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Tool to get installed components on a PC

I want to buy a second hand laptop. I need to examine a laptop's configuration before I make a decision to buy it. I know the information the information about the components of a laptop can be intentionally fabricated.So the information I go through my computer/properties/hardware/device manager to see may not be reliable. So how can I get the real technical specifications of a second hand laptop?

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marked as duplicate by Mehper C. Palavuzlar, Diago Dec 24 '10 at 15:19

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

    
Some vendors may fiddle the information on device manager. –  Steven Dec 24 '10 at 11:34
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Don't buy out of the back of a van (or anywhere similar) and you shouldn't have to worry about fake specs. –  ubiquibacon Dec 24 '10 at 12:15
    
Most of the information can be found at the manufacturers website, for hard drive and memory you can open the access doors and inspect model numbers on the parts. –  Moab Dec 24 '10 at 21:18
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2 Answers

It's highly unlikely that they would be fabricated, as in many cases fabrication of the device name would require modification of the device BIOS, or if it doesn't have one, its identifier... that's very unlikely. It would take a some effort by someone who knows what they are doing (we're not talking about your average computer user).

Pretty much all Windows applications use the same service/interface to access system information, so if you're concerned about fabrication on a software level, boot into a live CD of some sort and see what it says about your hardware. If you really, really want to make sure, open up the laptop and look at the components inside, often they will be marked. If you are even more paranoid than that, disassemble the individual components and look at the data sheets on them (if available).

But to be honest, it's more than likely they're not going to fabricate the information being given to you. It's too much hard work, and too easy to demonstrate that they've done it.

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For example, the real memory is 512M,but it may be fabricated to 1G. –  Steven Dec 24 '10 at 11:45
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Lying to the operating system about the size of memory in the machine would cause a significant amount of problems. If you're talking about just lying on their specifications to you, you could just use a tool like Speccy ( piriform.com/speccy ), SANDRA ( sisoftware.net ), HWMonitor ( cpuid.com/softwares/hwmonitor.html ) or Everest ( lavalys.com ), which would tell you the specifications it detects. –  Matthieu Cartier Dec 24 '10 at 11:48
    
Are the specifications detected by Speccy always reliable? –  Steven Dec 24 '10 at 12:26
    
If the operating system isn't lying, yes. If the operating system thinks there's 1G of memory and there is 512MB, though, that would result in a very unstable system, so it's unlikely (at least on a memory front). –  Matthieu Cartier Dec 24 '10 at 12:37
    
I have heard a 160G hard disk space can be fabricated, the real hard disk space is 80G though. –  Steven Dec 24 '10 at 13:51
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Read this site first and or sites like it
http://www.computerhope.com/btips/laptop.htm
Your concern was about being ripped off and how to guard against it, you are not alone, it's possible to do what you have described but it is a lot of work for little gain and generally you will have no problems.If still unsure take it to a computer shore that repairs computers and they can test the parts for a fee. These tests, with general questions-where/when did you buy? any major/minor troubles, change any parts? will help you. Run this free test. It tests the memory and gives you details on what is installed.
memtest86 -free download,place in cd and run test, most info comes up very quick but a fair test to run anyway.
http://www.memtest86.com/
Start computer and press the delete or f1 button to open the bios and check the info and that it matchs.
On the users desktop click on the menu ,then accessories,then 'run' type 'cmd' in and tap enter or type cmd in search, click on it to open.
-in the cmd panel type - systeminfo - this gives you the system info.
-also in the cmd panel type- dxdiag - click yes to drivers, it will need internet conection [if you want to know if the drivers are signed] this also provides more info. sound,system,display
From the internet you can have a test run and go to the 'one care scan' microsoft site.
Click on the full scan and they will ask to test if it is a legal copy to do the scan click ok, you will not have to use the scan,it tests before the full scan starts.
You can open the machine and look at the stickers to make sure they match system info [small screw driver set required] they will be in good condition as they do not see sunlight, is the age about right?,etc.
There is only so much you can do.
All these are quite fair and i hope this eases your mind. enjoy your computer

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