Every technician should carry a PCI diagnostic card. Computer troubleshooting can be a lengthy and expensive process–especially when a computer is completely dead. Sometimes using diagnostic tools is the only way to truly reveal a hardware problem at the board level. We find that using tools such as multi-meters and PCI Diagnostic cards save time and quickly pinpoint the root problem. A PCI diagnostic card in particular can be helpful to diagnose problems with the CPU, RAM and other board-level devices that would be almost impossible to figure out without trial and error.

Buy A PCI Diagnostic Card

PCI Diagnostic Card In Every Tech Bag

Fortunately, the cost of these cards has really come down in the past few years, so much so that normal users can afford them. If you have multiple PCs in the house and consider yourself an intermediate user, these cards can be useful for you. But certainly every tech should have this diagnostic tool in their computer tool case.

There are several good ones on the market, but our favorite cards are those that have the ribbon cable with the LED readout on the end. Since these cards plug into an open PCI slot, the ribbon cable allows you to easily see the error code. Some cards have the LED on the side of the card itself, which usually requires a tech use a mirror to read it.

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If you have any questions about PCI diagnostic cards, be sure to visit our free computer forums and discuss this topic with other geeks and technicians that have experience using this valuable tool.

Or read our other computer tools articles.

Having the right tool for the job is essential. These cards are great for diagnosing motherboard issues when no other clues are apparent. Another tip would be to laminate the quick reference codes so they do not get torn or damaged.