Does anyone know how I can tell exactly what motherboard I have in my computer?

Discussion in 'Computer Information' started by I-PRACTICALLY-INVENTED-THE-INTERNET, Dec 4, 2011.

  1. I would like to upgrade it, HP won't tell me, and for all I know they
    made this thing. Is there a serial number somewhere, or can I access
    this from device manager...?
    1. Advertisements


    Paul Guest

    Belarc Advisor, CPU-Z, or perhaps the free version of Everest ?
    (Note - do not cut and paste the output of those programs, without
    first removing any software license keys from the listing! Belarc
    has license keys listed.)

    Or something called DMI Explorer might do it. On Asus motherboards,
    the Asus Probe program has a DMI Explorer, which prints out strings
    stored in the BIOS.

    Another option would be to start the computer, and as long as the BIOS
    is not in "fancy logo" mode, you see text as the computer boots up.
    (You can enter the BIOS and turn off the logo, to reveal a text-based bootup.)
    There will be a "BIOS string" printed on the screen. You press the
    "pause" key, so the text stops, then write down the string and
    Google it. The BIOS string should be unique (1 string per motherboard),
    except in cases of Chinese knock-offs, where a BIOS string is cribbed
    from another motherboard. Generally, manufacturers pay in some way,
    for the BIOS, and the exception is knock-offs, where the BIOS is
    just copied from another product.

    If I look in Everest, for my motherboard, I can see:

    Motherboard ID 65-0501-000001-00101111-120809-Bearlake$A1033000_BIOS
    DATE: 12/08/09 21:16:00 VER: 08.00.12

    If I were to reboot the computer now, it's possible that long string is the
    "BIOS string" printed on the screen during bootup. Everest is probably
    getting that from BIOS DMI.

    When I ran that string through Google just now, one site listed this info:

    "System Summary

    Model: P5E Deluxe
    BIOS type: American Megatrends
    BIOS ID: 65-0501-000001-00101111-120809-Bearlake
    BIOS sign on: A1033000
    BIOS date: 2009.12.08
    Chipset: Intel 29E0 rev 1"

    The BIOS sign on, could be related to the PCB revision. On Asus
    motherboards, they may make three versions and the third version
    is the one that ships. The others are prototypes or mistake cleanups.

    There are some motherboards, made by "PC Chips" company, where the
    motherboard bears no markings of any kind. (Most motherboards have
    a label in white letters, silk screened onto the motherboard.)
    There used to be a site called "PC Chips lotto", where users
    would try and figure out the motherboard name, based on scant
    evidence. That's an example of a "worst case brand", due to the
    difficulty of identification.

    Companies like HP, get OEM motherboards from Asus, Foxconn or
    others. Even Intel branded motherboards, are made by other companies.
    (Foxconn has half a million employees, and they have to be doing something :) )
    In the case of HP, if you enter the model number of the machine,
    the HP web site gives pretty good hardware specifications, including
    the motherboard name. So you may not necessarily even need Belarc
    or the others, to get some info on the build.

    For double checking, you can also look at photos on Ebay for
    the motherboard. Say the motherboard name was "Albatross",
    you'd go to Ebay and search for "HP Albatross motherboard"
    and with some luck, you might see variants available for it
    as original replacement stock (they would be "pulled" from
    de-commissioned computers). Some computers, may have had
    slightly different revisions used in the same casing. Using the
    Ebay pictures, you can confirm your motherboard looks the same.

    The hardest part of changing the motherboard, is software
    activation. The OS may not want to run on the new motherboard,
    as the software is also "OEM" and not transferable to other
    hardware. So if you were going to change out the Celeron
    in there, for a new Core i7, it may end up costing you
    the price of a new OS as well. The OS is referred to as
    "branded OEM", meaning there is a scheme to tell it is
    running an HP box. This is a whole other area of research.

    Paul, Dec 4, 2011
    1. Advertisements

  3. message

    You mean besides taking the cover off and reading the name and model number
    printed on the board itself? No.

    Use another machine and plug the discriptors that are printed on the board
    into the SEARCH box of your favorite browser. For example, the board might
    say FX372-900-ATS, whatever, someplace -- look in the vicinity of the
    processor and work your way out -- into the search box of Yahoo or Google.
    As you type the first three of four characters, the rest of the designation
    appear on a list of possible hits.
    Jeff Strickland, Dec 4, 2011
  4. I-PRACTICALLY-INVENTED-THE-INTERNET was thinking very hard and all he
    could come up with was:
    There are numerous system information programs you can download for
    free that provide information on your system.

