How to find out everything inside your computer, all the details and differences between installed hardware and software
The difference between hardware and software on PC it can embarrass those who are beginners with computers, given the flood of names that can be found on the site’s guides and on any other site dedicated to information technology.
To meet all users, we will explain in this guide the differences between PC hardware and software and how to generate a comprehensive reportso as to be ready for any IT exams, as well as knowing in depth how the PC we use works.
1) What is hardware?
Hardware can be considered any physical element that we “touch” externally to use the computer or that we can find installed inside our PC: from the computer case via the mouse, the keyboard, the processor, the RAM memory, the internal memory, the motherboard, the power supply, and any video card.
Therefore, if we are faced with a problem of a hardware nature, we will have to physically check the health of the PC elements, disassembling the side panel of the case and checking which internal device is causing the problem.
With external devices, it is easier to carry out the check since it is enough to disconnect them from the PC and see what is wrong (perhaps by connecting the same defective peripheral to another computer).
To learn more, we can read our guides on what components are inside a computer and how to identify the computer hardware and the individual pieces of the PC.
2) What is software?
With the term “software,” we indicate everything that cannot be physically “touched” on the PC, i.e., programs, device drivers, applications, and the operating system. These components are made of bits and take advantage of the hardware available to be able to perform mathematical calculations or provide the function requested for that specific app (for example, the browser lets you surf the Internet, while the Spotify app for Windows allows us to listen to music).
When we hear of a PC software problem, we will have to look within the operating system, programs, or drivers installed; software problems can also overlap with hardware problems (often one causing the other), making it very difficult to figure out the true source of the problem.
problems,To try to solve software problems, we can read our guides on how to find out what’s wrong with your computer when it’s not working right. come on what to do if a program crashes and doesn’t respond.
3) Comprehensive reporting programs
On Windows PCs, we can use various programs to obtain a complete report of the hardware and software components on the computer. These applications are often used by those who want to know the internal components of the PC or by those who are studying the differences between hardware and software and want to learn more about the subject by analyzing the device in use.
The most famous program for getting a good report is Speccysupplied by the same company that manages CCleaner (a popular cleaner for Windows). By starting this program, we will get a report that is easy to view and has information within everyone’s reach without necessarily having to search the Internet for the meaning of each acronym.
As a valid alternative to Speccy, we can also use HWiNFO, a very famous free software for generating PC reports that is also available in a portable version (i.e., without installation). This program is great for anyone who wants more complete and detailed reports, but a certain degree of preparation is required to be able to accurately read the data provided (we must have studied computer science or computer engineering).
Another professional program to discover the hardware and software on our PC is Belarc Advisor, a paid program that we can try for free on all PCs. With Belarc Advisor, we will get a very detailed report on the status of the computer and everything inside. The report shows an overview of the system, followed by information about installed applications, users, network status, and real-time Windows updates. It is interesting to see the detailed analysis of computer protection settings, which generates an overall score also based on the average. In the details, all possible PC vulnerabilities are indicated with a red cross.
For further information, we refer you to reading our guide to reporting on computer hardware and devices with MSInfo and the Hardware Report on Computers with Technical Details of Each Internal Piece.
Now that we know well what the differences are between PC hardware and software, we can use one of the programs seen in the dedicated chapter to do a PC review and really know what’s inside, especially in cases of problems or if we are preparing for a computer exam at school or university.
To learn more, we can also read our guide on how create the list of programs installed on the Windows PC.