Best Free System Information Utility

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Introduction

The freeware utility AIDA32 was for a long time the best system information / inventorying tool ever, regardless of price. It documented just about every aspect of your hardware and software configuration as well as checking networks and providing memory benchmarks.

However the developer announced in March 2004 that the free product had been frozen and development work shifted to another organization where AIDA32 was re-launched as a commercial product called Everest. Then in 2010 Everest was acquired by FinalWire who shut down Everest and released AIDA64.

You can however still find the old AIDA32 and the discontinued free version of Everest called Everest Home. The old AIDA32 works better across networks while Everest Home covers more modern hardware than AIDA32.

If you only need to inventory a single PC then you should also check out Belarc Advisor. It's free for non commercial use and while not quite as thorough as AIDA32, it has the advantage of being actively developed.

 

Rated Products

HWiNFO  

An excellent system profiler provides in-depth hardware information for Windows.


Our Rating: 
5
License: Free
In depth hardware information, real time system monitoring, can be extended using 3rd party add-on's, frequent updates.
Report generation produces blank details for items deselected.
Read full review...

SIW  

An advanced System Information for Windows tool gathers detailed information about your system properties and settings.


Our Rating: 
4
License: Free (Last free version)
Detailed results, portable.
Does not support Windows 8 and above, free version no longer updated.
Read full review...

PC Wizard  

A system information utility that is strong in workstation description and benchmarking.


Our Rating: 
4
License: Free
Strong in workstation description and benchmarking, regularly updated.
The installer is bundled with the "Ask Toolbar". Installation of the toolbar is optional.
Read full review...

Related Products and Links

 

Editor

This software category is maintained by volunteer editor jason. Registered members can contact the editor with any comments or suggestions they might have by clicking here.

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Average: 4 (42 votes)

Comments

WinAudit is amazing. In search of the serial number for my Asus graphics adapter, but without retrieving the card, itself, I was delighted to find WA provided the unparsed serial number. Since I already knew how many digits to expect, I removed the other characters, and was able to send my question to Asus tech support.

Piriform's Speccy really should've been added to this article - it's free to use, actively developed and is a very good program to have on ANY PC. I keep a copy of it installed on a USB key to see the configuration information of other people's system (many times they don't know what's in their own boxes...) and like CCleaner, Defragger and Recuva it's a quality product.

Highly recommended.

The freeware version of SIW (System Information for Windows) is discontinued according to the website.

SIV is a great replacement for SIW, actually the only freeware I could find. :P

The portable version is still available as freeware which is where our download link points to. MC - Site Manager.

Using the link takes me to:

SIW Technician's Version is a standalone utility that does not require installation (Portable).

When I click on that, I get the following: SIW Technician's Version - 1 Year Free Updates $19.95 Yearly. First Year $39.99.

Could you please direct me to the free version?

You are clicking on the home page link, not the download link http://www.softpedia.com/get/PORTABLE-SOFTWARE/System/System-Enhancement... The download link is just below the home page link in the Quick Selection Guide on all products here ar Gizmo's Freeware. Steve

Thank you for the link.

Another set of free powerful system information and diagnostic utilities that some may find useful comes from HWiNFO -- http://www.hwinfo.com/ . Both x86 and x64 systems are supported, each with installed and portable versions (there is also an application for DOS).

Reviews (and additional download links) may be found at Softpedia:

HWiNFO32: http://www.softpedia.com/get/System/System-Info/HWiNFO.shtml .

HWiNFO32 Portable: http://www.softpedia.com/get/PORTABLE-SOFTWARE/System/System-Info/Portab... .

HWiNFO64: http://www.softpedia.com/get/System/System-Info/HWiNFO64.shtml .

HWiNFO64 Portable: http://www.softpedia.com/get/PORTABLE-SOFTWARE/System/System-Info/Portab... .

The recommendations in this article were excellent, however, I found myself wondering which software functioned best. It is for this reason that I have downloaded, installed and tested most (if not all) of the PC inventory auditing softwares mentioned on this page. For each of these softwares, I have recorded a first-impression review (an overview and tour based on the first 5 minutes of testing each application).

