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Old 11-01-2012, 03:49 AM   #1
stf92
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Motherboard part number: how to find it out? The pause key trick does not work.


Hi:

Every motherboard (aka mainboard) model has associated with it a part number, which can be read while the machine is booting in line 25 of the display (for a 25-line display). Any way, it can be read in the bottom line, be it 25 or not.

This part number, or ID number, of course, uniquely identifies the motherboard within a given manufacturer. An example of such number is M758LT, which is the part number of a Pcchips motherboard. The number is in fact much longer, 'M758LT' being a sufix of the whole string.

To read the part number, I have always reset first the machine and then pressed the keyboard Pause/Break key until I see it displayed. At this moment, the display will be frozen and will remain so until I press any other key.

I beg your pardon if this introduction has been rather long. I have now received, as a present, a new machine and want to know what the motherboard part number is. But the Pause/Break trick does not seem to work here. The machine, as told to me, is a Pentium IV, double core, with two-channel DDR RAM. Any other way to find out the mainboard part number?

EDIT: in reality the BIOS responds to the Pause key, freezing the display. Only that the motherboard model part number I never see it.

Last edited by stf92; 11-01-2012 at 04:48 AM.
 
Old 11-01-2012, 04:23 AM   #2
druuna
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Have you tried tools like lshw and/or lshal?

Here's a snippet from the lshal output on my box that concerns the motherboard:
Code:
  system.board.product = 'P6T DELUXE V2'  (string)
  system.board.serial = '106561180000542'  (string)
  system.board.vendor = 'ASUSTeK Computer INC.'  (string)
  system.board.version = 'Rev 1.xx'  (string)
  system.chassis.manufacturer = 'Chassis Manufacture'  (string)
  system.chassis.type = 'Desktop'  (string)
  system.firmware.release_date = '02/24/2010'  (string)
  system.firmware.vendor = 'American Megatrends Inc.'  (string)
  system.firmware.version = '0901'  (string)
  system.formfactor = 'desktop'  (string)
  system.hardware.primary_video.product = 3618  (0xe22)  (int)
  system.hardware.primary_video.vendor = 4318  (0x10de)  (int)
  system.hardware.product = 'System Product Name'  (string)
  system.hardware.serial = 'System Serial Number'  (string)
  system.hardware.uuid = 'E070001E-8C00-00DD-5D8F-20CF3039BB1F'  (string)
  system.hardware.vendor = 'System manufacturer'  (string)
  system.hardware.version = 'System Version'  (string)
 
Old 11-01-2012, 04:28 AM   #3
stf92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by druuna View Post
Have you tried tools like lshw and/or lshal?

Here's a snippet from the lshal output on my box that concerns the motherboard:
Code:
  system.board.product = 'P6T DELUXE V2'  (string)
  system.board.serial = '106561180000542'  (string)
  system.board.vendor = 'ASUSTeK Computer INC.'  (string)
  system.board.version = 'Rev 1.xx'  (string)
  system.chassis.manufacturer = 'Chassis Manufacture'  (string)
  system.chassis.type = 'Desktop'  (string)
  system.firmware.release_date = '02/24/2010'  (string)
  system.firmware.vendor = 'American Megatrends Inc.'  (string)
  system.firmware.version = '0901'  (string)
  system.formfactor = 'desktop'  (string)
  system.hardware.primary_video.product = 3618  (0xe22)  (int)
  system.hardware.primary_video.vendor = 4318  (0x10de)  (int)
  system.hardware.product = 'System Product Name'  (string)
  system.hardware.serial = 'System Serial Number'  (string)
  system.hardware.uuid = 'E070001E-8C00-00DD-5D8F-20CF3039BB1F'  (string)
  system.hardware.vendor = 'System manufacturer'  (string)
  system.hardware.version = 'System Version'  (string)
Thanks. And among all of these strings/numbers, which would be the one you would need if you want to get your motherboard manual?
 
Old 11-01-2012, 04:35 AM   #4
stf92
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Pardon for posting again. I tested lshal in a known machine. BIOS reports (line 25) M758LT, but lshal (system.hardware.product and system.product) says M758L7. Naturaly, I must trust BIOS the most. Same thing for lshw.

Full stop. Can it be properly said that every PC must respond to the Pause key when it is booting and, what is more important, the it will show the manufacturer motherboard model part number?

Last edited by stf92; 11-01-2012 at 04:41 AM.
 
Old 11-01-2012, 04:35 AM   #5
druuna
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The system.board.product = and system.board.vendor = entries show the name that is commonly used. In the output I posted that would be a board produced by ASUSTeK Computer INC. (Asus for short) and the type would be P6T DELUXE V2.

Most of the time the system.board.product = entry is unique enough to use as a search criteria (in combination with manual in your case).
 
