How do you capture screenshots outside of an operating system environment?

Lisa Santika Onggrid September 21, 2012

I know how to use screen capture software, but this question intends to address the usage of one when we have no access to any apps, like when I want to show BIOS menu to my friend, or make a tutorial on how to install new OS (the screenshot of first time booting, what options to choose, etc, BEFORE we actually get into the OS)

  1. Abba Jee
    November 25, 2012 at 9:34 am

    you need a digital camera or you can use dual display to record it through its source if capable

  2. kumar raja
    October 16, 2012 at 5:18 am

    Camera is the Best Option If U have

  3. Ricardo
    October 11, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    I'm trying to archive the same thing. I want to capture my screen when I'm outside of Windows like in BIOS, liveCDs, linux etc.

    I tryed to use a hauppauge colossus capture card that has an HDMI input but it seems only to capture the other pc's video when inside of Windows.

    I was able to capture my BIOS using S-Video but the maximum quality is limited by 720x480.

    I also don't want to use a camera or camcoder to capture the screen because the quality is not good and it is not a professional way to make video lessons.

    I anyone could help, thanks in advance.

  4. Mary Rushing
    September 25, 2012 at 1:13 am

    An easy to use free software is called "Easy Capture."
    I use it for the same reasons & you can capture a
    whole page or just part of a window {rectangle}.

    - Mary

  5. Ahmed Khalil
    September 22, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    only camera or mobile cam

    • hamad3914
      October 4, 2012 at 11:40 am

      I have tried mobile cam doesnt really do the job

  6. GrrGrrr
    September 22, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    a camera or a Mobile camera is the easiest option.

  7. illegal3alien
    September 22, 2012 at 11:17 am

    Either use a virtual machine (the BIOS will be very basic) or hook your video out into a video in of some kind (VCR, DVD recorder, PC TV Tuner card)

    You'd probably be best off getting an HDMI tuner card in another PC and hooking your DVI/HDMI out to the HDMI in on the tuner card. Then you can use Windows Media Center or the program that comes with the tuner card to capture everything on the initial computer. If all you have is a laptop, you can get a USB tuner card.

    • Lisa Santika Onggrid
      September 23, 2012 at 8:21 am

      I'll want to avoid using more hardware, but I'll keep that in ind if I have dime to spare. Thanks.

  8. planetshiv
    September 22, 2012 at 9:21 am

    Your handy mobile camera or digital camera will do the job.

  9. jrasulev
    September 22, 2012 at 8:26 am

    You can use camera

  10. ha14
    September 22, 2012 at 7:59 am

    if you can log to your pc from another one like with Teamviewer then you can perhaps use screenshot tools.

    How To Take Screenshots Of Your BIOS?

    • Lisa Santika Onggrid
      September 23, 2012 at 8:21 am

      That's surprisingly easy! I'll look at the options when I log into the BIOS screen again. I wonder if my motherboard use similar key for that function.

  11. Freecycle Me
    September 22, 2012 at 6:01 am

    I sometimes use a video out to a dvd recorder, then screen capture the images fullscreen when playing the dvd back full screen on the pc. complicated but better quality sometimes.

    • Lisa Santika Onggrid
      September 23, 2012 at 8:18 am

      Good tips. I guess it's useful when you have to zoom in to smaller details.

  12. Surendra Ghanta
    September 22, 2012 at 4:35 am

    PrtScn may be helpful, not sure. If you are using Virtual machine or Virtual PC, then it would be easy to take screenshots using regular softwares.

    • Paul Pruitt
      September 23, 2012 at 1:37 am

      On an old Pentium 100, I pressed the Print Screen key and it printed out the BIOS screens, probably though an old LPT1 port. I tried it on my modern machine and the BIOS did not print out via the USB attached printer :-(.

      I did write a web tutorial with my older machine and for the BIOS screens I just scanned the printed screens. If you have a serial port on your machine you might try to use an parallel-serial adapter and see if it works. There is a report on the Web I think I saw that said it worked.

      I think Surendra has the right idea. Install Microsoft's free Virtual PC: If it is an XP tutorial the Windows XP Mode is free starting from the same link. If it is A Windows 7 tutorial, install a trial version of Windows 7 if you can find it.

      Then see if Virtual PC has a BIOS...

      • Lisa Santika Onggrid
        September 23, 2012 at 8:17 am

        Good software. I'll try that out. If it doesn't work, then I'll use my digital camera as Bruce said.

  13. Mike
    September 22, 2012 at 12:19 am

    As Bruce said the easiest and probably most reliable option is to use a camera.

    There used to be a russian project/tool which can create an actual screenshot and store it to a floppy. Not sure if this is still working.

    Another option would be a capture card or hardware where you plugin in the video output of the computer. But it's both costly and requires another computer or device to take screenshots.

    • Lisa Santika Onggrid
      September 23, 2012 at 8:16 am

      Yeah, it's really costly to do it in that way. Thank you for the input.

  14. Bruce Epper
    September 22, 2012 at 12:10 am

    I use a digital camera. If I happen to have a camcorder readily available (not the usual case), I will use that plugged into my TV-out jack on my video card to record what's on my screen, upload the video and grap my caps from there.

    • Lisa Santika Onggrid
      September 23, 2012 at 8:15 am

      I see. Thanks! It's exactly what I need.

    • Douglas Mutay
      October 31, 2012 at 2:11 pm

      Great idea. I have always wonder how to do it. guess this is the best way to do! Thanks

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