Advanced tool package administers complete physical to PC

Pros and cons: + Nice collection of PC diagnostic tools + Comprehensive testing for most components – Needs better documentation Master the esoteric art of PC troubleshooting, and awe the users who benefit from your skill. The secret is perseverance and patience. When PC technicians stand beside a dead or frozen machine, they run through a checklist that differs slightly from machine to machine. But it always involves painstaking checks of cables, settings

Pros and cons:
+    Nice collection of PC diagnostic tools
+    Comprehensive testing for most
    components
–    Needs better documentation


Master the esoteric art of PC troubleshooting, and awe the users who benefit from your
skill. The secret is perseverance and patience.


When PC technicians stand beside a dead or frozen machine, they run through a checklist
that differs slightly from machine to machine. But it always involves painstaking checks
of cables, settings and other variables.


The GCN Lab recently tested a set of tools that speed up this process. The package,
Trinitech Inc.’s Omni Kit, consists of the Omni Analyzer card, PC Check and
ExperTrace software, plus parallel and serial port loopback testers, all bundled in a
convenient leather case.


Omni Analyzer is an ISA card that plugs into any open ISA slot on the sick PC’s
motherboard. Even if the PC won’t boot, Omni Analyzer can capture POST messages and
run a series of diagnostic tests. It gives a rundown of the parameters, including chip
speed, amount of detected memory and interrupt request addresses.


I tried the card in some of the GCN Lab’s older, more troublesome machines and
found that, after identifying a component’s manufacturer, I could access the industry
database stored in the card’s firmware to obtain technical support numbers and Web
sites. This is a great help for technicians who work in the field and don’t have
vendor contact information on hand.


The card’s digital readout displays power supply status. A number of LEDs indicate
the health of the motherboard as well as disk and interrupt-request activity.


Because there are still quite a few older PCs with ISA cards around, IRQ conflict
diagnostics present a problem for many support personnel. Operating systems such as
Microsoft Windows 9x don’t do real-time reporting of IRQ usage. Omni Analyzer’s
IRQ LEDs show when and where such conflicts are occurring. Other LEDs monitor
direct-memory-access channel use.


The board’s diagnostics are firmware-based and can be updated as new technology
becomes available.


Omni Analyzer is platform-independent, working with Intel Corp. CPUs from the original
8088 up through the Pentium Pro. It also can handle CPUs, including those with MMX
extensions, from Cyrix Corp. of Richardson, Texas; Advanced Micro Devices Inc. of
Sunnyvale, Calif.; and IBM Corp. The diagnostics engage before the OS loads, so Omni
Analyzer can do its job regardless of whether the sick system has MS-DOS, OS/2, Windows
NT, Unix or another OS installed.


The ExperTrace software is simply a bootable floppy disk version of Omni
Analyzer’s firmware diagnostics for notebook computers and other systems that cannot
accept the ISA diagnostics card.


The PC Check software does more advanced diagnostics like those of vendor utilities for
burn-in testing of processors, motherboards, storage components, memory, video, input
devices, printers and SCSI drives.


The hard-drive and CD-ROM tests yield performance numbers to indicate what kind of
performance to expect. The kit’s loopback connectors help in diagnosing input/output
problems. The parallel connector even has LEDs to indicate which pins are active.


Any one of these tools would be valuable to a PC technician; together they add up to a
pretty complete tool kit, even for enterprise use. It will cut the time a technician has
to spend on each sick machine and get the users back to work faster.


One downside: Some of the Omni Kit’s documentation is quite old. Company employees
told me new documentation would be coming soon, so check whether it’s available
before you order.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.