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  1. #1
    Lounger
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    I would like to know if there is a way I can see which slots are not taken up by any cards or devices on my Win7 computer without having to unplug everything & open it up. Even then, I am enough of a hardware newbie that I might not know what I am looking at.

    I am looking for a free PCIe x1 slot to get someone to put a TV tuner card in, but I don't know if it's free or not. I ran Belarc Advisor, but I don't see where it tells me that info.

    Thanks!
    "I'm never in denial." -- D. Rhine

  2. #2
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Look at the back of your computer next to your graphics card, if you have one.
    You'll see PCI bracket slots. (thin strips of metal with a funny clip thing, running purpendicular to the MB)
    This is by no means a way to determine if you actually have an extra PCI slot on the
    main board but there is a good chance that you do.

    For that you will have to research your board's make and model from the manufacture site of your computer.
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  3. #3
    Star Lounger leejosepho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CLiNT View Post
    For that you will have to research your board's make and model from the manufacture site of your computer.
    Yes, either do a search and find some specific info or pull the cover and look inside. You almost certainly have an open PCI slot, but you have said you need PCIe and those are not as common. In my own experience, some boards have a PCIe at the top and some have AGP.

    If you wish, post your make and model and I will try to help you figure out what you might have available. But if you already have a video card in your uppermost slot, I doubt you have an open PCIe.

  4. #4
    Lounger
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    I guess I was wondering if there were a software program that can tell the Hardware Illiterate what is plugged in the slots right now.

    To an existing HP Pavilion desktop, I had a tech add a video card, a bigger power supply, more RAM, a second HD, and a blu-ray rom drive. I'm pretty sure my existing graphics card takes up the PCI-e 16x slot (NVIDIA GeForce GT 240), but I would like to know if I have a PCI-e 1x slot free to add a TV tuner card. I'm pretty sure my computer originally had the capacity for such a card, but I don't know if the slot is already being taken up by something else. Per the HP specs, this is what the factory setup was: Computer model HP Pavilion p6110y with Benicia 1.01.
    Available (originally): 1 ( 1 ) x PCI , 1 ( 1 ) x PCI Express x16 , 2 ( 1 ) x PCI Express x1 , 1 ( 0 ) x Processor , 4 Memory - DIMM 240-pin. Of these, I don't know what's plugged into what except for the GeForce card.

    Thanks again.
    "I'm never in denial." -- D. Rhine

  5. #5
    Star Lounger leejosepho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.Hensley View Post
    I guess I was wondering if there were a software program that can tell the Hardware Illiterate what is plugged in the slots right now.
    Not as far as I know, but the info you have posted could indicate an open PCIe:

    Quote Originally Posted by J.Hensley View Post
    I'm pretty sure my existing graphics card takes up the PCI-e 16x slot ...

    Available (originally): PCI Express x16 , PCI Express x1, PCI
    I would guess your video card is in the uppermost slot and the next one is unused and covered and you have a network card below that. If so, you do possibly have a PCIe available. Are you able to post a pic of the back of your machine?

  6. #6
    Lounger
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    Sooner or later you will need to open up your tower and do a cleaning job to clean out the dust bunnies to help the cooling system so now would be a good time to learn how to open it up. You can go to HP site and inter your make and model and find the instructions on how to do this. At this time it would serve 2 purposes and also further your computer knowledge. Give it a try and good luck plus always plenty of help here.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Is this your board, Asus IPIBL-LB?



    Looks like you've got 2 of them if this is your board.
    Get "SIW" look under "hardware", "System lots" it will show you what is available.
    DRIVE IMAGING
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  8. #8
    Lounger
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    Go here to see instructions on how to open case plus other hints on what's in side the case.
    http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/d...t=3974986#N993

  9. #9
    Lounger
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    I appreciate all your advice. I think you're right; I'm going to have to get over my phobia and open up the case if I want to know the answer. At least HP does have a lot of info online about their setups. Of course, mine has been changed (for the better)...

    Thanks again! I may become a computer geek yet. ;-)
    "I'm never in denial." -- D. Rhine

  10. #10
    2 Star Lounger
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    J.Hensley,

    All the info given here is good. Except, you're afraid of what you don't know. And I can't blame you. I strongly recommend you have someone show you how to open your case and what to look for. I've had cases that required a superman to open up. For a newbie this would be a real problem. Sometimes, a fan might be attached to the cover and wired to it. Sometimes the whole case comes off the chasis in one piece (top,and both sides). I don't mean to scare you but find a freind to show you. After that you will find it easy to do yourself.

  11. #11
    New Lounger
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    There is a free (also paid) program called system information for windows that will show you all the info you require without opening the case. the link is:
    http://www.gtopala.com/
    Hope this will help...Joe

  12. #12
    2 Star Lounger
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    Don't forget ...a nice PCIe video card in the 16x slot may be a double-wide, covering up a 1x slot. If that's the only 1x slot, SOL.

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