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Now that you know that you must always download critical updates to your Windows operations system (which is a software program), you may begin to realize that there may be other software program updates that you should be downloading and installing.

Now how do you figure out first, what software you actually have installed on your system, and second where do you go to find out if there is a software program update for the software on your system, where you can actually download and install the update?

Keeping an inventory of both hardware components, and software applications becomes essential when you need to know if there are any updates for drivers for hardware or updates for any of your software programs. A good list should include such items as:

  • Name of program or hardware.
  • Version of program or hardware driver.
  • Date installed.
  • Size of program or hardware driver.
  • Name of Company.
  • Web Address of Company, or phone number.
  • Where it is located on your system. (Many are listed under Programs)

You can find information on your installed hardware by printing a System Resource Report -

  1. Double Click on "My Computer Icon".
  2. Double Click on "Control Panel Icon".
  3. Double Click on "System Icon".
  4. Click on the Device "Manager Tab".
  5. Click on the "Print Button" at the bottom.
  6. Choose which type of Report - (the one with the most detail) and print.

You can find information on your installed software programs on your system, but there is no simple report to print. You actually have to open each program, one by one, by choosing them from "Program" on your "Start Button". Most programs will have a "Help" selection on the top menu bar, then select "about". This should give you some of the information you need for your inventory. Another way is to right click on any program icon (not the folder icon) and selecting "properties", to give you information on your software applications. Using your "find" or "search button" from the "start button" can help also. When you are asking your computer to search for applications - use the wildcard and the exe extension (*.exe) on drive "c". Then right click on each program to bring up the drop down window, choose properties for information on that software.

On new systems - get all the information you can from whom you bought the computer. When you download any program, again print out information on the program you are downloading.

Once you have the version and the company who created the application or hardware driver, you should be able to find their website using the search engines techniques. Each company's website should have some information about updates or downloads, etc. Also there is a web address where you can sign up for free notification of product updates, which is: http://updates.zdnet.com/.

You can go to http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com/ for any Microsoft programs installed on your system. Microsoft will scan your system, (only for Microsoft products) and lets you know if there are any updates available. Some software products when installed, also ask you for your e-mail address so they can notify you if there are any updates.

Belarc Advisor is a user-friendly free program that will also inventory what you have on your system, giving you the important details in summary form. You can download it from this location:



See ResourceRecommendations. Feel free to add additional resources to these lists, but please follow the guidelines on ResourceRecommendations including ResourceRecommendations#Guidelines_for_Rating_Resources.


  • () ValHaring - 04 Oct 2002
  • <If you edit this page: add your name here; move this to the next line; and include your comment marker (initials), if you have created one, in parenthesis before your WikiName.>

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Topic revision: r4 - 2002-11-22 - ValHaring
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