Guidelines - Diagnostics (download this page)
Thinking 5 is more important than 1? So did I. But in Star Trek the diagnostic levels are opposite. Here's what they are:
Level 5 Diagnostic - This automated procedure is intended for routing use to verify system performance. Level 5 Diagnostics, which usually require less then 2.5 seconds, are typically performed on most systems on at least a daily basis, and are also performed during crisis situations when time and system resources are carefully managed.
Level 4 Diagnostic - This automated procedure is intended for use whenever trouble is suspected with a given system. This protocol is similar to Level 5, but invokes more sophisticated batteries of automated diagnostics. For most systems, Level 4 diagnostics can be performed in less than 30 seconds.
Level 3 Diagnostic - This protocol is similar to level 1 and 2 diagnostics but involves crew verification of only key mechanics and systems readings. Level 3 diagnostics are intended to be performed in ten minutes or less.
Level 2 Diagnostic - This refers to a comprehensive system diagnostic protocol which, like a level 1, involves extensive automated routines, but requires crew verification of fewer operations elements. This yield s a somewhat less reliable system analyses, but is a procedure that can be conducted in less then half the time of the more complex tests.
Level 1 Diagnostic - This refers to the most comprehensive type of system diagnostic, which is normally conducted on ships systems. Extensive automated diagnostic routines are performed, but a level 1 diagnostic requires a team of crew members to physically verify operation of system mechanisms and to take system readings, rather then depending on the automated programs, thereby guarding against possible malfunctions in self testing hardware and software. Level 1 diagnostics on major systems can take several hours, and in many cases the subject system must be taken offline for all tests to be preformed.