Finding hardware and other computer specifications

Finding the hardware installed in your computer may be necessary for determining if your computer meets system requirements, checking on compatibility for upgrades, comparison, or to help sell the computer.

Note: Although almost always correct, keep in mind that whenever viewing any information about computer hardware through a program it may be incorrect. Also, any hardware that has been overclocked displays the overclocked speed and not the original speed.

Windows 98, ME, 2000, XP, Vista, 7, and 8 users
Windows 95 users
MS-DOS and Windows 3.x users
Third-party programs and other methods

Windows 98, ME, 2000, XP, Vista, 7, and 8 users

DxDiag

DxDiag logoThe dxdiag utility included with DirectX allows you to not only display all system information but save it in an easy to read text file. To run this utility click Start, run, and type: dxdiag and press enter.

  • See our dxdiag page for further information on this program

Msinfo32

Run the Windows System Information (msinfo32) that comes pre-installed with Windows to determine installed hardware and software specifications.

  • See the msinfo32 definition for complete information about this utility.

Device Manager

Generic hardware information of what Microsoft Windows is detecting can be found through the Device Manager. If more detailed information is required use a third-party utility. Below is an example of what the Device Manager looks like and the type of devices that may be listed.

Windows Device Manager

Third-party programs

If this program does not list the information you need or you need additional details or other benchmark utilities see the third-party program section on this page for a listing of programs that can be installed to detect and list the hardware and software on your computer.

Windows 95 users

Device Manager

Generic hardware information of what Microsoft Windows is detecting can be found through the Device Manager. If more detailed information is required use a third-party utility.

Third-party programs

If this program does not list the information you need or you need additional details or other benchmark utilities see the third-party program section on this page for a listing of programs that can be installed to detect and list the hardware and software on your computer.

MS-DOS and Windows 3.x users

To see the computer's system specifications run the MSD command from an MS-DOS prompt. Note: As mentioned on the MSD command page this command is only meant for older computers running MS-DOS and not Windows computers running the Windows command line.

Third-party programs

In addition to the methods listed above for determining the system specifications many computer manufactures such as Dell have unique identification numbers that can be used by the computer manufacturer or through their website to determine all your system specifications.

Finally, there are several third-party programs that enable users to display their system specifications and in some cases also benchmark their computer. Below is a short listing of some of these programs and each of the programs capabilities listed in the order we recommend most.

WinAudit
http://pxserver.com/WinAudit.htm

Fantastic free and small program and our highest recommended program for detecting and listing the hardware and software in a computer. Below is a listing of what this program is cable of detecting.

  • Operating System and system model type
  • Computer model and serial number
  • Processor speed and primary and secondary cache amount.
  • BIOS, display, peripherals, and other system information.
  • Installed programs.
  • Security information such as open ports, shares, Internet utility versions, network groups and users, etc.
  • Scheduled tasks, error logs, and complete uptime statistics.
  • Installed memory including what size of chips and what bank their installed into.
  • Drives including hard drive manufacturer, size, SMART status, network drives, and other disc/diskette drives.

Belarc Advisor
http://www.belarc.com/free_download.html

The Belarc free personal PC audit is a great software program and another highly recommended program that creates a fantastic report of your computer hardware and software. Below is a list of what this program is capable of detecting and displaying.

  • Operating System and system model type
  • Processor speed and primary and secondary cache amount.
  • Motherboard type/chipset, controllers, bus clock speed, and BIOS.
  • Installed memory including what size of chips and what bank their installed into.
  • Drives including hard drive manufacturer, size, SMART status, network drives, and other disc/diskette drives.
  • Installed local and network printers and their paths.
  • Installed Video card and display.
  • Installed sound card and other multimedia card.
  • Other connected devices, ie: keyboard, mouse, USB devices.
  • User accounts and last login date and time.
  • Installed virus scanner and its version.
  • Installed Microsoft Security hotfixes and if any missing hotfixes are detected.
  • Software license information
  • Installed software version

Fresh Diagnose
http://www.freshdevices.com/

Another great free method for determining your system specifications through software as well as a program capable of benchmarking your hardware devices. The program is capable of detecting such hardware as the CPU, hard drive, video, sound, motherboard, and drive performance. The program does require a valid e-mail address however to download.

HWiNFO and HWiNFO32
http://www.hwinfo.com/

Another great software tool for getting a comprehensive list of your hardware information that is available as a 14 day trial. In addition to detecting as much and in some cases more than all the programs listed on this page the program is also capable of displaying sensor information used for detecting the temperature of the motherboard, CPU, and any other devices and displaying voltage and fan RPM speeds. Finally, the program also includes a benchmarking comparison that can be used to compare your computer against other hardware.

Lavalys EVEREST
http://www.lavalys.com/

Finally, Lavalys EVEREST is a software program that is available as a trial base and is capable of displaying a very complete list of all the software and hardware installed on your computer as well as capable of performing benchmarks. The program is capable of detecting as much as many of the other programs listed on this page.

SiSoftware SANDRA
http://www.sisoftware.co.uk/

Short for System ANalyser Diagnostic and Report Assistant, SANDRA is an information and diagnostics software program capable of listing the hardware in the computer.

Additional information