Tag Archives: hardware

Lift The Hood On Your PC – Take a Peek With These 5 Free System Information Utilities

imageIf you think developing information, including diagnostics, on your computer’s operating system and hardware is a tough task, you can relax. Here are 5 small, free applications, that make it easy to probe your computer system and create a detailed profile which can include hardware, installed software – motherboard, CPU and GPU specs, remaining drive space, and your operating system security hotfixes – and a lot more.

Belarc Advisor 8.2.7.14:

Belarc Advisor is a free program that automatically generates a detailed audit report of the hardware and software on your computer. It records essential information such as, operating system and processor details, the amount of RAM installed, and drive specifications.

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The report also includes a comprehensive list of the software installed on your system, as well as software license numbers and product keys. In addition, it lists the status of the Microsoft hotfixes on your system. If any hotfixes need reinstalling, you will be advised of this.

The results are displayed in a formatted HTML report. The report is clearly formatted for ease of understanding and divided into appropriate categories. Hyperlinks within the report allow you to quickly navigate to different parts of the document, find out more about a particular hotfix entry, or see where a listed software product is installed.

All of your PC profile information is kept private on your PC and is not sent to any web server.

System Requirements: Windows 8, Windows 7, Vista, 2003, XP. Both 32-bit and 64-bit Windows support.

Download at: MajorGeeks

LookInMyPC 2.10.3.158

LookInMyPC is a free application which, like Belarc Advisor, records essential information such as, operating system and processor details, the amount of RAM installed, drive specifications and so on. But, it digs much, much, deeper.

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The following graphic shows a very small (I do mean very small) portion of a scan result, run on my test platform. The data shown here is pretty standard stuff.

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System requirements: Windows 2000, XP, 2003/8, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8.

Download at: MajorGeeks

A portable version is also available.

SIW (System Info) 2011.10.29i

SIW is an advanced System Information utility that analyzes your computer and gathers detailed information about system properties and settings and displays it in a very comprehensive manner.

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The data generated is divided into major categories:

Software Information: Operating System, Software Licenses (Product Keys / Serial Numbers / CD Key), Installed Software and Hotfixes, Processes, Services, Users, Open Files, System Uptime, Installed Codecs, Passwords Recovery, Server Configuration.

Hardware Information: Motherboard, CPU, Sensors, BIOS, chipset, PCI/AGP, USB and ISA/PnP Devices, Memory, Video Card, Monitor, Disk Drives, CD/DVD Devices, SCSI Devices, S.M.A.R.T., Ports, Printers.

Network Information: Network Cards, Network Shares, currently active Network Connections, Open Ports.

Network Tools: MAC Address Changer, Neighborhood Scan, Ping, Trace, Statistics, Broadband Speed Test

Miscellaneous Tools: Eureka! (Reveal lost passwords hidden behind asterisks), Monitor Test, Shutdown / Restart.

Real-time monitors: CPU, Memory, Page File usage and Network Traffic.

System requirements: Windows 7, Vista, XP, 2000

Download at: MajorGeeks

Speccy 1.17.340

Speccy (from our good friends over at Piriform – the CCleaner guys), is not quite as comprehensive as the applications described previously. Even so, you can count on this free application to provide you with detailed statistics on every piece of hardware in your computer. Including CPU, Motherboard, RAM, Graphics Cards, Hard Disks, Optical Drives, Audio support. Additionally Speccy adds the temperatures of your different components, so you can easily see if there’s a problem.

Typical info screens.

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System requirements: Windows 8, Windows 7, Vista and XP (32-bit and 64-bit)

Download at: MajorGeeks

PC Wizard 2012.2.10

PC Wizard has been designed for hardware detection but, it really shines in analysis and system benchmarking. It will analyze and benchmark CPU performance, Cache performance, RAM performance, Hard Disk performance, CD/DVD-ROM performance, Removable/FLASH Media performance, Video performance, and MP3 compression performance.

Typical info screens.

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System requirements: Windows 8, Windows 7, Vista, XP (32-bit and 64-bit)

Download at: MajorGeeks

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Filed under 64 Bit Software, Computer Audit Applications, Diagnostic Software, downloads, Freeware, Geek Software and Tools

Stress Test Your Computer With BurnInTest Evaluation Version

imageBack in computing’s “Stone Age” – off you went to a system builder – chose your components, and then – you waited 48 hours or more for delivery, while the vendor “burned-in” the system.  The purpose being; to avoid component failure at a later date.

To help you to stay clear of hardware failure (which could leave you hanging), it’s a good idea to stress test your system/s from time to time. Better to be aware of impending hardware failure now, than to face the consequences later.

