How to Find the Manufacturing Date of Your PC
By Nicole Wiegand
Finding out the manufacturing date of your PC isn't an exact science. While you may not be able to obtain a precise date, your PC contains several clues to give you a fairly accurate idea of when it was manufactured. Using these indicators can help you determine the approximate age of your computer.
BIOS Install Date
A computer's BIOS is the set of instructions it uses to get started after being turned on. The BIOS also facilitates the flow of data between the computer's operating system and peripheral devices. Since the BIOS is installed during the manufacturing of a computer, the BIOS install date is very close to the true manufacturing date of the PC. On some computers, you can see which keys bring you to the BIOS menu when you reboot your computer. When you're at the BIOS menu, you can locate the BIOS install date. An alternate way of obtaining this information is through the Debug program, which can be started by typing “debug” at the command prompt.
Operating System Install Date
If your PC still has the original Windows operating system installed, you can find out the date of the installation. This date provides a close estimate of the computer's manufacturing date. To find out this information, type “systeminfo” at the command prompt. The PC returns a large amount of information, including the original install date. If you would prefer to filter this information so that only the install date is returned, try the following command at the prompt instead: 'systeminfo|find /i “Original Install Date”'.
The manufacturing date of a PC is sometimes indicated within the serial number. To find this number, check the back of your PC, where the manufacturer's sticker is often located. If this sticker is missing, the serial number may be inscribed on the PC case. If you are comfortable opening up your PC, you can always find the serial number on the motherboard. If you can't determine the manufacturing date based on the contents of the serial number, you can contact the manufacturer; if you provide a customer service representative with the serial number, he can give you an exact manufacture date.
Why the Manufacturing Date Matters
There are many times when it's helpful to know the manufacturing date of your PC. For example, you may be asked for this information if you bring your PC in for repairs. Sometimes a specific problem is common to PCs manufactured during a certain time period; it can be good to know if your PC might be affected. Knowing the manufacturing date of a PC is also important if you're buying a used computer or trying to sell your old one.
Nicole Wiegand is a writer living in the New York City area. With degrees in computer science and professional experience as a computer programmer, she specializes in topics relating to technology and the internet. She's appeared on two game shows in her life, but never won a thing!