HWiNFO32 was briefly mentioned in the How To Update Hardware Drivers In Windows guide as a tool to identify hardware and devices. The program can display comprehensive hardware information and real-time system health information.
It is a portable application which means that it can be started from an external device without installation. Users who prefer to install the application can download an installer instead from the developer website. A beta version that includes the latest features and hardware support is available on that site as well.
HWiNFO32 displays a system summary window and its main user interface on startup. The system summary displays real-time system information, from the processor and video card clock to supported CPU features and motherboard interfaces.
Information that you can grab from the screen include the cpu, video card, computer memory and motherboard model and specification. This can for instance be handy to see if there are firmware updates for the bios version, or driver updates for the graphic card. While it is not possible to search for those from within the application, it makes it easier to find the right driver information online as you can make a detailed search for those updates.
The main application window lists hardware groups on the left, and detailed information about devices in that group on the right. The level of detail exceeds that of the Windows Device Manager and the Bios device listing.
Here is a short list of useful hardware information displayed by the program:
The program has a report option which can be used to save a detailed hardware report in various formats to the local PC. Reports can be saved as text, xml or HTML files among other options.
A click on Sensors displays sensor information, including thermal sensor readings. You see the cpu, pch, motherboard, video card and hard drive temperatures, fan speeds and core voltage information.
The program keeps track of max and min values for as long as it is running in the background. Handy to assess the temperature levels or voltages over time, for instance to see if crashes or lock-ups are caused by critical temperature levels.
Alerts and notifications can be configured if values reach critical levels. The program supports a wide variety of options in this regard, from playing a sound and running a program to displaying information on Logitech LCD keyboards or a sidebar gadget.
HWiNFO32 comes with a benchmarking tool to benchmark the cpu, memory and disk. It is recommended to disable all running applications before the benchmark is started for clearer results.
The developers have included an automatic update check in the application to keep the program up to date automatically. This is completely optional but handy if installed hardware is not recognized correctly or fully supported by the hardware information tool.
HWiNFO32 is packed to the brim with hardware and device related information. That, and the fact that it can be used as a portable application should be reason enough to include on a CD or USB stick full of system repair, maintenance and analysis tools.
Is there anything missing? Well, the application missed the cpu fan on our Windows 7 test system, but that was the only thing missing.
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