I thought that free burn-in software would be easier to find.
Every now and then I cobble a computer together from parts, or I have to diagnose a PC that is crashing from time to time. Unfortunately, even though a PC can boot, it doesn’t mean that it’s stable and ready to go. The tool for this job is burn-in software.
I used to use the free-as-in-beer version of SiSoft Sandra, but over the years it has gotten rather bloated. Anyway, SiSoft Sandra is more geared towards benchmarking a computer rather than stress testing.
Today, I found a great little tool that seems to do a good-enough job of testing the CPU and RAM – it also puts a modest amount of load on the hard drive.
The free tool that I am currently recommending: CPU Stability Test by Jouni Vuorio. It seems to run fine in all current versions of Microsoft Windows.
It’s a bit old, circa 2000, and I can’t find a current website for it… but it works. There are several “high-quality”, i.e. non-spammy, websites that host CPU Stability Test. Just Google for it if the link above goes stale.
There is still room to find a better free utility, but for now I’m satisfied. But, if you have other suggestions for free burn-in testing software, please leave a comment!
Update: A free utility for testing memory (i.e. looking for bad memory sticks) that runs inside Windows – http://hcidesign.com/memtest/. If you’ve got the ability to reboot the machine, then use Memtest86.