Rob van der Woude's Scripting Pages

Hardware Requirements

Before installing software we often need to know if a computer meets that software's minimum hardware requirements, like the type of processor, the amount of physical memory, the screen resolution or available harddisk space (rarely a hardware issue).

There are many alternative ways to determine installed software versions, but to check hardware nothing beats WMI.

On this page, I will show several sample WMI queries to check hardware requirements.
Some ready-to-run sample scripts are available as well, including some that don't use WMI.

To find out which WMI class you need, you can search MSDN's list of WMI Classes, or you can run one of many available tools to browse WMI:

Alternative Tools

Instead of using WMI, you can also retrieve system information from DMI, also known as SMBIOS.
Though the information available through SMBIOS is not as extensive as the information available through WMI, it is often much faster to retrieve.
There are no native commands to read SMBIOS information, however, so you will need a third party tool like DMIDecode.exe, or you can write and compile your own program.
Use the command dmidecode to list all available information.
Use the command dmidecode -t to see what categories of information are available, then select a category and use dmidecode -t category to list available information for that category.

For programmers, the WINAPI (user32.dll) GetSystemMetrics function may be a useful tool to retrieve information, especially on monitors and input devices.
I wrote a "wrapper" for this function, GetSystemMetrics.exe, which can be used in batch files to retrieve system information.

The .NET SystemInformation class is a great help to detect all kinds of Windows GUI settings.
I wrote two "wrappers" for this class too, SystemInformation.exe for batch files, and SystemInformation.dll for COM enabled languages (e.g. KiXtart and VBScript).

Microsoft's DEVCON (DEVice manager CONsole tool) can be used in batch files to detect, remove or install devices and drivers.

Some sample scripts use DEBUG, native since MS-DOS, but not in 64-bit Windows versions.

On this page, I will provide some alternatives to WMI, all requiring DMIDecode.exe or GetSystemMetrics.exe.

Categories

Processor

The following code lists some of the CPU properties that we may want to query before starting a software installation.
For the full list of available properties, use one of the WMI tools listed above and/or search MSDN.

Batch


KiXtart


PowerShell


VBScript

' List a selection of processor properties
On Error Resume Next
Set objWMIService = GetObject( "winmgmts://./root/CIMV2" )
Set colItems = objWMIService.ExecQuery( "SELECT * FROM Win32_Processor" )
For Each objItem In colItems
	WScript.Echo "Architecture                 : " & objItem.Architecture
	WScript.Echo "Current Clock Speed          : " & objItem.CurrentClockSpeed & " MHz"
	WScript.Echo "Description                  : " & objItem.Description
	WScript.Echo "Device ID                    : " & objItem.DeviceID
	WScript.Echo "External Clock Speed         : " & objItem.ExtClock & " MHz"
	WScript.Echo "Family                       : " & objItem.Family
	WScript.Echo "Level                        : " & objItem.Level
	WScript.Echo "Manufacturer                 : " & objItem.Manufacturer
	WScript.Echo "Name                         : " & objItem.Name
	WScript.Echo "Number Of Cores              : " & objItem.NumberOfCores
	WScript.Echo "Number Of Logical Processors : " & objItem.NumberOfLogicalProcessors
	WScript.Echo "Other Family Description     : " & objItem.OtherFamilyDescription
	WScript.Echo "Processor Type               : " & objItem.ProcessorType
	WScript.Echo "Revision                     : " & objItem.Revision
	WScript.Echo "Status Info                  : " & objItem.StatusInfo
	WScript.Echo "Stepping                     : " & objItem.Stepping
	WScript.Echo "Version                      : " & objItem.Version
	WScript.Echo
Next

The NumberOfCores and NumberOfLogicalProcessors properties are available in Windows XP Professional SP3 and later, not in Windows XP SP2 and older versions.
If in doubt, you may want to count the For Each loop's iterations.

Full details on the Win32_Processor class' properties and their possible values and meaning can be found on MSDN.

 

To check for a 1GHz Intel Pentium 4 or better, we would have to list all processors of ProcessorType 3 (Central Processor), with StatusInfo 3 (Enabled), Architecture 0 (x86) or 9 (x64), and a CurrentClockSpeed value of 1000 (MHz) or more and then check for several "Family values".
AMD processors will have to be tested separately...