Hope this information helps:

First impression review (overview and tour) of the WinAudit Freeware Version 2.29 software
http://youtu.be/UAQRgyLvJCw

First impression review (overview and tour) of the Unknown Device Identifier Version 8.01 software
http://youtu.be/bCRxnOwwEIY

First impression review (overview and tour) of the System Information Viewer Version 4.38 software
http://youtu.be/QjERnOX2g34

First impression review (overview and tour) of the System Info for Windows Portable software
http://youtu.be/xtMAx2genCQ

First impression review (overview and tour) of the SiSoftware Sandra Lite 2013.SP3a software
http://youtu.be/hHyd16rUDZM

First impression review (overview and tour) of the Piriform Speccy 122 system information software
http://youtu.be/vA1EpTKINWk

First impression review (overview and tour) of the PC Wizard Classic Edition 2012 software
http://youtu.be/sw68DxPOnDg

First impression review (overview and tour) of the LookInMyPC system information software
http://youtu.be/UfrYBMILXMY

First impression review (overview and tour) of the FreshDiagnose system information software
http://youtu.be/dBIhsVmJjbo

First impression review (overview and tour) of the Free PC Audit system information software
http://youtu.be/bsJsW92Mdco

First impression review (overview and tour) of Lavalys Everest Home Edition version 2.20
http://youtu.be/EcQKOaGFuAM

First impression review (overview and tour) of CpuID's CPU-Z version 1.65.1.v32 information software
http://youtu.be/Tr35A5-eOIs

First impression review (overview and tour) of the Belarc Advisor system information software
http://youtu.be/HATgi2urvm0

First impression review (overview and tour) of the Aida32 PE 393 system information software
http://youtu.be/4tofMd3lIfc

The information that is shown about a video card graphics adapter through various auditing software
http://youtu.be/5OhcNZfQYCo

Thank you. :) Maybe you would consider helping us out by joining our editing team? Please contact me if you are interested. MC - Site Manager.

The free version of SIW not only has Open Candy, it has been disabled for Windows 8 machines. As much as I have liked SIW in the past, I can no longer recommend it.

I really like "winaudit"
http://winaudit.zymichost.com/index.html

It is one of the few that can correctly detect my system serial number. (Besides me picking up my laptop, and looking underneath.) It can also be configured to audit networked computers.

I use to use SimpleSysInfo, but it would appear it is no longer developed.

Looks safe (VT 0/39) and comprehensive, it's portable and small (1 mb), unicode supported. Thank you, Rfithen, good find for me.

DO NOT INSTAL PC WIZARD, IT IS more than a tool bar it has CRAP WARE! You have been WARNED!

I am very careful about what free software I put on my PC, however I thought that with Gizmo/techsupportalerts, recommendation there was some kind of effort to preview and stay up to date with current versions of their recommendations. I am wrong!

The above says: "The installer is bundled with the "Ask Toolbar". Installation of the toolbar is optional."

1st that isn't the only thing it trys to in install, there is also something called PC Health, which there is NO OPTION to NOT ACCEPT. Next there is something called Severe Weather Alert. It trys to change your browser's home page, and who knows what else.

2nd in spite of click on not accepting the tool bar, not accepting home page change, and even clicked "decline" at last page of install process, which triggered the install to initiate. Immediately I get two trojan alerts
trojan.agent /en-BHO.Process C:\users\dad\appdata\local\..\ AIR924.3x3
trojan.agent /en-BHO.Process C:\users\dad\appdata\local\micr...\webplayers[1].exe
Next I get a avast web-gen virus alert, which went off the screen before I could jot it down.

I use Winpatrol which attempts to stop process & app attaching themselves to windows startup, it also detects/stops browser home page changes, which is now popping up every 5 minutes as this install keeps trying to change IE's home page.

Oh, there is no icon or program for PC Wizard either on the desktop or Windows Start or in Control Panel > Programs-uninstall. In other words I got all the crap and not the program because I clicked "decline".

Gizmo/techsupportalert should remove PC Wizard immediately from their recommended list. I have install at least two dozen utility type apps recommended here at Gizmo without this kind of problem or headache.

Bundled software and wrapped installers are an increasing problem. The nature of the bundled components can also change frequently. These things are avoidable however during the install process. There are resources available to assist in addition to the notes we add to our product selection guides. http://www.freeware-guide.com/html/adwarelist.html We also publish our own guides. http://www.techsupportalert.com/content/what-else-have-you-just-download... http://www.techsupportalert.com/content/controversial-advertising-progra... http://www.techsupportalert.com/content/cnet-downloadcom-wrapped-install... MC - Site Manager.