocated on each pass (from the lower portion of main memory to the upper portion of main memory and then back again). This insures that ALL of main memory is rigorously tested. This unequaled ability to test the lower portion of main memory (that is normally occupied by the operating system and operating system dependent programs) is vitally important because this is the most used portion of memory and, therefore, the most likely area to fail.

  • Extended Memory Tests - Up to 4 Gigabytes!
    • Abbreviated Memory Test ****
    • Extensive Memory Test ****
    • Allzeroes Test (includes Parity Module Test)
    • Allones Test (includes Parity Module Test)
    • Checkerboard Test (includes Parity Module Test)
    • Address Test (includes Parity Module Test)
    • Marching Ones Test (includes Parity Module Test) ****
    • Walking Ones Test (includes Parity Module Test)
    • Select Memory Testing Range Function ****
  • Keyboard Tests ****
    • PC-Style Keyboard Test (10 Function Keys)
    • Enhanced Keyboard Test (12 Function Keys)
    • AT-Style Keyboard (10 Function Keys)
    • 102-Key Enhanced Keyboard (European Distribution)
    • NCR PC-8 Keyboard (30 Function Keys)
  • Video Alignment Aids
    • Cross-Hatch Pattern
    • Dot Pattern
    • Vertical Bars Pattern
    • Horizontal Bars Pattern
    • Text Color Chart
  • Video Adapter Tests
    • Verify Screen Memory Test
    • Character Set Test
    • Video Attributes Test
    • Fill Display Test
    • Cursor Addressing Test
    • Video Memory Test
    • Hi-Res Color Test
    • Text Resolution Test
  • Error Log Function ****
    • Display Error Log
    • Print Error Log
    • Clear Error Log

PC-Technician supports desktop PCs that use Intel Pentium 4, Pentium III, Pentium II, Pentium Pro, Pentium, i486, 80386, 80286****, 8088****, 8086****, and compatible AMD and Cyrix processors with Industry Standard Architecture (ISA), Enhanced Industry Standard Architecture (EISA), Micro Channel Architecture (MCA), VESA Local Bus (VLB), and Peripheral Component Inter-connect (PCI) bus configurations.

Note: four asterisks (****) after a test or function above indicates that it is unique to PC-Technician and is not available in PC-Diagnosys.

PC-Technician will test all speeds, sizes and types of memory including RDRAM and DDR SDRAM.

What Doesn't PC-Technician Do?

Now for the next logical question, "what doesn't PC-Technician do"?

As stated earlier, PC-Technician, with its own boot-loader and operating system, is a highly specialized diagnostic software "tool" that provides superior "hardware" testing because the target system's native operating system is never used or called into memory.

Thus, PC-Technician can directly test major system components such as memory, fixed disk drives, diskette drives, serial & parallel ports, video, keyboard, etc. False positives and false negatives that can be induced by the system's native operating system are eliminated.

However, since the PC's native operating system is not available to PC-Technician, it cannot use the operating system's functions or interact with the various devices that, due to their proprietary design, are not supported by the PC's BIOS. Examples include pointing devices, CD-ROM drives, sound cards, network cards, etc. These devices require the availability of their own special native operating system-based software drivers and only a utility that runs under the target system's native operating system can see and interact with these drivers.

Since numerous operating system-based diagnostic utilities have always been available to see, exercise and resolve conflicts with these devices, PC-Technician has remained specialized in doing what it does best - directly and rigorously test the PC's basic hardware.

Our customers recognize this and use PC-Technician in conjunction with, not instead of, operating system dependent products such as Norton Utilities, BCM Diagnostics Pro, PC-Doctor, CheckIt Pro, etc. They use PC-Technician to reliably test the system's basic "hardware" and DOS/Windows-based utility products for help with configuration issues and conflicts.

Ease of Use

PC-Technician is extremely easy to learn because of its user-friendly, menu-driven structure. Service and support people, regardless of their experience level, can quickly zero in on the problem and repair or replace only the defective system component (instead of replacing good parts in a blind attempt to solve the problem by parts swapping).

Technical Support

All Windsor Technologies' products come with free, unlimited, lifetime technical support during normal business hours via e-mail, phone, fax, or mail.

Complete Diagnostic System - Includes TEST Plugs

PC-Technician is distributed on 3.5" (1.44MB) and 5.25" (1.2MB) SYSTEM Diskettes. Low capacity 3.5" (720K) and 5.25" (360K) SYSTEM Diskettes are optionally available for a nominal charge for troubleshooting older PCs with standard capacity 720K/360K diskette drives.

In addition, since the SYSTEM Diskettes never need to be written to, they can be permanently write-protected. Therefore, the PC-Technician SYSTEM Diskettes cannot be infected by a virus or be a virus carrier to other systems.