The following sample code exits with return code 0 if all of the requirements mentioned are met for at least one processor, or 1 if not:

Batch


KiXtart


PowerShell


VBScript

' Set return code to 1 (requirements not met)
intRC = 1

' Filter for the proper Architecture, ProcessorType and StatusInfo
strQuery = "SELECT * FROM Win32_Processor WHERE ProcessorType='3' AND StatusInfo='3' AND ( Architecture='0' OR Architecture='9' )"
Set objWMIService = GetObject( "winmgmts://./root/CIMV2" )
Set colItems      = objWMIService.ExecQuery( strQuery )

' Check each processor
For Each objItem In colItems
	' Check the clock speed
	If objItem.CurrentClockSpeed > 999 Then
		' Is the ProcessorFamily value in the 178..183 range?
		' Remove the range check if Family requirement isn't that strict
		If objItem.Family > 177 And objItem.Family < 184 Then
			' If all requirements are met, set the return code to 0
			intRC = 0
		End If
	End If
Next

' Exit with the proper return code
WScript.Quit intRC

Processor Info Without WMI

The command dmidecode -t processor will provide information like this:

# dmidecode 2.10
SMBIOS 2.5 present.

Handle 0x0004, DMI type 4, 40 bytes
Processor Information
        Socket Designation: AM3
        Type: Central Processor
        Family: Other
        Manufacturer: AMD
        ID: A0 0F 10 00 FF FB 8B 17
        Version: AMD Phenom(tm) II X6 1100T Processor
        Voltage: 1.5 V
        External Clock: 200 MHz
        Max Speed: 3700 MHz
        Current Speed: 3300 MHz
        Status: Populated, Enabled
        Upgrade: Other
        L1 Cache Handle: 0x0005
        L2 Cache Handle: 0x0006
        L3 Cache Handle: 0x0007
        Serial Number: To Be Filled By O.E.M.
        Asset Tag: To Be Filled By O.E.M.
        Part Number: To Be Filled By O.E.M.
        Core Count: 6
        Core Enabled: 6
        Characteristics:
                64-bit capable

Physical Memory

Without command line arguments, the following code displays the physical memory in MBs.
If a number is specified, nothing is displayed; the script will exit with return code 0 if the actual memory matches or exceeds the specified number of MBs, or 1 if it is less.

Batch


KiXtart


PowerShell


VBScript

intMem = 0
intRC  = 0

Set objWMIService = GetObject( "winmgmts://./root/CIMV2" )
Set colItems = objWMIService.ExecQuery( "SELECT * FROM Win32_PhysicalMemory" )

' Sum the capacity of all memory modules
For Each objItem In colItems
	intMem = intMem + objItem.Capacity
Next

' If a minimum number of MB was specified, check if the actual
' amount of physical memory matches this minimum requirement;
' if no number is specified, just display the number of MBs
If WScript.Arguments.Unnamed.Count = 1 Then
	' Set return code to 1 (requirement not met)
	intRC  = 1
	intReq = WScript.Arguments.Unnamed(0)
	If IsNumeric( intReq ) Then
		' If the requirement is met, set return code to 0
		If intMem >= 1024 * 1024 * intReq Then intRC = 0
	End If
Else
	' Display the physical memory in MBs
	WScript.Echo intMem / ( 1024 * 1024 )
End If

' Exit with the appropriate return code
WScript.Quit intRC

More than 3GB in Windows XP: PAE

If more than 3GB of physical memory is required (some programs, like AutoCAD, really do) and installed in Windows XP, check if PAE is enabled: if it is, the registry DWORD value PhysicalAddressExtension in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management will be 0x1.

The following code will return this value:

Batch


KiXtart


PowerShell

$regpath = "HKLM:\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management\"
( Get-ItemProperty -Path $regpath -Name "PhysicalAddressExtension" ).PhysicalAddressExtension | Select-Object -OutVariable PAE
$ENV:PAE = $PAE

VBScript

Set wshShell = CreateObject( "WScript.Shell" )

strHive = "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE"
strKey = "\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management\"
strValue = "PhysicalAddressExtension"

If CInt( wshShell.RegRead( strHive & strKey & strValue ) ) = 1 Then
	blnPAE = True
Else
	blnPAE = False
End If

Set wshShell = Nothing

WScript.Echo "Physical Address Extension enabled: " & blnPAE

Memory Info Without WMI

The command dmidecode -t memory will provide information like this:

# dmidecode 2.10
SMBIOS 2.5 present.

Handle 0x003B, DMI type 16, 15 bytes
Physical Memory Array
	Location: System Board Or Motherboard
	Use: System Memory
	Error Correction Type: None
	Maximum Capacity: 16 GB
	Error Information Handle: Not Provided
	Number Of Devices: 2

Handle 0x003D, DMI type 17, 27 bytes
Memory Device
	Array Handle: 0x003B
	Error Information Handle: Not Provided
	Total Width: 64 bits
	Data Width: 64 bits
	Size: 8192 MB
	Form Factor: DIMM
	Set: None
	Locator: DIMM0
	Bank Locator: BANK0
	Type: DDR
	Type Detail: Synchronous
	Speed: 1333 MHz
	Manufacturer: Manufacturer00
	Serial Number: SerNum00
	Asset Tag: AssetTagNum0
	Part Number: ModulePartNumber00

Handle 0x003F, DMI type 17, 27 bytes
Memory Device
	Array Handle: 0x003B
	Error Information Handle: Not Provided
	Total Width: Unknown
	Data Width: Unknown
	Size: No Module Installed
	Form Factor: DIMM
	Set: None
	Locator: DIMM1
	Bank Locator: BANK1
	Type: Unknown
	Type Detail: None
	Speed: Unknown
	Manufacturer: Manufacturer01
	Serial Number: SerNum01
	Asset Tag: AssetTagNum1
	Part Number: ModulePartNumber01

Disk Space

Querying free disk space may be quite simple, as the batch file demonstrates.
The other scripts below may look intimidating, but they are more usefull to test for hardware requirements. They require a command line argument specifying the required free disk space in MBs or GBs, and list the drives that meet the requirement. They return an "ErrorLevel" 0 if at least one drive meets the requirement, or 1 if not.
The VBScript version also accepts a drive letter as an optional second argument.

Batch


KiXtart


PowerShell


VBScript

Option Explicit

Dim intFree, intMinReq, intRC, strDrive, strQuery, objWMIService, colItems, objItem

If WScript.Arguments.Count = 1 Then
	intMinReq = CLng( WScript.Arguments(0) )
	strQuery  = "SELECT * FROM Win32_LogicalDisk WHERE DriveType='3'"
ElseIf WScript.Arguments.Count = 2 Then
	strDrive  = WScript.Arguments(0)
	intMinReq = CLng( WScript.Arguments(1) )
	strQuery  = "SELECT * FROM Win32_LogicalDisk WHERE DriveType='3' AND DeviceID='" & strDrive & "'"
Else
	WScript.Echo "Usage:    " & WScript.ScriptName & "  [ drive ]  minfree" & vbCrLf & vbCrLf _
	           & "Where:    drive    is the drive to check for free space (default: all)" & vbCrLf _
	           & "          minfree  is the minimum amount of free space required, in MB" & vbCrLf & vbCrLf _
	           & "Returns:  return code 0 if the specified drive (or if not specified: ANY drive)" & vbCrLf _
	           & "          has the required amount of free space available, 1 if not, 2 on errors"
	WScript.Quit 2
End If

Set objWMIService = GetObject( "winmgmts://./root/CIMV2" )
Set colItems      = objWMIService.ExecQuery( strQuery )
intRC = 1
For Each objItem In colItems
	intFree = CLng( objItem.FreeSpace / ( 1024 * 1024 ) )
	If intFree >= intMinReq Then
		WScript.Echo objItem.DeviceID & vbTab & intFree & " MB"
		intRC = 0
	End If
Next

WScript.Quit intRC

Full details on the Win32_LogicalDisk class' properties and their possible values and meaning can be found on MSDN.

Video

Screen resolutions are hardly ever a problem these days. However, you still may want to check it for some installations.
WMI makes this a snap:

Batch


KiXtart


PowerShell


VBScript

Set objWMIService = GetObject( "winmgmts://./root/CIMV2" )
Set colItems = objWMIService.ExecQuery( "SELECT * FROM Win32_VideoController" )
For Each objItem In colItems
	WScript.Echo objItem.CurrentHorizontalResolution & " x " & objItem.CurrentVerticalResolution & ", " & objItem.CurrentNumberOfColors & " colors"
Next