    I use PC Wizard 2010 the most

    There's also
    HWiNFO32. It's popular.

    Everest Home

    You could go to the Utilities: Benchmark & Diagnostics section of any
    freeware site, such as this one, and read the descriptions and reviews
    to find one you like.

    -There are some who call me...

    "Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's
    - Isaac Asimov
    James D Andrews, Dec 6, 2011

    Bville Guest

    Download this nice little utility at
    Bville, Dec 13, 2011

    - Bobb - Guest

    Can that run from CD, or does the system have to boot/ be up and running?

    Ask because a friend has an HP box that won't boot and if a new motherboard
    is cheap enough it could be salvaged.
    - Bobb -, Dec 13, 2011
  7. That's a confusing statement, Bobb...

    If the current motherboard is toast, then it doesn't matter what it is
    because if you replace it then all you care about are the specs of the new
    board. You can remove the board and carry it to the computer parts store
    where they will easily know exactly what it is, although it isn't very
    important because any new board should fit UNLESS you have a very small
    case -- which means a very large board will not fit.

    Boards have the mounting holes drilled in standardized locations, so all you
    care about is the ability of the board to physically be wedged into the
    case -- if the board fits into the confines of the box then it will align to
    the mounting points.

    When you get a new board, you will likely want new RAM and a new CPU, so
    none of the specs of the old board matter.

    You can easily get a very nice motherboard/CPU as a packaged set for $125.
    You can perhaps get the set for less, but if you go in with a budget of
    $125, you will be sure to walk out with something. If you have $200, then
    you can get a killer setup, including several gigs of RAM.
    Jeff Strickland, Dec 14, 2011

    - Bobb - Guest

    Hi Jeff,

    Buying "just another board" does him no good - would need to buy, then
    reinstall Vista ... not interested.

    His Pc has 3ghz CPU , 3gb of memory but Vista doesn't complete the boot.
    Suspect the motherboard but that's as far as he's gotten. He bought a Lenovo
    replacement PC ($450) for now. For the "bad HP PC", the only license he has
    is OEM from that model , so IF he could get another of the same
    motherboard - i.e pop his old one out, swap CPU, memory and pop the new one
    in , hook up cables and boot - without reinstalling Vista etc , then he'd
    rather do that than me trying to fix it next week ( trying to get his data
    off the disk).
    - Bobb -, Dec 15, 2011

    Bville Guest

    Has to be booted up.

    Bville, Dec 15, 2011
  10. You said that, "if a new motherboard is cheap enough it could be salvaged,"
    which is a nonsensical thing to say as a follow-up question about whether a
    utility works from boot or if it needs a working machine.

    If a new motherboard is cheap enough, then it does not matter what the specs
    are of the one that does not boot.

    And the one that does not boot is more likely to be a problem with the boot
    sector of the HDD than a problem with the motherboard, so that brings us
    back to a utility that tells you the specs of the motherboard not helping.

    The OS lives in the HDD, and swapping the motherboard does not change that.
    The motherboard comes with a CD to load drivers, and you seem to be
    suggesting that if one bought the same motherboard then he would not need to
    reload drivers, I suppose there could be some logic there but I've never
    gone to the trouble of finding the same motherboard. But in any event, if
    one could plug the HDD into a new board, then the existing installation of
    the OS would survive and there would be no need to reinstall the OS. If one
    found the exact same motherboard, then one may avoid having to search for
    and install drivers to support it because they would already be on the HDD.
    I'm not sure this is true, but I follow the logic... One would not need to
    reinstall the OS, but one may need

    If you wanted to find the specs of a motherboard, you can simply enter the
    information PRINTED on the motherboard into the searchbox of your favorite
    browser, and there would be more information than you ever dreampt of
    knowing that would magically appear on your monitor. Input the computer
    model number, ie: HP a6010n, into the search box on Yahoo and see what comes
    Jeff Strickland, Dec 15, 2011

    - Bobb - Guest

    It's not my PC. The PC has business licensed software - for that CPU only.
    If it's simple the OWNER would have it fixed. If not he won't ( buy a new
    board/ pay to have it done, then pay to reinstall vista/contact vendor,get a
    new license for that software, reinstall it, etc)
    Thanks for the help. He has bought a new one for now and, I guess, now he'll
    just pull the disks and memory and toss the old one rather than trying to
    fix it.
    - Bobb -, Dec 16, 2011
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.