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Software Review of:
Belarc Advisor
A Mini Review

 

Jacquelyn Sykes is a regular contributor to the PC Alamode. She believes in using the Public Library and spending as little as possible on her computers.

From the January, 2003 issue of PC Alamode Magazine

The Belarc Advisor, from Belarc, Inc., "builds a detailed profile of your installed software and hardware and displays the results in your Web browser. All of your PC profile information is kept private on your PC and is not sent to any Web server." I discovered this little gem in early November 2002 through Kim Komando's Web site.

Do you want to know what your system consists of and what programs you have installed? Do you want to print it out and take it to the store with you? Do you need detailed information for tech support personnel? Do you want it quick? Then Belarc Advisor is the utility for you.

I've used various utility and productivity programs that can generate a system report. None of them do it as quickly and thoroughly as Belarc Advisor. It's hard to remember which programs can generate a report and access the feature. When you install Belarc Advisor, it puts an icon on your desktop and in your start menu. To run the program all you do is click the icon and wait a couple of minutes. Then a report is displayed in your Internet browser. If you want to keep a record of your system at that moment in time, just save it like you would any Web page.

When I first ran Belarc Advisor on my Gateway computer Super Cow, I found out several things I hadn't known. It told me that I have an Intel Corp MA430VX AA666761-205 Mother Board, a 102 MHz Bus Clock, and an Intel Corp 1.00.07.DQ0T 12/04/96 BIOS. It also told me that my Intel 200 MMX had an 8-kilobyte primary memory cache and a 512-kilobyte secondary memory cache. These are just a few examples of the detailed information Belarc Advisor provides.

The report includes the following sections: Operating System, System Model, Processor, Main Circuit Board, Drives (includes Maker name & model #), Memory Modules (it doesn't tell you what kind of modules they are, just the size and what slots they're in), Local Drive Volumes (includes logical drives and how much space is used & free), Logins, Network Drives, Installed MS Hotfixes (includes verification info & weather it needs to be re-installed), Printers, Controllers, Display (graphics card & monitor), Bus Adapters, Multimedia, Communications (It lists the Maker & model of the Ethernet adapter, the Network card MAC address & the Network IP address, Other Devices (keyboard, mouse, etc), Software Licenses (the ones you have to enter a serial number  in order to install), and Software Versions. 

When you're looking at the software list in the browser, you can hover on a text box that tells you where the program is installed. If you click on the asterisk, a new page displays in the browser with a directory listing. Since it's in your browser, you can print it and you can copy the information to another document. Super Cow's report printed in 3 2/3 pages of small print, 1 2/3 pages contained a double column software listing. 

I've installed Belarc Advisor on computers running Windows 95, Windows 98 and Windows XP Home edition. It runs with no problems on every system. It installed to c:/Program Files/Belarc/Advisor/System/ automatically (you have no choice of install location). 

Since this is a free download for personal use, everyone can afford it. If you want or need to know 'what's under the hood' of your computer system download Belarc Advisor today. Just go to Belarc and follow the instructions.

Vital Statistics:
"Operating Systems: Runs on Windows 95/98/Me, NT 4, Windows 2000 and XP. Browsers: Requires IE 3 or Netscape 3, and higher versions. Also runs on Opera. Download File size: 602 KB." (It uses 1.82 MB of hard drive space on Super Cow.)

Mailing Address: 
Belarc, Inc.
Two Clock Tower Place, Suite 520
Maynard, MA 01754, USA


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