Free PC Audit is a simple tool that will quickly detail more information about your PC.

The program's System tab provides a basic hardware rundown, including the motherboard model, BIOS type, CPU, RAM details, hard drive models, graphics card and more. Also listed are your Windows product key, user accounts, network shares, installed Windows updates and Startup programs.

The Software tab is just a list of every application installed on your PC, along with their version number, publisher, install date and size. (There's also a "Product key" column, but on our test system that only gave us a key for Office 2010.)

And the final Processes tab is even more basic, just listing the name and path of every process running on your system.

Still, the program could be useful if you just want to know one or two of its core details (you've forgotten your PC's motherboard model, say, and can't be bothered to open the case). And it could be handy for basic troubleshooting or network auditing purposes: save the finished report, and if your PC seems unstable in a month's time, then you can compare its current and previous states to see what's changed.

If you need more power, though, you could just upgrade to one of the author's commercial versions, Network Asset Tracker or Network Asset Tracker Pro. This allows you to scan network systems as well as your local PC (and without having to install software on the remote PC); supports scans of SNMP-enabled network devices; keeps a proper database of previous scans; and can even take screenshots of remote desktops. Prices start at $59/ $79, and rise depending on the size of your network: see the MIS Utilities site for more.

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There are far more powerful free system information tools around, but Free PC Audit's ease of use and portability means it will appeal to some