Apple Hardware Test

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Desktop Black.png Macintosh

This page is part of a category. To see more pages like this, go to the Macintosh index.

Macintosh users who are experiencing frequent kernel panics or random shut-downs should use the Apple Hardware Test that comes with every Macintosh. A copy of this application is installed on the hard drive.

  • NOTE: Before running Apple Hardware Test (AHT) be sure to disconnect all external drives except for the mouse, keyboard, display and Ethernet adapter. Make sure the computer is connected to the correct AC power outlet to prevent the computer from shutting down during testing

Running AHT

Mac OS X 10.7+

1. Start the computer while holding the "D" key. It will take approximately one minute to start the Apple Hardware Test application.
2. There is an internet-based version of the AHT application that will start if the copy installed on the hard drive cannot be run.

Mac OS x 10.6.7 and earlier

1. If AHT does not start, you can run it off the install DVD

  • Insert the install disc that applies to your operating system:
    • Mac OS X 10.5.4 or earlier: Mac OS x Install Disc 1
    • Mac OS 10.5.5 to 10.6.7: Applications Install Disc 2

2. Start the computer, holding the “D” key before the grey screen appears to enter the Apple Hardware Test application.

AHT Uses

Apple Hardware Test allows you to run a series of tests on your system’s RAM, logic board, modem (if present), video RAM, and Apple’s Airport Card. It will not test non-Apple devices.

There are two tests; "Basic" and "Extended Testing". The basic test usually takes approximately 4 minutes and the extended test usually takes about 20 minutes.

Apple Hardware Test also consists of a version of the Apple System Profiler, and allows you to view your computer’s memory configuration, video card info, active communication ports, and basic system info such as your serial number, Boot ROM version, and model number.