Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
for #1-TuffTEST™ Products

  1. How do I make a self-booting #1-TuffTEST-Pro CD-ROM or diskette?
  2. How do I a self-booting #1-TuffTEST CD-ROM or diskette?
  3. How do I a self-booting #1-TuffTEST-Lite CD-ROM or diskette?
  4. My Serial Number doesn't work - what do I do?
  5. I lost my Serial Number. How can I get another copy?
  6. Where is my #1-TuffTEST-Pro User Handbook?
  7. Where is my #1-TuffTEST Use Instructions Booklet?
  8. Where is my #1-TuffTEST-Lite Use Instructions Booklet?
  9. How do I interpret #1-TuffTEST-Pro error codes?
  10. How do I interpret #1-TuffTEST and #1-TuffTEST-Lite error codes?
  11. What is the difference between #1-TuffTEST-Pro and PC-Technician?
  12. What is the difference between #1-TuffTEST and #1-TuffTEST-Pro?
  13. Do your #1-TuffTEST products support SCSI?
  14. How do I test cache memory?
  15. Do the products have technical support?
  16. My Program CD-ROM or Program Diskette is blank - what do I do?
  17. When making my Program CD-ROM or Program Diskette my system locked up - why?
  18. My Program CD-ROM or Program Diskette hangs during loading & won't boot my PC - why?
  19. Do #1-TuffTEST products support/harm NTFS, FAT32, etc., file partitions?
  20. Is there any way to create a bootable #1-TuffTEST or #1-TuffTEST-Pro CD?

1. How do I make a self-booting #1-TuffTEST-Pro CD-ROM or diskette?

For complete information, please click on:

#1-TuffTEST-Pro Licensed User Area

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2. How do I make a self-booting #1-TuffTEST CD-ROM or diskette?

For complete information, please click on:

#1-TuffTEST Licensed User Area

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3. How do I make a self-booting #1-TuffTEST-Lite CD-ROM or diskette?

For complete information, please click on:

#1-TuffTEST-Lite User Area

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4. My Serial Number doesn't work - what do I do?

Your Serial Number is shown in the Order Confirmation that was automatically emailed to you when your credit card transaction was approved.

In addition, your Serial Number is branded on the opening display (the loading screen) of your product. To locate your Serial Number, boot your PC with your #1-TuffTEST product. As soon as the Loading Screen appears press the [PAUSE] key. This will freeze the display so you have enough time to copy it down.

When you are done, pressing any key other than the [Pause] key will un-freeze the display and continue the loading process.

If you cannot locate your Order Confirmation or Program CD-ROM or Program Diskette, you can obtain another copy of your Order Confirmation by sending us an email. Our support email addresses are located at the address shown below. Note - The email must contain the licensee's email address, last name and city as it appeared when the original order was placed.

Support Page

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5. I lost my Serial Number. How can I get another copy?

Your Serial Number is shown in the Order Confirmation that was automatically emailed to you when your credit card transaction was approved.

In addition, your Serial Number is branded on the opening display (the loading screen) of your product. To locate your Serial Number, boot your PC with your #1-TuffTEST product. As soon as the Loading Screen appears press the [PAUSE] key. This will freeze the display so you have enough time to copy it down.

When you are done, pressing any key other than the [Pause] key will un-freeze the display and continue the loading process.

If you cannot locate your Order Confirmation or Program CD-ROM or Program Diskette, you can obtain another copy of your Order Confirmation by sending us an email. Our support email addresses are located at the address shown below. Note - The email must contain the licensee's email address, last name and city as it appeared when the original order was placed.

Support Page

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6. Where is my #1-TuffTEST-Pro User Handbook?

The #1-TuffTEST-Pro User Handbook is available at the #1-TuffTEST-Pro Licensed User Area.

#1-TuffTEST-Pro Licensed User Area

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7. Where is my #1-TuffTEST Use Instructions Booklet?

The #1-TuffTEST Use Instructions Booklet is available at the #1-TuffTEST Licensed User Area.

