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I frequently find that I need to know what sorts of slots are in PC and I'd rather not have to make that person stop working and shut down the PC and open it up to physically look at it.

Is there any place to look in the O/S [Windows XP] for this (or maybe a free/cheap utility that'll tell you this) ?

or even (gasp!) finding the Motherboard spec and looking that up.

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migrated from Dec 9 '09 at 3:55

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.

Throw us a bone here man, what OS? – Chopper3 Dec 8 '09 at 21:54
I think the tags give a decent clue. – womble Dec 8 '09 at 21:57
Good point, well made - but it could be Windows 286 or Server 2008 R2? – Chopper3 Dec 8 '09 at 22:11
So, @Chopper3 , you were thrown a bone. And you weren't happy. What that means is that you were skeleton-seeking. – TOOGAM Jan 31 '15 at 16:15

10 Answers 10

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Speccy from Piriform will provide you with fairly detailed info about the system. It is free and the detail is quite good. From motherboard model and revision to temperatures on the various sensors. Howerver, it does not appear to enumerate the PCI slots - so you will be stuck looking up the motherboard manufacturer's spec sheet after finding the model info with this util.

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You may be able to use dmidecode for Windows, dmidecode -type slot. – Jason C Jul 17 '14 at 16:12

WMI is for memory banks or Dimms only. I say you probably have to crack the case or try Belarc Advisor.

wmic MEMORYCHIP get banklabel, devicelocator, caption, capacity

shows the following:

BankLabel  Capacity    Caption          DeviceL
BANK0      2147483648  Physical Memory  DIMM0
BANK1      2147483648  Physical Memory  DIMM1
BANK2      2147483648  Physical Memory  DIMM2
BANK3      2147483648  Physical Memory  DIMM3

Belarc shows the following:

Processor a     Main Circuit Board b
2.67 gigahertz Intel Core2 Quad
64 kilobyte primary memory cache
3072 kilobyte secondary memory cache
64-bit ready
Multi-core (4 total)
Not hyper-threaded      Board: ASUSTeK Computer INC. P5QL/EPU Rev X.0x
Serial Number: MS1C97B03902735
Bus Clock: 333 megahertz
BIOS: American Megatrends Inc. 0405 05/22/2009
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I'm pretty sure that it's not physically possible to tell what "slots" are open in a machine without opening it up (other than memory). You can tell what kind of cards are installed, but not necessarily "what else" you can install.

Motherboard information is typically available from the BIOS and reported in the System Information utility in Windows as System Model. This tool will also report enough information about the system that you can tell, say, whether the video card is AGP or PCIe.

You can use a tool like Belarc Advisor on each machine to get basically the same information you can get from Windows, but with more detail... like how many memory slots are available and free, etc.

I haven't had to physically crack a case to make a decision in quite a while. Usually I need to know things like "what video card do I need to get to replace this one?" or "what kind of power supply do I need to replace this one?" etc. If you're in a similar boat, then either tool I mentioned will work well enough.

If you're providing support for a single company (i.e. you're the IT guy), then it sounds like some inventory management is in order. You should be capturing all the necessary details to make these decisions without even having to physically go to a machine. Free products like Spiceworks can help with this.

Other than all that, one "secret" tool that I rarely find mentioned is BGInfo; part of sysinternals. I have BGInfo setup in a login script so that any time I login to a machine in my domain with my admin account, it runs a quick scan and sets the desktop wallpaper to an image containing a bunch of information about the system: name, processor, video card, memory, IP & mac address, etc. It has a bunch of fields like this built in, but you can also configure it to query registry keys, WMI entries, or even run scripts to pull information.

Personally I rely on BGInfo and Spiceworks to find information about the machine I happen to be sitting at.

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Call me crazy but… why don't you just look at the support docs for that particular model of workstation?

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Is this a "friends and family" situation or a "Enterprise" situation? If it's friends and family, you better look at it your self to be sure. In a business setting, I would think you'd be familar with the types of PC's usually deployed. If you really have that much of a range in models, "msinfo32" can tell you some good info. – prestomation Dec 9 '09 at 5:39

System Information in System Tools maybe will have the motherboard information in it. If it's a Dell/HP/etc it should tell you the Model number et al of the computer.

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That's accessed from: Start> All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > System Information . Great resource, but nothing in there about the motherboard type (that I could find). – Clay Nichols Dec 8 '09 at 22:10
Ah bummer, it was a craps shoot. sometimes the motherboard reports information, sometimes it doesn't. – RateControl Dec 11 '09 at 21:13

If I recall, SIW can do this. It also shows a plethora of other handy information about the PC, such as licensing, processor and HDD temps, ports, graphics capabilities, network info, etc. It's free for personal use, but costs for commercial use.

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Can't see how to download the Free version without installing some "downloader" (and there's not guarantee the downloader will actually download the program). Too spammy for me. (I know, I want free AND not spammy).) – Clay Nichols May 13 '13 at 17:04

cpu-Z is a Great FREE program that tells you EVERYTHING that you need to know about a computer. Mother board, Bios Graphics, Memory speed and how many SLOTs you have and what memory you have in each dimm slot the S/N of each memory stick, Cpu speed multiplyer VOLTAGE CORE. and if you really want to find out about your video card try GPU-Z. i use this to get information about a computer to find drivers or look up errors WITHOUT needing to look at the MB directly.

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WMI in Windows Management Instrumentation Command-line (WMIC) utility could help you.

Open the Command Prompt window.

run the command:

wmic MEMORYCHIP get banklabel, devicelocator, caption, capacity
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HWiNFO will give you this information.

Install, Run then SMBIOS DMI System Slots

This will tell you about everything you want to know..

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Well, if you were using a real OS ;) you could just type:


at the command line to find out what cards are installed and:


for motherboard information.

lspci man page

dmidecode man page

I know you're thinking, "Why's he telling me this, I run windows?" The answer is Knoppix. Probably one of the most useful tools for Windows troubleshooting, it's a Linux distro that runs directly from CD. Download it and give it a try.

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dmidecode for Windows. Was also available at the time this answer was posted. – Jason C Jul 17 '14 at 16:08

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