How to know how much use time a PC has

To try to know the hours of use that the computer has had, unfortunately there is no method or application that allows us find out for sure, since the motherboard does not keep a record of the time of use. And, if you were to save it, just by removing the battery, that record would be deleted and it would start recording time from zero.

What is the useful life of a computer?

A computer is made up of different parts, parts that, in a desktop computer, we can easily replace with new ones. However, if it is a laptop, things change, and a lot, since we are only going to be able to replace the RAM and the hard drive, both to expand the space and to replace it if it does not work like the first day. In some models, the screen can also be replaced, however, the cost is so high that unless it is a state-of-the-art equipment, it will never pay to make the change.

All the components of a computer suffer wear and tear over time, a wear that can be more or less accentuated depending on the care we take with it. If, for example, the computer does not have the necessary ventilation to expel the hot air that is generated inside, over time, the thermal paste of the processor will lose its effectiveness and we will be forced to replace it, as long as it is possible, a Quite complicated operation on laptops.

Another section in which we must pay special attention is the hard drive, other components of a PC that, over time, they are losing speed, especially SSDs, a loss of speed that is not noticeable to the same extent in HDDs, which are already much slower than SSDs. In addition, we must avoid, whenever possible, that the storage unit is reading for a long time for no apparent reason, since its useful life is reduced when subjected to intensive use.

The best way to extend the useful life of a computer is to use common sense. If we are not going to use the computer for a few hours or until the next day once we have finished working or studying, it is advisable to turn it off completely, not to close it in sleep, hibernate or lock the computer. Although it may not seem like it, if we do not turn off the equipment, it continues to work consuming very few resources, however, in the long run, they add up to many hours that, in the end, always affect the useful life of the components.

Methods to know how much use a PC has

As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, there is really no method to find out how long a PC has been in use, however, we can use some of the tips that we show you below to obtain certain information about its use.

Windows installation date

One of the methods that can help us to know if the time of use of a PC corresponds approximately to what the seller affirms, is to check when windows was installed on the computer for the last time, although it is not a really valid method since that information is renewed when the computer is formatted again. If you want to know the date Windows was installed, we can go to the command prompt through CMD and use the command:


Windows installation date

This command will allow us to know the day and time that Windows was installed for the last time on the computer, it does not allow us to know how many times it has been installed, nor when it was installed for the first time.

Hard drive usage time

One of the methods that, if it can give us a rough idea of ​​the use that a PC has had, as long as it has not been replaced, is found in the SMART technology. This technology is a method of communication between the storage drive and the operating system.

With the advent of SSDs, this technology has expanded the amount of information you can get from storage units and today, it is the best method to check the useful life of an SSD and calculate approximately if its life cycle is near its end.

All manufacturers offer a tool to obtain this information, a tool available on the website of each manufacturer and with which we can find out:

  • The total hours the unit has been running.
  • The number of times the unit has turned on and offa number that will always coincide with the number of times the equipment has been turned on and off.
  • It also allows knowing if the unit has any read errorIf so, bad business.
  • The number of blocks that already Are not avaliables to store data after completing its life cycle.
  • In addition, you can also find out the temperaturealthough this data is not relevant to know the time of use that the hard disk has had.

Without a doubt, this is one of the best methods to find out approximately how long a computer has been in use, as long as it has not been replaced.

Check BIOS date

Another method that can allow us to get an approximate idea of ​​how old a computer is is by checking the date of the last BIOS update received. Unless it is a very old computer, manufacturers usually update the BIOS of their computers regularly to add performance improvements mainly. In addition, some models of motherboards are compatible with more modern generations of processors, so using it as a reference is not very practical.

If the computer really hasn’t been used for a long time, chances are it doesn’t have the latest BIOS updates released by the manufacturer. In this way, we can have an idea of ​​the time of use that the equipment has had in recent times, although it does not allow us to know for sure its age.

processor model

Both Intel and AMD release a new generation of processors every year, processors that are more powerful and more energy efficient than previous generations. Knowing the model of the processor, we can also get a slight idea of ​​how long the PC is, especially in the case of a laptop, since it cannot be replaced by a more modern one as we can do in a desktop computer. To find out what processor is available on the market at that time, both from Intel and AMD, we just have to take a look at their website.

Through the BIOS, we can check the processor model of a computer, however, sometimes this information is too hidden. The fastest method is through the Windows configuration options, within System, in the About section. In the following image, we can see how the equipment is managed by an Intel Core i7 of 8th generation (8750H). Every year a new generation is released. If we take into account that the team is 4 years old in July 2022, we are currently in the twelfth generation.

About Windows

event log

Microsoft is reluctant to let the Control Panel die, a control panel that has been with us in practically all versions of Windows, and that, today, continues to be an important source when it comes to obtaining information about Windows and making adjustments that, otherwise it would be impossible.

Through the Control Panel, we can not only know how long our PC has been on, but we can also access all the records stored on the computer that record the time the computer was turned on and off. In this way, we can analyze, if necessary, the time of use that we dedicate to our PC every day.

To access the event log, both in Windows 10 and Windows 11, we must access the Control Panel from the Windows search box. Next, click on Security system and in Management tools Finally, click on View event log.

Windows event log

Next, we display the Windows Registry directory and click on System. On System, press the right mouse button and click on Filter current record. In the countryside We write 6005 and click OK.

Windows event log

Next, a list will be displayed with the date and time of all the logins of our team, the number of times we have turned on the device from the date we installed Windows.

Windows event log

This information will allow us to know if the equipment has really been used sporadically, with the dates of the records spaced, or if, on the contrary, it has been used every day.

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