AMI – AMIDiag 6.11/Windows review

comprehensive diagnostics in DOS and Windows
Photo of AMI – AMIDiag 6.11/Windows
£89 + VAT

We reviewed an earlier version of AMIDiag (a DOS-only version) here. Although the actual product revision number has only moved on a little bit, from 6.0 to 6.11, this package contains some revolutionary changes.

But first, what is AMIDiag? It’s a diagnostics package that can identify and test a wide range of hardware components in a PC. It’s likely to be of particular interest to IT managers trying to identify components, track down faults and so on, but nerds like this reviewer are also interested. The number of hardware bits and bobs, even new ones, that aren’t adequately labelled (think sound cards, memory modules, motherboards, etc., etc.) is huge, so anything that helps identify that strange, dust-covered piece of silicon in the bottom drawer has to be of interest.

The DOS version is little changed since the previous version, although some of the tests have been enhanced and tweaked to handle faster clock speeds and a wider range of component manufacturers. It remains one of the most comprehensive diagnostics utilities we’ve ever seen. Probably the most comprehensive, in fact.

But new to this version of the product is a comprehensive Windows component, there in the box alongside the DOS program. This, to the purist, is something of an anathema. Using Windows to identify and test hardware components? Surely some mistake… But it seems to work, and work well, identifying the processor, memory, disk drives, graphics adapters, modem, network adapter and so on with little effort. It doesn’t always go into quite as much depth as the DOS-based tests, because of the extra software layer, but on the other hand it’s better at identifying potential conflicts in system processes, device drivers and suchlike.

Assuming you haven’t got telepathic powers, this is one of the best ways to identify and test some of the more obscure PC components (see the AMI Web site link below for an idea of just how many tests are available). You even get loop-back port plugs included in the box.

Company: AMI

Contact: 020 8848 8686


Verdict
Individually, the two AMIDiag components are impressive. Taken together, they represent a fantastically wide range of component identification and test tools. They could prove invaluable time-savers to the poor, hassled, IT fault-finder.