#1-TuffTEST Licensed User Area

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8. Where is my #1-TuffTEST-Lite Use Instructions Booklet?

The #1-TuffTEST-Lite Use Instructions Booklet is available at the #1-TuffTEST-Lite User Area.

#1-TuffTEST-Lite User Area

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9. How do I interpret #1-TuffTEST-Pro error codes?

As indicated in the #1-TuffTEST-Pro Product Description, error codes are defined in the User Handbook.  SeeFAQ #6 above. 

Error codes usually (but not always) start with the first letter of the hardware component being tested and are explained in detail at the end of each hardware chapter in the User Handbook.

For example, Diskette Drive error codes start with the letter "D" and are at the end of the Diskette Drive chapter, Fixed Disk Drive error codes start with the letter "F" and are at the end of the Fixed Disk chapter, Serial Port Error codes start with the letter "S" and are at the end of the Serial chapter, Parallel Port Error codes start with the letter "P" and are at the end of the Parallel chapter, Main Memory Error codes start with the letter "M" and are at the end of the Memory chapter, etc. Extended Memory errors are an exception to this rule. They start with the letter "T" and are at the end of the Memory chapter.

Note - if the error occurred in the Certification module the error code will be preceded by a "C". And if you are viewing the error in the Error Log, the error code will usually be preceded by additional information such as the number of failures.

Some sample error codes are interpreted as follows:

1 - Error Code C-D0FF

C = Certification Module Test
D = Diskette Drive Error
0 = Drive Number (Drive A)
FF = Sense Operation Failed*

*In Certification this error code usually means 
that there was no TEST Diskette in the drive.

2 - Error Log Error Code 200 555:191:01/F0304

200 = Number of fails for this error code
555 = Cylinder Number
191 = Head Number
01 = Sector Number

F = Fixed Disk Error
0 = Drive 0
3= Test Number (Surface Analysis)
04 = Sector Not Found

3 - Error Code C-S260-02F8

C = Certification Module Error
S = Serial Port Error
2 = Test #2 (Receiver Test)*
60 = Bits that failed
02F8 = Address of Serial Port

*In Certification this error code usually means 
that there was no TEST Plug installed on the 
Serial port.

4 - Error Code C-P11F8

C = Certification Module Error
P = Parallel Port Error
1 = LPT 1 Error
1 = Test #1 (Data Test) failed*
F8 = Bits that failed

*In Certification this error code usually means 
that there was no TEST Plug installed on the 
Parallel port.

Note - #1-TuffTEST-Pro serial and parallel "external" port tests will only work correctly with #1-TuffTEST-ProTEST Plugs or TEST Plugs made following the pinouts specified in the User Handbook.

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10. How do I interpret #1-TuffTEST and #1-TuffTEST-Lite error codes?

As indicated in the #1-TuffTEST and #1-TuffTEST-Lite Product Descriptions, the Error Log and error code interpretation are only available with #1-TuffTEST-Pro. If you experience any FAILS while running #1-TuffTEST or #1-TuffTEST-Lite AND your system has been experiencing problems you should seek professional help before a major failure occurs.

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11. What is the difference between #1-TuffTEST-Pro and PC-Technician?

As indicated in the #1-TuffTEST-Pro Product Description "...#1-TuffTEST-Pro is the new "downloadable" version of our industry-leading PC-Technician packaged product."

The only differences between our packaged product (PC-Technician) and our downloadable product (#1-TuffTEST-Pro) are price, what you get and guarantee. Other than that they are functionally identical.

The price of #1-TuffTEST-Pro is lower because with its 24/7 online automated ordering and download system, we have no billing, no overhead, no packaging, no shipping, no salesman's commission, and no retailer mark-up. Thus our cost of sales and cost of goods is much lower, and we decided to pass on those cost savings directly to our online customers.

