Because of the constant advancements in technology and the ever-increasing demands on computing power and speed, computers often have a relatively short lifespan. Depending on your use and care of the machine, you may need to replace your PC in three to five years. Knowing when your computer was originally assembled can help you to determine how much life your system may have left.

Not an Exact Science

Most computers don't have a manufacture date stamped on their labels, which can make it difficult to pinpoint when your machine was assembled. You can't always go by when you purchased the computer, as some may sit in a warehouse or on a store shelf for long periods after manufacture. The best way to determine the approximate time your computer was originally assembled is by the BIOS or operating system install dates.

Serial Number

Another way to determine your computer's manufacture date is by looking at the label on the back or side of your tower. The date may be printed on this label, although that's not always the case. If you can't find the date, write down your computer's serial number, and then contact the manufacturer's customer service. A representative can tell you when your model was in production, and sometimes pinpoint the date your machine was finished.

BIOS Installation Date

The installation date of your computer's BIOS is a good indication of when it was manufactured, as this software is installed when the computer is readied for use. To check the BIOS installation date in Windows 8, press "Win-R" to open the Run dialog window, type "msinfo32" (without quotes), and then press "Enter" to see your computer's system information with all the details of your model and installed components. Look for "BIOS Version/Date" to see what version of BIOS software you're running, as well as when it was installed. Note that this will only indicate the manufacture date if you haven't updated the BIOS from the original version that came preinstalled on your system.

Operating System Installation Date

Your computer's operating system was installed after the machine was assembled, and this date can serve as a good indication of original manufacture. To find your operating system installation date, press "Win-R," type "cmd" (without quotes), click "OK" to open the Command Prompt window, and then type "systeminfo" (without quotes) on the command prompt to see a list of all information regarding your system, including the operating system's original install date. Note that this date is only accurate as a manufacturing date if you haven't reformatted your system and reinstalled the operating system at any time since purchase.