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In order to evaluate and find the proper conditions for residual stress (RS) measurements, two kinds of preliminary x-ray diffraction experiments were conducted at the Advanced Photon Source: angle-dispersive x-ray diffraction and energy-dispersive x-ray diffraction. These two experimental methods and their precision were investigated for RS measurement. The results obtained and various factors that may influence the accuracy of these experiments are discussed. © 2002 American Institute of Physics.