Testing A Computer System
Below are some basic examples of testing a computer system and it’s most commonly used functions such as running user accounts, using the internet, installing an office based software package, updating anti-virus software and, browsing the internet and installing peripherals.
Turn On Test
When a computer system successfully boots up into the operating system and is installed on the hard drive, It will then automatically log in to the default user profile. From this test, we can see that the hardware components and software are all working correctly as planned.
When you use the mouse pointer it moves, when selecting, commands are accepted and the system responds by opening graphical menus and default pre-installed applications. This is used whenever you either select, highlight or scroll.
Add User Profile
To allow the user access to the computer and also to check the operating system is functional we now must add a user profile to the system.To do this follow the simple steps as shown below.
- Find the Control Panel – This is found either as a desktop image or can be located using the desktop search.
- Add a user account to the system – This can simply be typed into the Control Panels search bar or within the User Accounts area.
- Create a new account – Once you find yourself in the User Accounts area it will give you the option to ‘Create a new account’ click on this option.
- Now Log Off and test your new user account.
I then tested the account by logging out as the default administrator and logging back in as the new TEST-HNC account. As you can see the computer has accepted the new user profiled and has allowed me to log on successfully. This means the operating system is functioning well and as normal.
Browse To The Internet
When testing whether a computer will browse out to an external site such as BBC News this is actually testing the operating systems ability to communicate with the network card/port, the network hardware, connection to the router and the router’s connection to the internet. All these functions can be tested by adding http://www.bbc.co.uk/news to the URL bar of the pre-installed browser Internet Explorer as shown to the left.
This shows that each segment of hardware and software as explained above is working and communicating with the necessary components and software to complete a networking task to the Internet.
Install & Run Open Office
Open office is a free office package full of applications such as a word processor, presentation creator and simple database tools. The installation and running of the software will test the operating systems ability to install applications successfully without, crashing, freezing or displaying unintended data or errors. The steps below to see how to install this software.
- Find the website that allows you to download this software and click download – I used the Apache Open Office homepage which can be found by typing it into a search engine such as Google.
- An installation preparation notification will give you the option to either cancel or proceed – Click next to proceed and cancel to stop the download.
- I then confirmed the options if I was happy with the settings – After this, an icon will be found on your desktop.
When complete the software started up as expected and was instantly usable. This confirms that the operating system can install and operate additional applications successfully.
Update Anti-Virus Scanner
After the Open Office installation, I installed Malware-Bytes which is a free Anti-Virus scanning tool to keep the system protected from virus threats and attacks. To test that this is working and keeping up-to-date I ran a database update as shown below. This tests that the known virus database is recent which allows my computer to be protected from the latest viruses.
Testing A Peripheral
Testing a peripheral such as a USB storage stick, test the ports in which the peripheral was plugged into then it also tests whether the operating system can communicate with it by installing drivers. The below screenshot illustrates a USB storage stick being plugged into the computer. The system recognises the device and installs the drivers. It then launches the autoplay tool. I then tested copying a large file to the device that it also completed. This shows that the motherboard and ports are working and can communicate the data to the processor and the operating system.