Cry How To...
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:
- 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
- Navigate down to:
You should then be able to see the
which contain the BIOS date and version respectively,
as well as the
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:
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
These notes have been tested with Windows Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Vista.
About the author: Brian Cryer is a dedicated software developer and webmaster. For his day job he develops websites and desktop applications as well as providing IT services. He moonlights as a technical author and consultant.