The code above is fine to "manually" check the resolution, but for unattended installations a comparison is more useful.
The following code will display nothing unless invalid arguments are passed on the command line. It will exit with a return code 0 if the actual screen resolution meets the specified minimum requirements, or 1 if it doesn't.
Mandatory command line arguments are the minimum required horizontal and vertical resolution in pixels:

Batch


KiXtart


PowerShell


VBScript

intRC     = 0
intColors = 0
intHor    = 0
intVert   = 0

' Parse the command line arguments
With WScript.Arguments.Unnamed
	If .Count = 2 Or .Count = 3 Then
		If IsNumeric( .Item(0) ) Then
			intHor  = CInt( .Item(0) )
		Else
			Syntax
		End If
		If IsNumeric( .Item(1) ) Then
			intVert = CInt( .Item(1) )
		Else
			Syntax
		End If
		If .Count = 3 Then
			If IsNumeric( .Item(2) ) Then
				intColors = CInt( .Item(2) )
			Else
				Syntax
			End If
		End If
	Else
		Syntax
	End If
End With

' Read the actual screen resolution
strQuery = "SELECT * FROM Win32_VideoController"
Set objWMIService = GetObject( "winmgmts://./root/CIMV2" )
Set colItems      = objWMIService.ExecQuery( strQuery )

' Compare the actual resolution with the minimum required values
For Each objItem In colItems
	If objItem.CurrentHorizontalResolution < intHor    Then intRC = 1
	If objItem.CurrentVerticalResolution   < intVert   Then intRC = 1
Next

Set colItems      = Nothing
Set objWMIService = Nothing

' Exit with the appropriate return code
WScript.Quit intRC


Sub Syntax
	With WScript
		.Echo "Check if the screen resolution meets your minimum requirements" & vbCrLf & vbCrLf _
			& "Usage:  " & UCase( .ScriptName ) & " min_hor min_vert" & vbCrLf & vbCrLf _
			& "Where:  ""min_hor""     is the minimum required horizontal resolution in pixels" & vbCrLf _
			& "        ""min_vert""    is the minimum required vertical resolution in pixels" & vbCrLf & vbCrLf _
			& "Note:   Return code 0 if requirements are met, 1 if not, 2 on errors"
		.Quit 2
	End With
End Sub

Video Info Without WMI

Use the commands GetSystemMetrics.exe /L and SystemInformation.exe (without command line argument) to list all available properties.

There is a lot of overlap in GetSystemMetrics.exe and SystemInformation.exe, decide for yourself which one works best for a particular task.

Laptop or Desktop?

To determine if the local computer is a laptop you can check the ChassisTypes property in WMI's Win32_SystemEnclosure class, and/or check if WMI's Win32_Battery class has any instances (desktops usually don't have any).

Batch


KiXtart


PowerShell


VBScript

strComputer = "."
intIsLaptop = 0
Set objWMIService = GetObject( "winmgmts://" & strComputer & "/root/CIMV2" )
Set colItems      = objWMIService.ExecQuery( "SELECT * FROM Win32_SystemEnclosure" )
For Each objItem in colItems
	For Each objSubItem In objItem.ChassisTypes
		Select Case objSubItem
			Case  8: ' Portable
			Case  9: ' Laptop
			Case 10: ' Notebook
			Case 11: ' Hand Held
			Case 12: ' Docking Station
			Case 14: ' Sub Notebook
				intIsLaptop = 1
		End Select
	Next
Next
Set colItems = objWMIService.ExecQuery( "SELECT * FROM Win32_Battery" )
If colItems.Count > 0 Then intIsLaptop = intIsLaptop + 1
Select Case intIsLaptop
	Case 0:
		WScript.Echo "This computer is definitely NOT a laptop"
	Case 1:
		WScript.Echo "This computer probably is a laptop"
	Case 2:
		WScript.Echo "This computer definitely is a laptop"
	Case Else:
		WScript.Echo "An error occurred"
End Select
Set colItems      = Nothing
Set objWMIService = Nothing

Laptop or Desktop Without WMI

.NET's System.Windows.Forms.PowerStatus class can be used to check for battery status.
Only PowerShell has a way of directly accessing this resource, for other scripting languages I wrote a wrapper in C#: SystemInformation.exe.
Check its help text for details on its usage.

