Diagnosing vs Troubleshooting In Computers: Difference and Comparison

Computer issues and problems are normal. Some common computer issues include freezing the screen, slowing down of the computer, slow internet, strange noises, abnormality in the functioning of the OS, the screen going blank, etc.

Although these common issues may sound trivial, they signify a serious underlying problem that must be detected and solved soon. The most common terms involved in this include diagnosing and troubleshooting computers.

Key Takeaways

  1. Diagnosing involves identifying the root cause of a computer problem, while troubleshooting involves resolving the problem.
  2. Diagnosing is a more comprehensive process than troubleshooting.
  3. Diagnosing is done by a more experienced technician than troubleshooting.

Diagnosing vs Troubleshooting In Computers

Diagnosing is identifying the root cause of a problem or issue. Analysing is done by trained technicians or IT professionals. Troubleshooting is identifying and fixing problems or issues with a system or device. Anyone can do troubleshooting.

Diagnosing vs Troubleshooting In Computers

Diagnosing refers to the method of detecting malfunctioning in the computer system. Before releasing an approach to the public audience, the diagnosing of the computer is carried out.

Specific diagnostic programs are available that test the device’s operational status, thereby ensuring its full-fledged functioning. Diagnostic programs scan every drive present in the system to ensure operational efficiency. 

Troubleshooting in computers refers to diagnosing a problem, its cause, and its solutions. The three most common troubleshooting methods are diagnosis, elimination, and product restoration.

The elimination process is the most common and easiest method of troubleshooting and identifying the underlying issue.

All the possible problems closely related to the underlying issue are observed, checked, and ruled out in this process. 

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonDiagnosing in ComputersTroubleshooting in Computers
DefinitionDiagnosing in computers is basically of two types, i.e., hardware diagnosing and software analysing.Troubleshooting involves recognizing and solving the problems and issues responsible for the malfunctioning.
TypesWe can troubleshoot computers in three methods, of which the elimination method is the most convenient.Troubleshooting in computers is basically of four types, i.e., troubleshooting IP problems, physical connectivity issues, local connectivity issues, and issues regarding the entry of repetitive IP addresses.
MethodsDiagnosing in computers has a single and lengthy process.The steps involved in diagnosing the computer include POST, OS load time test, RAM test, graphics test, audio tests, heat level tests, CPU test, new installations test, and listening tests followed by virus scans. 
Steps InvolvedThe four steps involved in troubleshooting computers include awareness followed by confirmation. Then comes identification, followed by resolution of the specific issue.The tools for diagnosing computers include Windows Performance Monitor, Windows Resource Monitor, Open Hardware Monitor, Speccy, and HD Tune.
Tools InvolvedTools used in troubleshooting computers include Ping, Traceroute, ipconfig, Nslookup, Whois, Netstat, and IP calculator.Tools used in troubleshooting computers include Ping, Traceroute, Ipconfig, Nslookup, Whois, Netstat, and IP calculator.

What is Diagnosing In Computers?

Diagnosing in computers, also known as diagnostics, refers to how computer software programs and hardware devices are tested. There are various steps in analysing computers.

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Firstly, it becomes essential to unbox the computer and ensure that all components, such as RAM chips, sound cards, cables, and video cards, are well connected to the system, especially the motherboard. 

Then, run the computer through POST, i.e., Power On Self Test. This startup program helps diagnose the computer’s hardware devices, ensuring they are operating correctly.

If the hardware components have any issues, POST comes up with an error message followed by beeps. As the next step, one needs to check the operating system and its loading time.

If the load time turns out to be longer, there are higher chances of some problems in the hard drive. Then, another diagnostic test for graphics problems is done. 

Following this, diagnostic tests to detect hardware problems are conducted.

When all diagnostics for the hardware turn out with good results, one can check the computer for newly installed software, CPU consumption rates, and RAM consumption rates.

The final step would be to get one’s ears close to the computer. Any unusual sound indicates a potential problem with the hard disk or the CPU fan.

Finally, one can run antivirus programs and software to ensure no virus or malware exists in the computer.

What is Troubleshooting In Computers?

Troubleshooting in computers refers to identifying problems in the computer system, thereby leading to its restoration. After identifying a specific fault, various methods for solving it are used.

Thus, the entire process is termed troubleshooting. The cause of any system malfunction may vary from one to many.

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However, a single troubleshooting problem can identify all these underlying reasons. 

To get started with troubleshooting on the computer, one can clear the RAM. Removing the RAM means shutting down all the programs running in the background.

Generally, the number of running programs is directly proportional to their space in the RAM. After cleaning up the RAM, one can try closing down the software/program and starting it from scratch.

This method helps in solving the issue in most cases.

However, if the problem still exists, one can reboot the computer and relaunch the program. If the problem persists, one can undo any software or hardware changes in the recent past.

The penultimate step would involve the uninstallation of the program, followed by its reinstallation. If the user still faces the same issue, he should let the computer go through a virus scan. 

Main Differences Between Diagnosing and Troubleshooting In Computers

  1. Diagnosing computers came up during the end of the 1960s. On the other hand, troubleshooting of computers came up during the 1930s. 
  2. The diagnosis in a computer is possible through the only process, which is a lengthy attempt. But, troubleshooting has a very effective method called the elimination technique. Apart from it, troubleshooting can be performed in two other ways.
  3. The diagnosis in a computer can be performed in two ways. But, based on computer systems, it is software and hardware diagnosing. The entry of repetitive IP addresses, local connectivity issues, physical connectivity issues, and troubleshooting of IP problems are four basic troubleshooting steps.
  4. The computer diagnosis process passed through various measures. Every step is vital to complete the function. But, the computer troubleshooting follows a few steps to proceed. Moving to the confirmation after awareness, then identification with a specific issue resolution. 
  5. Proper tools are needed for successful diagnosis in computers. But, the necessary tools include Open Hardware Monitor, Windows Resource Monitor, Speccy, HD Tune, and Windows Performance Monitor. The essential tools for healthy computer diagnosis include an IP calculator, ipconfig, nslookup, Whois, Netstat, Ping, and Traceroute.
Difference Between X and Y 2023 07 06T192033.878
  1. https://www.birpublications.org/doi/abs/10.1259/bjr.70.839.9536897
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0747563298000053

Last Updated : 06 July, 2023

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8 thoughts on “Diagnosing vs Troubleshooting In Computers: Difference and Comparison”

  1. I have always had a keen interest in the diagnostic tools for computers, so the section ‘Parameters of Comparison’ was particularly informative and helpful. Great work!

  2. Wow, so many interesting points in this article. It’s quite thought-provoking how diagnosing came after troubleshooting. Great reference too. Clearly, the author has put in a great deal of effort in making this an insightful piece of content.

    • Couldn’t agree more. I do feel, though, the troubleshooting method could be explained with a few more examples for clarity.

    • Aren’t these methods quite similar to the medical world? Diagnosing for detecting the cause and troubleshooting for finding the solution – I’m finding more parallels than differences!

  3. That’s an incredible article. I knew what diagnosing and troubleshooting were, but such an intriguing insight into diagnosing and troubleshooting in computers is truly fascinating.

  4. I think a more in-depth analysis of the ‘Diagnosing vs Troubleshooting In Computers’ would be beneficial. As the article was quite extensive, maybe an illustration could help comprehend the content better?

  5. I was aware of the basic differences between diagnosing and troubleshooting, but the specific steps involved and the comparison table provided a clear understanding. A great read!


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