BurnInTest (latest release December 12, 2011), is a terrific software tool for both Windows and Linux, which allows all the major hardware systems, and sub-systems of your computer to be simultaneously tested for stability, and reliability.

This menu driven application tests the CPU, RAM, disk drives, optical drives, sound cards, 2D graphics, 3D graphics, video playback, network connections and printers. This can all be done simultaneously, in approximately 15 minutes.

The version tested here, was the fully functional 30 day trial version, (no restrictions).

Test Screens:

The preference screen, as the following screen capture indicates, allows for considerably test customization. Far too many to go into in this short review.

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You have the option of running selected tests as per the following screen capture…..

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or, running a block of tests as per the following.

A main test screen, as well as additional screens for each system test and sub test, allows you to view detailed scans in progress.

BurnInTest 4

The test midway point.

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Test completion. You’ll notice in the following screen shot that an error is reported on the Optical disc portion of the test. This was a deliberate choice on my part (no disc inserted in the drive).

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Since excessive heat is a hardware killer – in this test, I paid particular attention to the temperature of the graphics card. A graphics card under heavy load – and, this test suite lays on the graphic load – can run – hot – hot – hot!

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Fast facts:

Assists in PC Troubleshooting and diagnostics.

Dramatically reduce your burn in times with multithreaded simultaneous testing of components.

Avoid costly downtime, system rebuilds and lost data.

Test the stability of a system after configuration changes or hardware upgrades (critical for over clocking).

Results can be saved to disk, printed, or exported as a graphical image.

System requirements:

Windows: Windows 2008 Server, Vista, Win 7, 2003 Server, XP, 2000. (32-bit and 64-bit platforms).

Linux: Linux kernel 2.6.9 or higher. X Window System X11R6. KDE 3.2 or higher. Open GL 1.2 or higher (for 3D graphics test plus working Open GL drivers for your video card). libusb library required

Download at: PassMark

Note: The download refers to the 30 day fully functional evaluation version.

Comments Off on Stress Test Your Computer With BurnInTest Evaluation Version

Filed under 64 Bit Software, Computer Maintenance, downloads, Evaluation Software, Software, Software Trial Versions, System Utilities

What’s INSIDE Your PC? 6 Free System Information Utilities For Non-Geeks

imageIf you think developing information on your computer’s operating system and hardware is a tough task, you can relax. Here are 6 small, free applications, that make it easy to probe your computer system and create a detailed profile which can include hardware, installed software – motherboard, CPU and GPU specs – remaining drive space, and your operating system security hotfixes.

Belarc Advisor:

Belarc Advisor is a free program that automatically generates a detailed audit report of the hardware and software on your computer. It records essential information such as, operating system and processor details, the amount of RAM installed, and drive specifications.

image

The report also includes a comprehensive list of the software installed on your system, as well as software license numbers and product keys. In addition, it lists the status of the Microsoft hotfixes on your system. If any hotfixes need reinstalling, you will be advised of this.

The results are displayed in a formatted HTML report. The report is clearly formatted for ease of understanding and divided into appropriate categories. Hyperlinks within the report allow you to quickly navigate to different parts of the document, find out more about a particular hotfix entry, or see where a listed software product is installed.

System Requirements: Windows 7, Vista, 2003, XP, 2000, NT 4, Me, 98, and 95. Both 32-bit and 64-bit Windows support.

Download at: Download.com

LookInMyPC:

LookInMyPC is a free application which, like Belarc Advisor, records essential information such as, operating system and processor details, the amount of RAM installed, drive specifications and so on. But, it digs much, much, deeper.

image

A number of features keeps this application a cut above the average:

The results are displayed in your Web Browser in a formatted HTML report. The report is clearly formatted for ease of understanding and divided into appropriate categories. Hyperlinks within the report allow you to quickly search for additional information.

As well, the report can be zipped, and then forwarded as an email attachment to your favorite “tech support” person.

The following graphic shows a very small (I do mean very small) portion of a scan result, run on my test platform. The data shown here is pretty standard stuff.

image

System requirements: Windows 2000, XP, 2003/8, Vista and Windows 7.

Download at: LookInMyPC

A portable version is also available.

SIW – System Information for Windows:

SIW is an advanced System Information for Windows tool that analyzes your computer and gathers detailed information about system properties and settings and displays it in a very comprehensive manner.

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The data generated is divided into major categories:

Software Information: Operating System, Software Licenses (Product Keys / Serial Numbers / CD Key), Installed Software and Hotfixes, Processes, Services, Users, Open Files, System Uptime, Installed Codecs, Passwords Recovery, Server Configuration.