Batch


PowerShell


Sample Scripts

💾 Click the floppy disk icons to download the ZIPped sources

 

💾 Name Description Technique Remarks
💾 BootDisk.bat Determine the boot disk, partition and drive letter WMI  
💾 BootDriv.bat (DOS)
BootDriv.bat (NT)
BootDriv.bat (XP)
BootDriv.rex
BootDriv.vbs
Return boot drive letter Environment
Environment
WMI
API
WMI
VBScript and XP versions created using script code found in TechNet Script Center: "Disks and File Systems" section (no longer available?)
💾 CDROM.bat
CDROMXP.bat
CDROM.kix
CDROM.rex
CDROM.vbs
Display all CD-ROM drive letters Registry
FileSystem
WMI
FileSystem
WMI
 
💾 CheckRes.vbs Check if the screen resolution meets a specified minimum requirement, and exit with return code 1 if not WMI  
💾 COMPorts.vbs Display serial ports information WMI  
💾 CPUSpeed.vbs Display CPU speed for each processor WMI  
💾 CPUSpeedTD.vbs Display CPU speed for each processor in tab delimited format WMI  
💾 CPUType.vbs Display CPU type WMI  
💾 CPUTypeTD.vbs Display CPU type in tab delimited format WMI  
💾 DiskSpc.bat Display harddisk summary for any WMI enabled computer or for a list of computers WMI  
💾 DispEDID.vbs Display the monitor's EDID asset information Registry Based on a script by Michael Baird (link no longer available)
💾 Drives.bat List local drive letters and types Registry  
💾 FreeSpace.rex
FreeSpace.vbs
Display a disk space summary API
WMI
 
💾 GetCDROMDrives.bat
GetCDROMDrivesXP.bat
GetFlashDrives.bat
GetFlashDrivesXP.bat
List all CDROM or removable "flash" drive letters Registry  
💾 GetPorts.bat
GetPorts.pl
GetPorts.rex
Show I/O addresses for serial and parallel ports DEBUG DEBUG samples won't work in 64-bit Windows
💾 GetRAM.bat (NT4)
GetRAM2K.bat (W2K)
GetRAM.vbs
Display the amount of physical memory installed WINMSD
WINMSD
WMI
VBScript version based on WMI Scripting Primer: Part 1 by Greg Stemp, Dean Tsaltas and Bob Wells.
💾 GetRes.bat
GetResXP.bat
GetRes.pl
GetRes.ps1
GetRes.vbs
Display Windows 2000's screen resolution and refresh rate Registry
Registry
WMI
WMI
WMI
 
💾 GetSystemMetrics 0
GetSystemMetrics 1
GetSystemMetrics 80
Display width (0) or height (1) of primary display, or number of connected monitors (80) GetSystemMetrics Requires my GetSystemMetrics.exe wrapper.
💾 HardDisk.bat List harddisks, their interfaces and revision numbers for any computer on the network DEVCON Requires Microsoft's DEVCON. The script will prompt you to download DEVCON if it isn't found.
💾 Hardware.bat
Hardware.kix
Hardware.vbs
Display a basic hardware summary for any WMI enabled computer on the network WMI  
💾 IsLaptop.kix
IsLaptop.vbs
Check if the script runs on a laptop or not WMI Based on Guy Thomas' CHASSIS.VBS script
💾 Memory.bat Show the amount of RAM in MB 3rd Party Use GetRAM.bat instead if you do not have the NT Resource Kit available
💾 Memory.ps1 Display a physical memory summary WMI  
💾 Modems List all modems installed on the computer DEVCON Requires Microsoft's command line device management utility DEVCON
💾 NICSpeed.bat
NICSpeed.kix
NICSpeed.vbs
Display ethernet adapters' link speed WMI  
💾 PhysMem.vbs Display a physical memory summary WMI  
💾 SCSI.bat
SCSI.kix
SCSI.rex
Enumerate disk drives (IDE and SCSI) Registry  
💾 ShowPRN.ps1
ShowPRN.vbs
Display all installed printers and their properties WMI  
💾 ShowPRNT.vbs Display all installed printers and their properties in TAB delimited format WMI  
💾 TouchDetect.exe Check if touch enabled input devices are available GetSystemMetrics Requires my GetSystemMetrics.exe wrapper.
💾 VideoROM.bat
VideoROM.kix
VideoROM.pl
VideoROM.rex
VideoROM.vbs
Display video adapter summary DEBUG
WMI
DEBUG
DEBUG
WMI
DEBUG samples won't work in 64-bit Windows

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