Old 11-01-2012, 04:40 AM   #6
druuna
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stf92 View Post
Pardon for posting again. I tested lshal in a known machine. BIOS reports (line 25) M758LT, but lshal (system.hardware.product and system.product) says M758L7. Naturaly, I must trust BIOS the most. Same thing for lshw.
Besides lshal you can also try dmidecode to get this information. This is shown on my box (snippet concerning board):
Code:
Handle 0x0002, DMI type 2, 15 bytes
Base Board Information
        Manufacturer: ASUSTeK Computer INC.
        Product Name: P6T DELUXE V2
        Version: Rev 1.xx
        Serial Number: 106561180000542
        Asset Tag: To Be Filled By O.E.M.
        Features:
                Board is a hosting board
                Board is replaceable
        Location In Chassis: To Be Filled By O.E.M.
        Chassis Handle: 0x0003
        Type: Motherboard
        Contained Object Handles: 0
On my box the output is the same, not sure if that will also be the case for you.
 
Old 11-01-2012, 04:57 AM   #7
stf92
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Same trouble with dmidecode, druuna. Though M758LT is not the machine I am interest in, of course. Maybe one of those utilities give a string which exactly matches that shown by the BIOS in the case of the unknown machine, but how could I be sure? I no way. So, and given that it also responds to the Pause key by freezing the display, the real question is "where is the string?" Maybe that the machine is too fast and won't give time to read it?

EDIT: I think I've made a fool of myself. The very first line BIOS prints on the screen is

AMIBIOS(C)2003 American Megatrends, Inc

This is followed by

P4i65G BIOS P1.00

After a couple of lines more, it begins scanning the disks, so, and in the absence of the screen bottom line string, P4i65G has to be the motherboard model. Cant check agains the linux utilities output because I have no linux installed on the machine in question yet.

Last edited by stf92; 11-01-2012 at 05:17 AM.
 
Old 11-01-2012, 05:22 AM   #8
druuna
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The mentioned string (P4i65G) does reflect an existing motherboard ASRock P4i65G

There's also a link present for a manual.
 
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Old 11-01-2012, 05:52 AM   #9
stf92
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Thanks a lot, druuna.
 
Old 11-01-2012, 06:02 AM   #10
cascade9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stf92 View Post
Pardon for posting again. I tested lshal in a known machine. BIOS reports (line 25) M758LT, but lshal (system.hardware.product and system.product) says M758L7. Naturaly, I must trust BIOS the most. Same thing for lshw.
I've heard of that sort of thing before, its typically a typo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stf92 View Post
Can it be properly said that every PC must respond to the Pause key when it is booting and, what is more important, the it will show the manufacturer motherboard model part number?
No.

But you can normally get the motherboard model with some method.

I always start with the eyeballs. Check the board all over, there is normally some marking soemwhere that will at least give you a hint.

To use the ASrock P4i65G as an example, its easy to stop the giant 'P4i65G' which is pretty much all you need. If that didtn exist, the 'Presscott 800' and 'Dual Channel DDR-400' are nice hints. The socket can be hard to know without expereince, but knowing its a socket 478 board isalso handy.

The BIOS will normally tell you somewhere the board model.

If that fails, yor you are too lazy to bother stripping the case of and cant be bothered/dont know how to get into the BIOS, lshw and dmidecode are great tools with linux. hey will run with liveCDs, it doesnt have to be installed. Theres windows hardware detection software if you are using a windows box and cant/dont want to boot a liveCD.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stf92 View Post
The machine, as told to me, is a Pentium IV, double core, with two-channel DDR RAM.
Sorry, its a single core P4 with hyperthreading. BTW, dual core pentium 4s are technically 'Pentium D'.

Last edited by cascade9; 11-01-2012 at 06:04 AM.
 
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Old 11-01-2012, 06:42 AM   #11
stf92
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You've given me plenty of information here, cascade9, for which I am deeply in debt. But look how fool a person can be. When I received (as a present) the computer, the was no output on the monitor. And these "modern" machines having a miserable builtin speaker or no speaker at all, I couldn't even know if BIOS was booting OK (these speakers are barely heard). So I took the machine ALONG WITH the monitor (CRT, pritty heavy) to the computer shop/repair house, where they showed me that, among the connectors in the rear pannel, I was using the wrong one.

In my rush, anxious to use my new machine, I had not noticed there was a video card, apart from an onboard one. So it cost me ten dollars to discover I am a fool! Extremely cheep, indeed.
 
Old 11-01-2012, 06:48 AM   #12
cascade9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stf92 View Post
So it cost me ten dollars to discover I am a fool!
Most people working no computers have made a mistake like that before. I know I have. Losing $10 to learn it was a mistake isnt that nice, but you wont forget it. Sometimes making a mistake is a good way to learn.
 
  


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