Sunday, July 09, 2006

What is in Your Computer?

One would think that finding out what hardware and software is installed on a PC is relatively easy, right? Wrong! In regards to hardware, for example, all PC’s have RAM but what kind of RAM. Is it PC3200 or PC2400? How many slots are on the motherbroad and how many of them are free? The PC has a AMD cpu but what kind? Is it a Athlon XP 2800 or Sempron 2800? And, if you think hardware information is difficult to find out, finding out what software a PC has installed is a nightmare. What hotfixes have been installed? Which version of Nero is the PC using? The picture looks very grim for PC owners. However, there are two software programs that can help to shed some light about a PC.

Lavalys’ Everest Home Edition and Belarc Advisor are two freewares that give PC owners everything they need to know about the hardware and software installed. The two freewares offer information about a PC’s hardware and software but, they tend to focus on different areas of a PC. Everest Home Edition provides more information about the hardware in a PC than it does about the software. It displays information about the motherboard, memory, optical drives, storage devices and much more. This information comes in handy if you want to upgrade a piece of hardware. For example, it will tell you how many empty RAM slots are available and what type of RAM is being used. Everest only offers limited benchmarking. Unfortunately, Lavalys’ has stopped the development and support for Everest Home Edition. However, you can still download the software from various computer technology sites, including BetaNews.

Belarc Advisor, on the other hand, focuses on the software installed on a PC. It will display the operating system, installed Windows hotfixes, installed software and their corresponding license keys. Wow, that was a mouth full. This freeware can also be downloaded at BetaNews.

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