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Belarc Advisor - Do you know them ?


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#1 RobertWfr

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 01:31 AM

I came across, and downloaded, an app called "Belarc Advisor". It looks around my computer and produces a report covering things like my OS, programs installed ect. and also a security report relating to my settings and missing security updates. If this report is reliable then it looks like my Windows Update is not doing its job because when I run it the missing critical updates stated in the report does not show up on the Update download list.

 

I am wondering if my Windows Update is corrupted, or is the Belarc Advisor report bogus ?

 

If anyone has any info at all about Belarc Advisor (www.belarc.com) please share it with me.

 

Also, any advise on how I can check if my Windows Update is working properly would be most welcome.

 

Thanks All.

 



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#2 cmptrgy

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 04:37 PM

I've been using belarc for years and have seen the issue you mention and I don't see it as a problem

I'm not a professional cmptrgy so I can't give you a technical answer

At first I did a couple of updates manually but then decided to wait out as to whether or not WU would have them in their list and it turned out to be a good decision

What I noticed is that those updates would be noted and updated according to MSFT schedule; usually Patch Tuesday week although there can be different times when they actually are needed.

That said, even though I trust Belarc, it is a 3rd party program and I would trust WU on WU

--- What I do like about Belarc's report, it gives me something to watch for

If you feel that your WU might be corrupted, please let us know



#3 cat1092

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 08:20 PM

Most of the time, Belarc is a good tool to have & use. Though on occasion. an update not need not applicable to my system will be shown. 

 

Honestly, it's right the majority of the time. I can with with the occasional reading that an update is not there, and something to remember....it's up to each of us to do our own research on this (any needed updates offered), to ensure they're for our system. 

 

Too, this is a fraction of Belarc's functions. Only using it to check for missing updates means one's missing out on a lot of what Belarc has to offer. Such as versions of software, last time used, last time USB drives or other media was used, last time booted, and much more. 

 

It's intended to be PC Auditing software for home users (free version), to help ensure the safety of the computer & to assisting the user with security issues beyond that of updating, such as when the computers was last used. For example, one has (or thinks) they're the only one on the computer. There may be other in the home, relatives or friends, whom knows the main password (if exists) & is unauthorized to use the computer, but does anyway, normally when the owner's back is turned. Belarc is good at catching thieves by the data in the report. One may not like that when discovered, but there are no false positives in these attributes.

 

Now, if one doesn't care about that, there's other software that can be used only to scan for updates, Secunia PSI is good for missing update & program updates.

 

http://secunia.com/vulnerability_scanning/personal/

 

Click the Download link underneath "Free Computer Security" for your copy of the software. Note that some false positives about Windows Update is offered here too, however Secunia PSI is to assist you with the total updating of your computer, not just Windows Update. 

 

Hope this is helpful! :)

 

Cat


Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 


#4 RobertWfr

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Posted 04 September 2014 - 03:27 AM

Hi Cat1092,

 

Thanks for the tip about using Secunia PSI. I installed it and am very happy with it. It detects and updates almost all of the software I installed without causing me any disruptions. Thanks again.



#5 cat1092

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Posted 04 September 2014 - 07:36 PM

RobertWfr, you're quite welcome! :)

 

Secunia is the best auto updater that I've ran across, free or paid. Their primary customers are that of corporations & the IT industry, which is how they can afford to pass down the free version for home users. Great to have, as some of those programs, such as Adobe (Reader & Flash) & Java, represents serious security risks if not brought up to date, as well as browsers. 

 

Glad that the software works for you & something to think about, it's still good to keep Belarc installed. It shows the keys to some software installed, and lots of useful features. I use both, but depend on Secunia to keep software updated.......that is, when I'm on Windows. My primary OS is Linux Mint 17, Windows are my secondary OS's. 

 

Best of Luck,

Cat


Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 


#6 rp88

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Posted 28 September 2014 - 11:59 AM

I know this is a bit of an old thread but i wanted to check up something about the software, can it reliably find windows 8 product keys, i'm trying to do a system "reinstall" and i might need mine? Also are their any ways to be absolutely sure belarc advisor is not a virus of some sort?
thanks

Edited by rp88, 28 September 2014 - 11:59 AM.

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#7 Animal

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Posted 28 September 2014 - 02:34 PM

You are asking for absolutes which I doubt anyone with any sort of experience with computers will state. Belarc is well respected tool as long as you get it from a known source and take reasonable validation steps. There are other know tools to obtain your product key as well Also legitimate and safe from known sources.

But I would never say to you anything is absolutely safe and virus free without validating the download myself. Which by the very nature of you being there and me being here is not realistically feasible.

