The Retrieving System Information module provides you with the instruction and computer hardware to develop your hands on skills in the defined topics. This module includes the following exercises:

  • Introduction to CPU-Z
  • Collect Windows System Information
  • Understanding System BIOS and EFI.

Exercise 1 - Introduction to CPU-Z

CPU-Z is a freeware tool developed by CPUID (www.cpuid.com). This tool reports detailed information about the processor, motherboard, and memory installed on the PC. In this exercise, you will install CPU-Z and use it to identify various CPU specifications.

Exercise 2 - Collect Windows System Information

The System Information tool or msinfo32.exe is a built-in program that you can use collect system information like hardware resources, components and software environment from Windows computers in your network. This program is essential as it can connect to remote Windows computers and query system information that you can save as a file for documenting your devices.

Exercise 3 - Understanding System BIOS and EFI

Basic Input Output System also known as System BIOS is software embedded as a microchip on motherboards that determines the capability of a computer system. BIOS contains the code required to control peripherals such as keyboard, display screen, disk drives, serial, parallel, USB ports and a number of functions.

The BIOS is burned-in to a Read-Only Memory (ROM BIOS) chip of a computer. A user can alter system information saved in the BIOS and these changes are saved and backed up by a battery in the motherboard. The ROM BIOS is always available and will not be affected by disk failures. The moment a computer is powered on, BIOS is loaded which detects the type of system hardware and other settings then passes the information to RAM when system bootup is successfully completed.

Newer computer systems use Enhanced Firmware Interface (EFI) as a software interface between the operating system and the computer’s firmware. EFI supports bigger disk storage, newer partitioning types like GUID Partition Table (GPT), secure OS boot, 64 bit processors and others.

In this exercise, you will learn how to configure some common properties in a virtual BIOS and EFI. Please note that the type of BIOS and EFI you will use in this exercise has very limited features compared to a regular computer system.

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