What is a Motherboard Detector?

G. Wiesen

A motherboard detector is a type of computer program that quickly and easily allows a user to find out what type of motherboard, usually make and model, he or she has inside a computer. These programs are often used by people in the information technology (IT) industry to determine the hardware inside a machine without having to open up the computer. A motherboard detector can also be useful for a home computer user who is unsure of what type of hardware he or she may have, and needs to know for proper installation of software or for a process such as flashing the basic input/ouput system (BIOS) on a motherboard.

A computer motherboard.
A computer motherboard.

The motherboard of a computer is the central computing board into which all other devices within the computer, such as the processor, hard drives, and video card, are connected. This means that many internal devices may only be compatible with certain types of motherboards, so knowing exactly what motherboard is inside a computer can be beneficial. A motherboard detector allows a person to use software to determine the brand, make, model number and other details regarding the motherboard. This information can often also be determined by physically looking at the motherboard itself, though this can be difficult if it has been installed.

Hard drives are connected to a computer's motherboard.
Hard drives are connected to a computer's motherboard.

A motherboard detector will usually work by simply being installed onto a computer, usually through an Internet download, and then executed. The program will typically do a quick scan of the computer, and then indicate a wide array of information for the user. Depending on the motherboard detector being used, different types of information can be displayed, though most programs will at least include the brand, make, and model of the motherboard. Some programs can run more intensive scans and may display information about other aspects of a computer, such as the processor manufacturer and speed, types of memory being used, and BIOS version numbers.

This can allow the user of a motherboard detector to determine information that may be needed for computer maintenance or software installation. While most hardware will typically run with a motherboard as long as it has the proper connections, some newer hardware may have compatibility issues with older motherboards. A motherboard detector can also typically be used to establish the version number of the installed BIOS on a system. This can allow an IT professional or home computer user to determine whether a newer version of the motherboard BIOS is available, and then update or “flash” the BIOS if necessary.

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