Reviews

AIDA32

Developer: Unlimited Possibilities

  AIDA32 is a freeware (for any individual/company/or commercial use) system information tool, for both the hardware and the software of your system. Imagine it as the Control Panel, but without the ability to make any direct changes to the machine. The program has, literally, everything about the computer it is testing: from the Operating System, until the processor, and even the pc's case! The fact that the program is developing rapidly and there are a lot of new features added every month tells us that it supports most - if not all - of today's computers. The main screen of AIDA is a broad overview of the system with the following services:
Computer, Motherboard, Operating System, Server, Display, Multimedia, Storage, Input, Network, DirectX, Devices, Software, Config, Misc, Benchmark

The main screen

  In the Computer section we can find all devices and software in a pretty strait forward view, easy to manage, use and understand. The operating system has information concerning the version, language, installation data as well as other, such as its features, which can be a debug version, or DBCS version. The program is also related with more advanced info, such as the system's dll and wfp files, its services and the drivers installed on to it. Extremely helpful is the fact that the program provides information about the manufacturer of the product (for hard disks, CPU, motherboards, motherboard chipsets, CD/DVD devices, monitors currently - more to come), as well as the company's site, where the user can find additional info and drivers. Also, AIDA32 supports databases including various details for 20000 hardware components.
  The server part would be very useful, especially if you want to keep track of your home or office network. The system displays a list of all groups (local and global), the users inside a group, security and logon information, the shared files, as well as all the files that have been opened by a user. As you can see this is very important if you want to find quickly who has been doing what in your network! Also, AIDA32 can do audit of a whole network for any size of companies (tested on corporate network of 360 computers, results were high above expectations).
  The display has to do with the graphics card installed to the system, the DircetX specifications, the monitor and the settings for the desktop. There is also a section in multi-monitor, which could be very helpful in computer based presentations.
  Moving down, we have the multimedia part of the program where it informs about the available codec (all in .dll), midi mixers, installed sound cards, their drivers and their in/out ports, as well as MCI features. There is also a section in video, such as avi, mpeg, and other files settings.
  The storage contains a variety of info about the devices, like the controllers, the hard disks, cd-r's and dvd's of your system. It provides the type of connection between the unit and the controller, in my occasion shows the 1+0 stripe RAID connection.
  There is not much to say about the input, it is compromised of the mouse, the keyboard and the game controller. It also shows the number of keys and the language, the delay and the repeat rate of a key in the keyboard, the type of the mouse and its assigned buttons (I use the intelli eye with 5 buttons, it is very helpful especially in browsing files), and all the possible information about the gaming device.
  The network is also a very helpful part of the program. It displays all the network cards found on the computer, their status and their settings, it also has information about network resources, internet browsing settings, cookies and history. The cookies section is very interesting, it quickly informs the users about all the cookies found on the computer, making it easier to remove them and protect himself from any unwanted tracking.
  DirectX settings are extremely useful, especially to gamers. This tool will display the DX device properties, the driver, its version, and many of its features. There are 6 sections, out of which the most important are the video, sound, and network settings, where you can easily see the connection features and make the appropriate settings.
  The devices section is familiar with the same located in the Windows Control Panel. However, the information is much more specific, with analytical details about the type of the device, its properties, the irq's, memory and much more. In general its both simple, but also has in depth information.
  Moving on to the software, we can explore a list of installed programs, the boot list, scheduled, Windows Update, and the relation between the extensions and the assigned programs.
  The Config has to do with the control panel, the registry, as well as the system files and folders, the recycle bin(s), and the event logs. It is very useful when you need to find an error in the registry, as well as know which folder does what and the size of each recycle bin.
  The Misc contains data about the power management, the current language set (regional), and ODCB data sources and drivers.
  Finally, in the benchmark area, there is only a memory tool, yet. The benchmark tests the read/write/seek capabilities of the system's ram.

Memory benchmark

  There is also the report wizard, which generates a list of all the info on the system, in html or text format, which is ideal if you want to have a full system spec in the least time.
  In general, Aida 32 has a lot in common with the Windows Control Panel, but goes in greater depth, which is important for the advanced user, while allowing even the newbie to understand it. A very good one, try it!

A message from the author of AIDA: "The author (me ;) kindly invites all users to help the development by writing me any suggestions/ideas/comments/bugs/problem in English or Hungarian (I reply _every_ mail)".

Download AIDA32!

Apostolis Koustas
19.02.2002

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