Hardware Information: Motherboard, CPU, Sensors, BIOS, chipset, PCI/AGP, USB and ISA/PnP Devices, Memory, Video Card, Monitor, Disk Drives, CD/DVD Devices, SCSI Devices, S.M.A.R.T., Ports, Printers.

Network Information: Network Cards, Network Shares, currently active Network Connections, Open Ports.

Network Tools: MAC Address Changer, Neighborhood Scan, Ping, Trace, Statistics, Broadband Speed Test

Miscellaneous Tools: Eureka! (Reveal lost passwords hidden behind asterisks), Monitor Test, Shutdown / Restart.

Real-time monitors: CPU, Memory, Page File usage and Network Traffic.

System requirements: Windows 7, Vista, XP, 2000

Download at: Download.com

Speccy v1.12:

Speccy is not quite as comprehensive as the applications described previously. Even so, you can count on this free application to provide you with detailed statistics on every piece of hardware in your computer. Including CPU, Motherboard, RAM, Graphics Cards, Hard Disks, Optical Drives, Audio support. Additionally Speccy adds the temperatures of your different components, so you can easily see if there’s a problem.

Typical info screens.

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System requirements: Windows 7, Vista and XP (32-bit and 64-bit)

Download at: Download.com

WinAudit:

I haven’t personally tested this one, but you can read a review of this free computer audit application What’s really under the hood of that computer? on fellow Blogger Rick Robinette’s site.

PC Wizard:

PC Wizard has been designed for hardware detection but, it really shines in analysis and system benchmarking. It will analyze and benchmark CPU performance, Cache performance, RAM performance, Hard Disk performance, CD/DVD-ROM performance, Removable/FLASH Media performance, Video performance, and MP3 compression performance.

System requirements: Windows 7, Vista, XP (32-bit and 64-bit)

Download at: Download.com

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9 Comments

Filed under 64 Bit Software, Audio Applications, Computer Tools, Diagnostic Software, Freeware, Software, System Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

What’s In Your PC? Take A Look With Free LookInMyPC

image Do you have a detailed profile of your computer system which includes details on hardware and installed software? What do you know about your computer’s motherboard, CPU and GPU, remaining drive space, or your operating system’s security hotfixes?

To effectively maintain your computer, and proactively deal with problems that may occur, you can make the diagnostic process much easier if you have specific and accurate details of your computer.

If you need help from a computer support group, from a tech support line, or from a computer knowledgeable friend, you will need to provide specific and accurate details of your computer. Without these details, it can be very difficult for even the most knowledgeable computer tech to be time efficient.

So it is important for you to create a detailed profile of your computer system before problems occur, and retain a printed copy of the report. Normally, creating such a profile can be very time intensive. But there are time saving solutions.

One such solution is LookInMyPC – a free program that automatically generates a detailed audit report of the hardware and software on your computer. It records essential information such as, operating system and processor details, the amount of RAM installed, drive specifications, and much, much, more.

You may get one or more security warnings (as illustrated below), during the install, since this applications digs deep into the system.

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The graphic below indicates just how deep this application digs.

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The following graphic shows a very small (I do mean very small) portion of a scan result, run on my test platform. The data shown here is pretty standard stuff.

image

But, in this portion of the report, the data shown is more complex and could be helpful (along with a huge amount of additional available data), in system diagnostics.

image

A number of features keeps this application a cut above the average:

The results are displayed in your Web Browser in a formatted HTML report. The report is clearly formatted for ease of understanding and divided into appropriate categories. Hyperlinks within the report allow you to quickly search for additional information.

As well, the report can be zipped, and then forwarded as an email attachment to your favorite “tech support” person.

System requirements: Windows 2000, XP, 2003/8, Vista and Windows 7.

Download at: LookInMyPC

A portable version is also available.

I have been using this program for some time, and find it invaluable for troubleshooting, and diagnostics.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

6 Comments

Filed under Computer Audit Applications, Diagnostic Software, downloads, Freeware, Geek Software and Tools, Portable Applications, Software, USB, Utilities

Test Your Computer’s Hardware And Subsystem Reliability With BurnInTest

BurnInTest BurnInTest (latest release January 19, 2011 ), is a terrific software tool for both Windows and Linux, which allows all the major hardware sub-systems of your computer to be simultaneously tested for stability, and reliability.

This menu driven application tests the CPU, RAM, disk drives, optical drives, sound cards, 2D graphics, 3D graphics, video playback, network connections and printers. This can all be done simultaneously, in approximately 15 minutes, and can be custom scripted for automated testing.

The version tested here, was the fully functional 30 day trial version, (no restrictions).

Test Screens:

The preference screen, as the following screen capture indicates, allows for considerably test customization. Far too many to go into in this short review.

