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Read BIOS information from Windows without a reboot


The BIOS date and BIOS version of your PC (laptop or server) is normally displayed when the PC first starts up. It will be shown (if at all) immediately after turning the PC on and before Windows starts to load.

BIOS information (BIOS date and BIOS version at least) can be read whilst in Windows and without a reboot. This is because this information is available to be read from the Windows registry.

To see the BIOS information contained in the registry:

  1. Start regedit

    Regexit.exe is the windows registry editor. To start regedit either:

    W2K & XP: Start > Run > type "regedit" and press return.

    Vista & Windows 7: Start > In the search box type "regedit" and click on regedit once it appears.

    or using Windows Explorer navigate to C:\Windows, find and run regedit.exe.

  2. Navigate down to:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
      HARDWARE
        DESCRIPITON
          System

You should then be able to see the SystemBiosDate, SystemBiosVersion which contain the BIOS date and version respectively, as well as the VideoBiosDate and VideoBiosVersion.

View the motherboard type from Windows without opening the case

You can use the same technique to determine the motherboard manufacturer and version, as this information is also contained in the registry - at least from Windows Vista onwards. (So this does not work in Windows XP or earlier.)

Use Regedit to navigate down to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
  HARDWARE
    DESCRIPITON
      System
        BIOS

You will then see available the manufacturer (either in the key BaseBoardManufacturer and/or in SystemManufacturer) and the motherboard type (either in the key BaseBoardproduct and/or in SystemProductName).


These notes have been tested with Windows Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Vista.



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