How to Use the Windows Dxdiag Computer Diagnostic Tool

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Years ago, when I wanted to know what kind of motherboard I had installed in my computer, I had to resort to trying to get a glimpse at the board type while the system BIOS was running.

Even, more of a hassle, was when I would have to open up the computer case and try to read the markings etched directly onto the motherboard itself. It use to be a real headache, but not anymore.

Here is a really simple way to to find out what type of motherboard you have installed in your computer system.

Note: This tutorial assumes that you are using a Microsoft Windows based operating system (e.g. Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, etc).

DISCLAIMER: This May Not Work For Everybody… Note: There are instances where a person may just get “System Manufacturer” and “System Product Name” when using the DxDiag Command. This usually occurs on a machine that I have custom built. You might want to also checkout our videos on:

Here are steps for Dxdiag:

Step 1 – Click on your “Start Button” located at the bottom left of your desktop.

Step 2 – Type the word “run” (without the quotes) in the search box (magnifying glass on the right), then press the Enter key.

Step 3 – Type the phrase “dxdiag” (without the quotes)in the Run dialog box (The word Open will be to your left). Then press Enter or click the “OK” button.

Step 4 – This brings up the “DirectX Diagnostic Tool” menu.

Step 5 – Locate and click on the “System” tab (at the top). Under the System Information section on this page locate the following:

  • System Manufacturer: This will be the brand (maker) of your motherboard.
  • System Model: This is the model of your motherboard. You can now do a simple Google search using the system model and visit the motherboard maker’s site to find out more info about the mainboard.

Step 6 – Feel free to review the other tabs and system information about your computer. When you are done just click the “Exit” button to close the DirectX Diagnostic Tool.

Image of the DirectX Diagnostic Tool Screen

What Is the DirectX Diagnostic Tool?

DxDiag (“DirectX Diagnostics”) is a diagnostics tool used to test DirectX functionality and troubleshoot video- or sound-related hardware problems. DirectX Diagnostic can save text files with the scan results. These files are often posted in tech forums or attached to support emails in order to give support personnel a better idea of the PC the requester is using in case the error is due to a hardware failure or incompatibility. DxDiag is by default located in %SystemRoot%\System32. In Windows Vista and Windows 7, DxDiag only shows information; it is no longer possible to test the hardware and the various DirectX components.

 [Source of "What is the DirectX Diagnostic Tool" paragraph was: Wikipedia]