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#8 rp88

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Posted 28 September 2014 - 02:57 PM

It is however probably trustworthy if got off their own site then, you just can't be absolute because no-one ever can. This http://www.belarc.com/free_download.html i believe is their own site. And as far as you can tell it is able to find product keys on windows 8.
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#9 cat1092

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Posted 28 September 2014 - 08:29 PM

rp88, please allow me to spare you the troubles, the key that Belarc displays is not the Windows 8 OEM key that shipped with your computer. Some of the other keys on there where you installed the software, such as Microsoft Office, will be the correct one that you keyed in by hand & just this weekend, I reinstalled both Windows 7 & Dell OEM Windows 8. My Windows 7 & Office 2010 COA's (keys) were correct & all worked fine. I used my Dell Windows 8 Recovery DVD to install that OS, no key was needed, it's in the UEFI. Trust me on this one & don't bother. If you have the right media, no key will be needed. 

 

Neither is the one that Speccy reports correct. If your computer shipped with Windows 8, it has a UEFI motherboard, which is the replacement for the older BIOS type ones. While many still prefers BIOS, those days are officially gone on computers that shipped with Windows 8 & many that shipped with Windows 7 has been shipped with these for a year or so before Windows 8 was released. The main difference here is that Windows 7 is incapable of Secure Boot (the last time I checked), some LInux OS's has the key (that $99 key that many interpreted as a joke, with the rest of the article), in the Privacy and Security Topic in the Speak Easy section. 

 

Back to the UEFI. That's where your "real" key is. You should create a Topic in the Windows 8 section for assistance on this, as you'll get more accurate responses from those who has used the legitimate tools (as Animal described above) to locate your key. Plus we don't want to turn this Topic into another one altogether. 

 

In another Topic recently, I advised you on how to create a recovery disc set, all that was needed were 3 to 5 blank DVD's, the -R type is what most burners of today are compatible with. You can also use a 16GB Flash drive on many computers to do this same thing, and unless corrupted, there's a keyboard shortcut at Startup to load the Recovery process. On some computers, this may be s shortcut in the Start Menu, System Recovery (or similar wording). The system will reboot & begin the process. 

 

No key will be needed if you have any of these options. If this isn't an option to you, you'll have to create a new Topic on the issue in the Windows 8 section of the forum. 

 

Thank you for your understanding in this matter and for being a valued member of BC Forums.  :)

 

Cat


Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 


#10 rp88

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Posted 29 September 2014 - 12:03 PM

Funnily enough i have windows 8 but i have strong reason to believe this machine uses BIOS not UEFI. msinfo32.exe gives information suggesting this is a BIOS type, and says the hardware is not capable of supporting secure boot, so it must be BIOS. I did run belarc (after a test with virustotal)before doing my loading of the older system image, belarc found something as a key which seemed to match the last five characters of a "key" shown in control panel-->action centre--> windows activation. The key given within that place in the control panel "starred" over all characters but the last 5, however they matched the last 5 of the key that belarc found. Also found the key shown in belarc for internet explorer was the same as the key shown for windows 8, ms office had a different key though. I jotted it down, with any luck that is it should i ever need it. I then did the reimaging and found it wasn't needed, sorry for not fully believing you earlier. thank you for your help cat1092. Alos apologies for any taking over of this thread, but my original question on this one was simply about belarc's safety and capabilities.
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#11 Ivy74

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Posted 29 September 2014 - 12:37 PM

Belarc is a safe product. It just obtains information for the user in a quick efficient way. One can argue that is not safe for anyone can get this that and the other thing but that is getting into semantics. I use the product all the time especially when I need to do an MS Office reinstall from the old PC to the new (none OEM people). Plus there are times I don't have info about a server or/and the tools to obtain the serial/service-tag number and a Belarc gets it for me every single time. In short, I love the tool and yet to look for a replacement for it works so well. Also, they have their own website where if you type in Google Belarc it's the first hit and I download the free version, install, update, and there you go.


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#12 cat1092

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Posted 29 September 2014 - 02:08 PM

Ivy74, that's what I used Belarc for over the weekend, to reinstall both of my OS's to new SSD's. My Windows 7 & Office 2010 COA's were the correct ones, I verified what was on the printed email receipt for license accuracy. Though I had to re-install my Full Retail Windows 7 Home Premium first, activated & then used my Windows Anytime Upgrade COA for Pro (that's the license that was shown). All were fine, the Dell OEM Windows 8 DVD required no COA to be entered, it's in the UEFI chip. 

 

I'm wondering if rp88 has a new computer that shipped with Windows 8, or if the rules are different in the EU in regards to the UEFI deal. It's mandatory in the US for new Windows 8 computers, all of them, to have Secure Boot, which requires UEFI & I'd presume GPT formatting of the drive, even if it's less than 2TB in size. Mine was shipped with only a 1TB HDD. 

 

Or if it was a pre-owned or refurbished computer that Windows 8 was installed on. 

 

At any rate, Belarc Advisor is a great tool to have, the COA's are only a small portion of the 6 to 8 page printout. It's designed to be a auditing tool for many other things, to help with computer usage & security. Sometimes an update that's not needed is shown, but this is rare, and has a lot to do in the case of Windows 8, the many platforms it's installed on. 

 

Belarc Advisor is not intended to be a COA retriever for UEFI systems. It only displays, as rp88 reported, the portion shown in the activation details. There are other tools designed for this type of usage, though it's been awhile since I've needed to use any of these.

 

Cat


Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 





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