BurnInTest 2

A main test screen, as well as additional screens for each system test and sub test, allows you to view detailed scans in progress.

BurnInTest 4

Fast facts:

Assists in PC Troubleshooting and diagnostics.

Dramatically reduce your burn in times with multithreaded simultaneous testing of components.

Avoid costly downtime, system rebuilds and lost data.

Test the stability of a system after configuration changes or hardware upgrades (critical for over clocking).

Results can be saved to disk, printed, or exported as a graphical image.

System requirements:

Windows: Windows 2008 Server, Vista, Win 7, 2003 Server, XP, 2000. (32-bit and 64-bit platforms).

Download at: Passmark.com

Linux: Linux kernel 2.6.9 or higher. X Window System X11R6. KDE 3.2 or higher. Open GL 1.2 or higher (for 3D graphics test plus working Open GL drivers for your video card). libusb library required

Download at: Passmark.com

Note: Free 30 day fully functional evaluation. Standard Edition: US$34, Professional Edition: US$69.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

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Filed under 64 Bit Software, Computer Audit Applications, Computer Maintenance, Computer Tools, Diagnostic Software, downloads, Geek Software and Tools, Linux, Software, Software Trial Versions, System Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

Windows 7 and Vista Ultimate Windows Tweaker –

Ultimate Windows Tweaker is a freeware utility for tweaking and optimizing Windows Vista, and now Windows 7 –  both 32-bit, and 64-bit versions.

This small (235KB), program has a clean, easy to understand interface that gives you access to over 150 system settings, some of which are hidden, and others that are just hard to find. The interface is organized for easy navigation, and it is complete with detailed descriptions for easy reference.

The major benefit in using this type of tweaking application is the ease with which you can make changes to your system – without the drudgery of having to go through menu after menu, or manually editing the Registry to get the results you want.

However, as with any application that makes changes to your system, use caution and be sure to have a verified backup. Fortunately, Ultimate Windows Tweaker allows you to create a system-restore point before you make any changes.

The following screen captures should give you a good idea of what you can accomplish using Ultimate Windows Tweaker.

Personalization Tweaks. Click on any graphic to expand.

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System Performance Tweaks.

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Network Tweaks.

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Additional Tweaks.

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System Requirements: Windows 7, Vista – 32 and 64 Bit.

Bonus: Ultimate Windows Tweaker can easily be copied to a USB flash drive for portability.

Download at: The Windows Club

While this application is designed for advanced users, I see no reason why careful average users should have any problem tweaking their system using Ultimate Windows Tweaker.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

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Filed under 64 Bit Software, downloads, Freeware, Geek Software and Tools, Portable Applications, Software, System Tweaks, System Utilities, USB, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista

Profile Your Computer System With Free Belarc Advisor Version 8.1

image Do you have a detailed profile of your computer system including hardware and installed software? What do you know about your computer’s motherboard, CPU and GPU, remaining drive space, or your operating system security hotfixes?

To effectively maintain your computer and proactively deal with problems that may occur, it is essential that you have as much information about your system as possible.

If you need help from a computer support group, from a tech support line, or from a computer knowledgeable friend, you will need to provide specific and accurate details of your computer. Without these details, it can be very difficult for even the most knowledgeable computer tech to be time efficient.

So it is important for you to create a detailed profile of your computer system before problems occur, and retain a printed copy of the report. Normally, creating such a profile can be very time intensive. But there are time saving solutions.

Belarc Advisor (last updated September 16), is a free program that automatically generates a detailed audit report of the hardware and software on your computer. It records essential information such as; operating system and processor details, the amount of RAM installed, drive specifications, and much, much more.

The following screen capture shows only a very small portion of the audit report.

image

The report also includes a comprehensive list of the software installed on your system, as well as software license numbers and product keys. In addition, it lists the status of the Microsoft hotfixes on your system. If any hotfixes need reinstalling, you will be advised of this.

The results are displayed in a formatted HTML report. The report is clearly formatted for ease of understanding and divided into appropriate categories. Hyperlinks within the report allow you to quickly navigate to different parts of the document, find out more about a particular hotfix entry, or see where a listed software product is installed.

I have been using this program for 5+ years and find it invaluable for troubleshooting, and diagnostics.

System Requirements: Windows 7, Vista, 2003, XP, 2000, NT 4, Me, 98, and 95. Both 32-bit and 64-bit Windows support.

Browser Requirements: Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Opera, and many others.

Download at: Download.com

Belarc Advisor is free for personal use only.

Additional free computer audit applications include:

SIW – System Information for Windows…

Speccy

WinAudit

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

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Filed under 64 Bit Software, Computer Audit Applications, downloads, Freeware, Reports, Software, Utilities, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP