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How to Run Diagnostics on Mac and Troubleshoot Issues


diagnose apple computer

Apple’s reputation of building durable machines holds true to date. Mac computers built years ago still get the job done and stand the test of time. However, every so often issues happen which take a toll of the performance of the entire Mac. 

Determining the source of the performance decay is ultimately your first step towards getting it fixed. Identifying whether its hardware or software that’s giving you trouble will shed light on the complexity of the issue. In return, you will either be able to solve the problem on your own and avoid costly repairs, or notice a potentially failing hardware and take preventative measures in time to save valuable data. 

Apple Diagnostics, aka Apple Hardware Test, has been specifically placed within macOS to help troubleshoot all sorts of issues. It is an effective way of locating the source of the problem: failing disk drive, underperforming RAM, CPU & GPU related issues, as well as fan and overheating problems, plus many more. If happen to even suspect a hardware problem on your Mac, Apple Diagnostics diagnostics to troubleshoot. 

How to Run Apple Hardware Test

Regardless of whether it’s Apple Diagnostics (for Macs 2013 or later) or Apple Hardware Test (for Macs 2012 and earlier with OS X 10.8.4 or later) that you are using, before you dive into these tests Apple suggests you familiarize yourself with their support instructions. You can either print them or have it open on your smartphone in case you will need them during the process. If you own a desktop Mac, then you should disconnect all peripherals except display, keyboard and mouse, prior to running the tests. With that settled, follow these steps:

1.Click on Apple menu in the top left corner and select Restart

2.Hold the key on your keyboard and let your Mac restart

3.Apple Diagnostics will be launched automatically and check your Mac

Decipher Mac Hardware Diagnostics Results

After completing the initial scan, you will be left with a choice of either contacting Apple Support, taking your system to Apple Store for repairs, or attempt making the necessary OS X repairs on your own. In order to properly weigh your options, you will have to understand the meaning behind Apple’s most common reference codes: 

  • ADP000 — No issues have been found

  • CNW00X — Possible Wi-Fi hardware issue

  • NDC00X — Possible Camera issue

  • NDT00X — Possible Thunderbolt hardware issue

  • PFM00X — Possible System Management Controller (SMC) issue

  • PPF00X — Possible Fan issue

  • PPT00X — Potential Battery issues; Battery is soon to be replaced 

  • VFD00X — Possible GPU issue

  • VFF00X — Possible Audio issue

NOTE: The in the code will be substituted with a numeral to signify a specific component issue. The full list of possible issues can be found here.

Most reference codes suggest that a certain component may be failing, or a complementary one that impacts the hardware condition. Generally, it’s better to consult a specialist when dealing with a hardware issue. 

In some cases, however, the problem can be dealt away with by following one of the easier fixes, such as PRAM/NVRAM/SMC reset, or running First Aid in Disk Utility. If you choose to take any action regarding your hardware, remember the golden rule — back up all of your data. After all, you are always running the risk of losing an item here and there when failing hardware is at stakes. 

Software to Optimize Mac Performance

So what do you do when Apple Diagnostics detects no hardware issues, yet your Mac runs slower still? It means that your bet is on software issue. Problems with software don’t necessarily mean that you will have to reinstall macOS, usually the solution is not as radical. 

Lack of free storage, for example, is one of the most prominent issues among MacBook users. It leads to significant drops in system performance, but, luckily, can be easily fixed using MacFly Pro. 

  • Download and launch MacFly Pro 

  • In the Smart Assistant module hit Scan Now to determine the condition of your Mac

  • Click on Review & Clean Trash to remove all sorts of temporary & disposable data 

macfly pro clear storage

If you are serious about maintaining your Mac in good condition, MacFly Pro will become an indispensable companion. 

To conclude, whenever your Mac shows signs of low performance, running Apple Diagnostics will help determine the problem you’re dealing with. Stay mindful of Apple’s instructions and keep an eye on reference codes. Hardware issues are best handled with a help of a professional, and software issues should not even be a problem with MacFly Pro keeping watch over your Mac’s condition. 

download MacFly Pro now