Originally Posted by jarlmaster
I've always wondered why computers can't just tell you what's wrong in a more obvious manner. They produce error codes, debug logs, etc. but you have to have a good amount of coding knowledge to make sense of them (debug logs in particular). Most of the time when you look up a blue screen error code online it doesn't even tell you anything useful.
Why can't there be a program that scans your computer and reports driver conflicts, runtime errors, OS errors, etc.? I understand that that may be very complicated but it seems within the realm of possibility. I also am aware that computers do debug themselves to a degree. I'm sure software engineers could develop self-correcting programs
I think it would be well within the realms of possibilty to do this. With any peice of electronic equipment, or vehicle and other commodities for that matter, it is perfectly possible to make an item that would last forever. But if that item does last forever when the manufacturer has sold his 10 billion items or whatever it is then he goes bust because nobody will buy a new one whilst the old one is performing so well. I could do what I do now on this all singing all modern up to date computer perfectly well on my old Amiga 500. I am not a gamer and I will concede that someone who plays high end games would need something a bit faster. Having said that I did play games on my Amiga and some of those games were quite graphically intensive for the time. I would think that 90% of computer users only write the odd email or letter or surf the net on their computers and my Amiga was perfectly capable of doing that and still would be if I still had it.
I do not find a need for diagnostic programs as such to be honest. I, generally, know what is causing a problem with the vast majority of computers that I get for repair. The blue screen of death is, in my opinion, an extremely good diagnostics aid. If I Google the error code it invariably comes up with, at least a pointer if not an answer. All of the major hard disk manufacturers have disk diagnostic programs although I find the quickest way to see if a HDD is playing up is to substitute it with a known good one. I have never ever found any need to use a debug program. If a program has become unuseable it is because either the program itself has become corrupted in which case I would repair or reinstall that program and that does include Windows, or the bit of the HDD that the program is on has become faulty. If I was writing programs then I would have to use a debugger but then I would have a full understanding of coding or I would have the relevant literature near at hand. I am not a programmer therefore I do not need any of those aids.
There is also the fact of "inbuilt obsolescence". This is not a myth. Manufacturers do build their products with the intention of them breaking down eventually. How many times have you had an item that has packed up just after the guarantee runs out. I am sure that manufacturers cannot build something that breaks down to order but they do design their products to last for the time of the guarantee at least and after that they do not care what happens and in fact hope that the item does break down and you or I will have to buy a new one.
So in summary (LOL) computers do tell you whats wrong providing Windows is still working. There are bootable diagnostic programs that you can use if the computer will not boot off the HDD such as Hiram's Boot Disk and Ultimate Boot Disk. These are somewhat usefull but mostly it is down to experience and using the diagnostics included in Windows and also having enough bits and pieces kicking around in your workshop to be able to substitute and temporarily bodge things to an extent.