PC-Technician is a complete kit that includes 3-1/2" & 5-1/4" Program Diskettes, parallel & serial TEST Plugs, a printed 100+ page User Handbook and a high-impact plastic carry case. With #1-TuffTEST-Pro you must make the self-booting Program Diskettes, print the User Handbook, make, or optionally buy, the TEST Plugs, and provide your own packaging.

In addition, our packaged products have an unconditional 90-day money-back guarantee and our electronic download products, because there is no practical way to return them, do not.

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12. What is the difference between #1-TuffTEST and #1-TuffTEST-Pro?

Even though #1-TuffTEST and #1-TuffTEST-Pro share the same code base, they have totally different user interfaces and intended uses. #1-TuffTEST is designed as a system certification tool for an end-user who wants to quickly check his/her hardware before calling a technician. #1-TuffTEST-Pro is designed for the technician. Therefore, the products are complimentary and there is no upgrade path from one to the other.

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13. Do your #1-TuffTEST products support SCSI?

Yes. Support for SCSI hard drives was added with version 1.53 of #1-TuffTEST and #1-TuffTEST-Lite and version 3.53 #1-TuffTEST-Pro. Any SCSI drive can now be tested "provided" its host adapter's BIOS supports INT13h and drive counting located at 4075 in the BIOS data area.

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14. How do I test cache memory?

The original PC design did not anticipate cache memory and therefore did not allocate memory addresses for it. Thus, cache memory chip sets must "borrow" memory addresses from extended memory to work. Due to the numerous "proprietary" memory address swapping schemes employed by the cache memory chip set manufacturers, we know of no program that RELIABLY tests cache memory DIRECTLY.

Some DOS/Windows-based diagnostics attempt to test cache memory by using the DOS/Windows cache memory drivers in the target system. Needless to say, this is not a very effective approach as new chip sets are constantly released. The most RELIABLE way to test cache memory is to test it INDIRECTLY as follows:

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15. Do the products have technical support?

Our products, except #1-TuffTEST-Lite, have technical support available as needed. Complete details are available at:

Support Page

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16. My Program CD-ROM or Program Diskette is blank - what do I do?

The format and file structure used by #1-TuffTEST-Pro, #1-TuffTEST and #1-TuffTEST-Lite is not compatible with commercial operating systems (DOS, Windows, UNIX, etc.). Thus their files cannot be "seen" by these operating systems. 

If you are using a Program Diskette, do not attempt to do native operating system commands such as "DIR" on them as you MAY DAMAGE the Program Diskette.

The ONLY way to determine if you have successfully created your Program CD-ROM or Diskette is to try to use it. 

To test your newly created Program CD-ROM, close all open programs, shut down Windows, turn off the PC, insert the Program CD-ROM into the CD-ROM Drive, and then turn on the PC. The Program CD-ROM should boot the PC and display its Main Menu in 30-90 seconds.

To test your newly created Program Diskette, close all open programs, shut down Windows, turn off the PC, insert the Program Diskette into Drive A, and then turn on the PC. The Program Diskette should boot the PC and display its Main Menu in 30-90 seconds.

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17. When making my Program CD-ROM or Program Diskette my system locked up - why?

Make sure ALL open programs are closed before you attempt to make a Program CD-ROM or Diskette. Especially programs that run in the background like virus programs and download monitoring programs.

For example, one of our customers recently reported that Symantec/Norton CleanSweep 4.7 (SmartSweep/InternetSweep) running under Win98SE prevented them from successfully creating their self-booting Program CD-ROM or Diskette. Once they disabled CleanSweep the problem disappeared.

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18. My Program CD-ROM or Program Diskette hangs during loading & won't boot my PC - why?