PC-Technician comes complete with a set of parallel port and serial port signal loopback TEST Plugs (one 25-pin parallel, one 9-pin serial & one 25-pin serial) and a 100+ page User Handbook. It is packaged in a rugged high-impact plastic carrying case suitable for field use.

Additional sets of TEST Plugs are available to PC-Technician licensees at $29.50 per set (postage paid) in the USA, or $34.50 per set (postage paid) outside the USA, when ordered from our automated "online" ordering system using a VISA, MC, AMEX or Discover credit card.

The PC-Technician TEST Plugs Credit Card Order Page is located at:

TEST Plugs Orders

"Packaged" Upgrade Information for New Version 3.53

Once you license PC-Technician you are eligible to buy upgrades for life. For your convenience, upgrades are always totally backward compatible so you never have to worry about using your old SYSTEM Diskettes with your new SYSTEM Diskettes.

There is usually one upgrade per year or whenever support is added for major new hardware.

For example, new version 3.53, adds support for:

  • Unlimited Memory Testing. Will now identify and test ANY amount of memory.
  • Unlimited Hard Drive Testing. Will now identify and test ANY size hard drive. The drive(s) can be located on the Primary IDE Channel, Secondary IDE Channel, and/or attached to a supported SCSI host adapter (see below).
  • Testing SCSI Drives. Any SCSI drive can now be tested provided its host adapter's BIOS supports INT13h and drive counting located at 4075 in the BIOS data area.
  • Testing Up To 4 Hard Drives Per PC. Will now test up to 4 IDE, EIDE and/or SCSI hard drives per PC.

"Any" older version of PC-Technician can be upgraded to version 3.53. To upgrade, all we need is one Serial Number from your current product with your order (there is a unique serial number on each original SYSTEM Diskette label).

A PC-Technician upgrade consists of a new set of 3.5" (1.44MB) and 5.25" (1.2MB) SYSTEM Diskettes and a new 100+ page User Handbook.

The cost of a PC-Technician, version 3.53, upgrade is only $75.00 plus shipping and handling. Click on Ordering Information for shipping options and charges.

new-yel-blk.gif (1333 bytes) "Downloadable" Upgrade for New Version 3.53

Alternatively, PC-Technician licensees can now "download" a PC-Technician, version 3.53, upgrade from our automated online ordering system for only $24.95 using a VISA, MC, AMEX or Discover credit card. An updated User Handbook is included in the download file. The file is 731KB and it takes approximately 3-4 minutes to download it with a 28.8/33.3 modem.

The price for a downloadable upgrade is lower than a packaged upgrade because with its automated ordering and download system, the cost of sales and cost of goods is dramatically lower, and we decided to pass on those cost savings to our online customers!

Click on PC-Technician Upgrade for complete online ordering details.

Unconditional Guarantee

We believe PC-Technician is an outstanding diagnostic value that, over time, will greatly benefit anyone who uses it. And we are so confident our customers will agree, that it comes with an absolutely "Unconditional" 90-Day, Money-Back Guarantee! That's right, you have 3 months to decide if YOU are satisfied.

Please beware of so called "Performance Guarantees" that abound on the Web where in the fine print it states that the SELLER decides if their product can be returned or not. These are usually offered by marketing organizations who won't even give you a price until you give them your phone number.

Let's face it, if a company doesn't have enough faith in their product to offer an "unconditional" guarantee, or even list its price on their Web page, why should you bear all the risk?

A Welcome Addition To Your Tool Bag

In conclusion, a professional support/service person's tool bag is always full of "specialized" tools because they do a much better job than "multi-purpose" tools. For this same reason, no single diagnostic "software" tool is appropriate for all PC troubleshooting situations. That is why you need more than one diagnostic software "tool" in you tool bag.

Due to the lack of industry standards and the overwhelming number of different PC hardware manufacturers and configurations, no PC diagnostic software product will find ALL hardware problems. But over time PC-Technician will find many more "hardware" problems than operating system dependent products.

To quote Service News, is "PC-Technician ...the best diagnostic product of its type," ? Why not try it for yourself? We believe that our unconditional, 90-day, money-back guarantee provides ample time for you to use it in a situation where it will prove its worth.

Affordably Priced

PC-Technician is one of the best diagnostic values available. A full product costs only $195.00. (See: Web Surfer Special Offer - To Save $100!))

In addition, generous volume, educational, and reseller discounts off of list price are available upon request.

No service or support person's tool box is complete without it,
click here to order your PC-Technician "Risk-Free" today!

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Windsor Technologies, Inc.
25 Bellam Blvd, Suite 250
San Rafael, CA 94901-4768 USA
phn (415) 456-2200 ~ fax (415) 456-2244
http://www.windsortech.com ~ http://www.tufftest.com

Send e-mail to us at: sales@windsortech.com

This site established 01-Nov-1996
Last Updated 20-Oct-2005

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