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It's often desirable to have a comprehensive list of all the hardware and software installed on your machine. Belarc Advisor is the way to get it.

Is there a way or a tool to tell me what the computer's specs are?

Indeed there is.

There are various tools, including Windows itself, that will report on various aspects of your computers configuration. Most focus on one or two specific aspects, though, and make it difficult to form a picture of your computer as a whole.

Belarc Advisor is a PC auditing program that examines your computer and produces a one-page report of all the hardware and software installed on it.

A very comprehensive report.

Here's an image of just a portion of the report on my desktop machine:

Example Belarc Advisor Report

The report goes on to include all Users, Printers, Displays, Network adapters and other hardware, as well as listing all installed software, licenses (including product keys) and hotfixes.

It's an impressive list.

Belarc Advisor also provides a level of evaluation, letting you know whether or not you are up to date on security fixes and the state of your virus protection. There's also an exhaustive benchmark of your overall security status. (Quite frankly this last is overkill for the average user, but highlights many additional things that can be done to "lock down" a system to be used in a security conscious environment. Here at home, I failed this benchmark. Smile)

Belarc Advisor is free for personal use, and a great utility for auditing and recording your comprehensive system state.

I recommend it.

Article C3526 - October 10, 2008 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

Carl R. Goodwin
October 14, 2008 9:00 PM

I've used this utility for years now - I LOVE IT!

Linda Claycomb
January 13, 2009 1:16 PM

Although Belarc is a very good program which I use for overall viewing, I would also recommend SIW (System Information for Windows - SIW). It gets a tad more in depth with your system hardware and software.

Everest would be another good benchmarking program.

Paul Masters
January 13, 2009 4:18 PM

Aida32 is another VERY comprehensive professional system information, diagnostics and benchmarking program running on Win32 platforms. It extracts details of all components of the PC. It can display information on the screen, print it, or save it to file in various formats like HTML, CSV or XML. It's gotta be one of the top 5 most useful utilities ever. Oh, and it's free.

full hardware & software information on 80 pages
built-in hardware database: detailed information about 22000 components
physical information for CPU, motherboard, hard disk, optical drives, motherboard chipset, buses, sensor information, installed programs, event logs list
diagnostics module to reveal possible problems
memory benchmark

and much more.

paul redfern
July 8, 2009 12:37 AM

this belarc advisor is great. told me everything i didnt have a clue about re. my pc. its great and so far ill be keeping it. im glad i saw it mentioned. regards and thanx

October 6, 2009 10:01 AM

I jsut used belarc to see my winxp COA code.. and it seems that the one listed by the program is infact not my product key and isn't a valid code..... Hmmm weird, guess I'm glad I didn't loose the original

May 4, 2010 1:17 PM

I LOVE Belarc Advisor!!! I have installed it on all of my PCs and those that I have repaired for family and friends. I inform all who use this wonderful FREE program, to print out the complete information for future reference. Plus, by printing out the information, the print out will give me all of the Product Key Codes numbers/letters, should I have to re-format and re-install Windows. Saves me LOTS of time and energy.

No, it is not as thorough as other programs, but most of those are not FREE and most times, all you need is the basic information. Another great feature of Belarc Advisor is that it tells you whether or not your PC security updates from Microsoft is up to date. That in itself is a great assess, especially when I am trying to 'trouble shoot' someone else's PC.

I personally list Belarc Advisor as one of my definite programs that MUST be installed on any PC. Plus, it is FREE!!! It can't get much better than that. }:o)

August 8, 2010 4:04 PM

I started using BA way back and I think it's a nice app to have. But I wish there was simple information on how to correct benchmark failures. Those little red x marks bother me.

December 27, 2011 10:11 AM

Belarc is good. I like the fact that it even includes updates that aren't installed. I really don't know of another that does that. People that think their machines are completely up to date will probably be surprised.
I also use SIW because it's portable and Belarc has to be installed.
You could carry around the Belarc.exe on a stick also. Don't see a downside there either.

Buddy Harris
December 27, 2011 7:13 PM

Belarc Advisor produces a comprehensive Specification Report (mine runs 10 pages) of my computer and it's FREE for personal use. The information is invaluable when you need Technical Support and you are asked for spec. data. I highly recommended this software program.

Dave Markley
December 28, 2011 8:35 AM

I highly recommend Belarc Advisor, however, I have found that the Windows Serial keys and Microsoft Office keys they shown seem to never be the correct ones. All other data seems to be 100% correct and Belarc is an invaluable software program, my guess that Microsoft is somehow affecting what 'keys' can be read. I've used this on at least 20 PC's over the years and the inaccuracy of the MS keys have been the only flaw.

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