Assuming the Program CD-ROM has not been damaged or the Program Diskette has not been corrupted, the following circumstances could prevent #1-TuffTEST-Lite, #1-TuffTEST or #1-TuffTEST-Pro from booting a PC:

  1. Not using the current version. The most current version can always be found at the product's Licensed User Area.
    #1-TuffTEST-Pro Licensed User Area
    #1-TuffTEST Licensed User Area
    #1-TuffTEST-Lite User Area
  2. A bad or defective CD-ROM Drive or Floppy Drive. - Will a DOS or Windows boot CD-ROM or disk boot your PC?
  3. The boot order is not set correctly in BIOS Setup. Depending which type of self-booting media you are using, check your PC's BIOS Setup and change the boot order to be the CD_ROM Drive, Diskette DriveA:, or in some BIOSs "Removable Media Devices", if it is not already set that way. Another way to check this is shut down all applications & Windows, turn OFF the PC, then put a blank CD-ROM or DOS or Windows formatted diskette in the appropriate drive, then turn ON the PC. If the boot order is correctly set you should receive the following error message "Non-system CD-ROM/disk or CD-ROM/disk error, Replace and strike any key when ready". If you do not receive this error message and your system boots directly to Windows, it confirms that your boot order is incorrectly set.
  4. Some BIOS's have a virus-protection feature that will prevent any diskette that does not have a standard operating system boot sector from booting the system. - Check your PC's BIOS Setup and disable this feature if you find it and it is enabled.
  5. Some software-based utilities (like anti-virus and hard drive manager programs) also attempt to protect your PC by preventing any diskette that does not have a standard operating system-based boot sector from booting the system. - The easiest way to determine this is to go into your PC's BIOS Setup and set Drive C as "Not Available". Then save your settings and re-boot the PC with #1-TuffTEST-Lite, #1-TuffTEST or #1-TuffTEST-Pro.
  6. Under some circumstances, if Level 1 Cache Memory is defective, it will prevent #1-TuffTEST-Lite, #1-TuffTEST or #1-TuffTEST-Pro from booting the PC. - The easiest way to determine this is to go into your PC's BIOS Setup and disable Level 1 Cache Memory. Then save your settings and re-boot the PC with #1-TuffTEST-Lite, #1-TuffTEST or #1-TuffTEST-Pro.
  7. Under some circumstances, some "intelligent" add-on cards like video cards, network cards, etc., will prevent #1-TuffTEST-Lite, #1-TuffTEST or #1-TuffTEST-Pro from booting the PC. Try swapping the cards if you have access to other cards.
  8. Under some circumstances, a bad or defective IDE Bus Master Controller will prevent #1-TuffTEST-Lite, #1-TuffTEST or #1-TuffTEST-Pro from booting the PC. Go into your PC's BIOS Setup and if IDE Bus Master is enabled, disable it. Then save your settings and re-boot the PC with #1-TuffTEST-Lite, #1-TuffTEST or #1-TuffTEST-Pro.

However, before trying any of these make sure that your #1-TuffTEST-Lite, #1-TuffTEST or #1-TuffTEST-Pro Program CD-ROM or Program Diskette is good by trying it on another PC. If it boots this PC then it means the diskette it good and the problem is with this particular PC.

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19. Do #1-TuffTEST products support/harm NTFS, FAT32, etc., file partitions?

As stated in their Product Descriptions, our #1-TuffTEST products have their own proprietary boot-loader and operating system. Therefore they can cold-boot a PC and troubleshoot its hardware without calling upon or interacting with the PC's native operating system.

In fact, they can be used to troubleshoot a system with no operating system on its hard drive or even a system no hard drive installed. All this means that since they never interact with the PC's native operating system, it does not matter what file system (i.e. NTFS, FAT32, FAT16, etc.) it is using.

All of the fixed disk tests operate at the basic "sector" level. The non-destructive seek and read/verify tests will not damage the system's file system or data in any way. However, the destructive write/read/verify tests WILL OVERWRITE THE DATA IN ALL SECTORS on the drive - even the boot sectors. So a backup should be performed before using these tests.

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20. Is there any way to create a bootable #1-TuffTEST or #1-TuffTEST-Pro CD-ROM?

Yes, please refer to the Licensed User Area for each product.

FREE #1-TuffTEST-Lite User Area

#1-TuffTEST Licensed User Area

#1-TuffTEST-Pro Licensed User Area

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