Question from Kenneth L.: My friend and I have had the exact same HP laptop for over 4 years.
He insists that he bought his laptop several months before I bought mine, but I’m certain that I bought mine first.
Is there any way to tell which computer was bought first? We have a sizable bet riding on the outcome.
Rick’s answer: Kenneth, the easiest way to find out which of you purchased your laptop first is to compare the dates on your sales receipts. But since you asked this question I suppose it’s safe to assume that you no longer have them.
If you really need to know the exact date your laptops were purchased on, there’s a good chance that the retailer(s) you bought the laptops from will still have the sale in their system(s). You could always call them up and ask.
If contacting the retailer(s) that sold your laptops doesn’t help, I don’t really know of another way to discover the exact purchase dates of your PCs.
I do know of a way to find out which laptop was built first however, but only if both laptops are running their initial Windows installations (i.e. no clean re-installs or major version upgrades).
All you have to do is “ask” Windows for the date on which it was installed on your laptops. If so, here’s how to discover the Windows install date:
1 – Press the Windows+R key combination to open a “Run” box.
2 – Type cmd into the “Run” box, then press the Enter key.
3 – At the command prompt, type (or copy and paste) systeminfo and then press the Enter key.
The computer should now work a bit of magic and then display a list of details about your computer’s hardware and its Windows installation, including the date and time that Windows was installed on that particular laptop. (Look for the line labeled Original Install Date.
That’s all there is to it. Just keep in mind the following caveats:
Caveat 1: As mentioned above, this only works if the PC is still running the initial installation of Windows. Upgrading to a new version or performing a clean re-install of Windows will change the date recorded as the installation date.
Caveat 2: This trick only displays the dates on which Windows was first installed on the laptops. There is really no way to account for how long each laptop sat in the warehouse or on a store shelf before it was actually purchased.
As you probably know, there’s always a chance that the laptop that was built first was actually purchased last. But if both laptops were purchased from the same retailer, the odds are very high that the first laptop built was also the first one sold.
Also, if ONE of you still has your receipt you can compare the date on the receipt with the date from the System Info query.
If the date on the receipt precedes the date on which Windows was installed on the other machine then that one was obviously purchased first.
I hope this helps Kenneth. Good luck!
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