Check the Event Viewer for Errors When Buying a Used PC
The next time you are at a yard sale and want to buy a used computer, a quick check of the Event Viewer can tip you off to potential problems.
The Event viewer logs potential errors like hard drive problems that can keep you from getting a bad deal. Microsoft has a guide on opening the Event Viewer in Windows 7, and Windows 8 users can search for View Event Logs. Head to Windows Logs > System where you’ll see a list of errors. Look for the errors, color-cored red and warnings, color-coded yellow.
For example, the Errors with Source: Disk and Event ID 15, 11, and 7 indicate a potential hard drive problem. If you purchase a computer with these errors, be prepared to replace the hard drive soon after purchase.