Hardware: What do I have?

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This page looks at how to find out the type of Hardware you have

Some freeware software

Warning:: Many free software sites have lots of Download distractions. Double check you are downloading what you actually want not one of the advertisers products. Also, some Freeware programs want to install additional software (e.g. Browser plugins) read the installation carefully and only install the addins if you really want them.


  • Speccy (Piriform Products, 2011)[1]
    • Speccy is a System Information tool for your PC. Need to find out what's inside your computer? No problem! Speccy will give you all the information you need.
  • HWiNFO (HWiNFO, n.d.)[2]
    • professional hardware information and diagnostic tools supporting latest components, industry technologies and standards. Both tools are designed to collect and present the maximum amount of information possible about computer's hardware which makes them suitable for users searching for driver updates, computer manufacturers, system integrators and technical experts. Really good if you are upgrading parts like the RAM.(Portable version means you can run without installing)


  • System Spec(Nolan, n.d.). [3]
    • A utility to produce a specification of your system's hardware and software. With System Spec you can see, save and print a complete spec of your PC. This standalone, system information utility can also perform various windows functions. Additional advanced info includes CPU, drives, applications, display, memory, networking, internet, CD / DVD drives and more
    • Does run in Vista but does not show all specifications.
  • CPU-Z (CPUID, 2009)[4]
    • Freeware software that gathers information on some of the main devices of your system (CPU, Mainboard, Memory, System).I wanted to check how many memory modules I had installed without opening the case. (Portable version means you can run without installing). This software is also good for getting the information required to upgrade your computer.

  • FreeRAM XP Pro (YourWare, 2009) [5]
    • optimizes computer RAM (Random Access Memory). File size:606 KB (.zip format). Platforms: Windows 95, 98, ME, 2000, 2003 Server, XP (NT4.x is unsupported)
  • PowerDesk (Softonic, 2009) [6]
    • PowerDesk 6 is an advanced file manager providing more features and functionality than the limited file manager offered in Windows or other file management software. It completely replaces Windows Explorer, giving users a wide array of tools to search, edit, delete, move, sort, view and copy files.

Windows XP

  • Use Control Panel > System >
    • General .. write down System & Computer information
    • Hardware > Device Manager .. write down what it found
  • Use Control Panel > System > General .. write down System & Computer information
  • To find he screen resolution, right click on the Desktop > Properties, then the settings tab (This is also how you set up multiple monitors)

Windows Vista

You can get basic system information from Vista using the Control Panel

  • Start > Control Panel >System and Maintenance > System
    • Gives Processor, Memory (And a Windows Experience Rating - based on your hardware)
    • Device manager (on task bar) will give you lots of technical information (and is very useful when you have a device that stops working)

Windows 7

Probably the easiest way to get system information from Windows 7 is to use the search feature on the start button, and type in sys, then select System Information

Windows 7: System Information

Microsoft Applications. e.g. Internet Explorer, Word

  • Use the menu option Help > About > System Info .. write down
    • System Summary: Physical Memory, Virtual Memory
    • Storage > Drives .. write down Drive, Size
    • Printing .. write down the printers attached.
    • Multimedia .. write down Description and Name.

Feature list example

Table 1: Specification examples for a Desktop and Laptop
FeatureDesktop PC Laptop IBM T42 Laptop Lenovo T400
Brand and modelHome Built IBM 23737WM T42 LENOVO 2767CTO
Year and Approx Price 2006, $3,500 2009: $2,500
Serial number
(often under the computer)
## ## ##
MotherboardKT400A-8235 IBM 23737WM  
System Software
Operating system
(Windows XP, Vista Home, Vista Home Premium, etc.)
Vista Business {NT6.0 (Build 6001) SP1 Windows XP5.1 (Build 2600) SP2 Windows XP5.1 (Build 2600) SP3
Central Processing Unit (CPU): Manufacturer/type/speed type (e.g. Intel/Pentium/Dual Core/2.2 GHz)AMD Athlon XP2200+ Intel Pentium M Processor 1.70GHz Intel Centrino (Core2 Duo) P8400 @ 2.26GHz
Random Access Memory(RAM):
(e.g. 1GB DDR2 SDRAM shared with graphics)
1GB (1024MB) 1GB (1023MB) DIMM 2GB (2026 MB) DIMM
(e.g. 320GB SATA)
40GB HDD: C: 21.5GB {5.9GB Free}, D: 15.8GB {3.5GB free} 160GB HDD: C:39.4GM (26.3GB Free), D: 109.6GB (97.4GB Free)
Optical device:
(e.g. 16X Max DVD+/-RW Combination Drive with double layer write capability)
USB Drives (External HDD, Memory Sticks - include size e.g. 2GB) USB HDD Hitachi 2.5" 40GB {F:22.5GB, P:14.7GB}  
Monitor(s): (e.g. 19" wide screen flat panel LCD) 1x15" LCD {1024x768-32bit}/ 1 x 18" CRT {1280x1024 - 32bit}  
Display Adaptor (Graphics card) (e.g. integrated NVIDIA GeForce 6150)NVIDIA GeForce MX 440 with AGP8X ATI Mobility Radeon 7500 ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3400 Series
PrinterHP Deskjet {Inkjet} 930C HP Deskjet {Inkjet} 930C  
Sound Card/Speakers SoundMAX Digital Audio/Speakers  
Mouse Microsoft Wheel Mouse Optical {3 Button} Microsoft Wheel Mouse Optical {3 Button}
Keyboard Microsoft Natural Microsoft Natural
Network Adaptor (LAN) Intel Pro/1000 MT Mobile Connection  
Internet (e.g. Broadband modem/Router, Dial-up modem) IBM Integrated 56K Modem  
Connectors (e.g. USB, sVGA, eSATA) USB: 2, sVGA, Microphone {3.5mm DIN}, Speakers {3.5mm DIN}, Telephone connector, LAN Connector, Power Connector, VGA (external display) , Parallel (LPT1: Printer)  

Other Peripherals that may be included: Output (Plotter), Input (Digital Camera, Digital Video Camera, Digital Scanner, Tablet, Video Capture Card, Joy-stick, Game controller), Communications (TV Tuner Card)

Icon References.png References

  1. Piriform Products (2011) Retrieved February 10, 2011 from http://www.piriform.com/products
  2. HWiNFO32™ (n.d.). Retrieved September 8, 2009 from http://www.hwinfo.com/
  3. Nolan, A. (n.d.) System Spec- Portable System Information Utility. Retrieved January 12, 2009 from http://www.alexnolan.net/software/sysspec.htm
  4. CPUID (2009) CPU-Z. Retrieved September 8, 2009 from http://www.cpuid.com/cpuz.php
  5. YourWare Solutions, 2009. Retrieved September 11, 2009 from http://www.yourwaresolutions.com/software.html
  6. Softonic. Retrieved September 11, 2009 from http://powerdesk.en.softonic.com/

Hardware: What do I have?. (2017). In virtualMV's ( Michael Verhaart ) wiki. Retrieved March 29, 2017, from http://www.virtualmv.com/wiki/index.php?title=Hardware%3A_What_do_I_have%3F    (zotero)