Yesterday I received an email from a friend of mine which asked for help with a used computer system he had purchased. The computer had software preinstalled on it but came with no documentation, installation disks for the operating system, nor any serial numbers for the software. My friend asked if there was a program I could recommend, preferably a free one, that could help.

My first thought was Belarc Advisor. The software is free for personal use and does a good job in finding out information on a system where the documentation has been lost, or as in this case, non existent. On their site Belarc Advisor is described as:

The Belarc Advisor builds a detailed profile of your installed software and hardware, missing Microsoft hotfixes, anti-virus status, CIS (Center for Internet Security) benchmarks, and displays the results in your Web browser. All of your PC profile information is kept private on your PC and is not sent to any web server.

  • Operating Systems: Runs on Windows Vista, 2008, 2003, XP, 2000, NT 4, Me, 98, and 95. Both 32-bit and 64-bit Windows is supported.
  • Browsers: Requires IE 3 or Netscape 3, and higher versions. Also runs on Opera, Mozilla, and Firefox.
  • File size: 2004 KB.
  • License: The license associated with this product allows for free personal use only. Use on multiple PCs in a corporate, educational, military or government installation is prohibited. See the license agreement for details.

This is what I had advised my friend to use and he responded that the software worked fine for him. But I starting thinking. Is there another software that one could recommend? So please share your thoughts with us.

Comments welcome.


Download Belarc Advisor from here.

  • Wish to run the Belarc Advisor on your corporate network? Drop by their web site for more details.