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System Information\windows\system32\winmsd.exe\program files\common files\microsoft shared\msinfo\msinfo32.exe

Collect and display information about your computer.

To Open

Start Programs Accessories System tools System Information

Command Prompt winmsd

Command Prompt msinfo32


Microsoft System Information is a reporting tool used to view information about hardware, system resources used by that hardware, software drivers, and Internet Explorer settings (see Figure 4-90). Information is arranged in a familiar Explorer-like tree. Expand or collapse branches with the little plus (+) and minus (-) signs, and click any category to view the corresponding information in the right-hand pane.

Figure 4-90. The System Information window shows an exhaustive amount of information about your system

The "Components" view of your hardware is similar to Device Manager, except that Device Manager also allows modification and removal of the devices. Likewise, the "Hardware Resources" view can also be duplicated in Device Manager with View Resources by type. One advantage Microsoft System Information has over Device Manager is its ability to show history of changes, using View System History.

The information displayed in Software Environment category is also available in bits and pieces through other utilities (such as DriverQuery, discussed earlier in this chapter), but only here is it presented all in one place.


  • Rather than wading through all of the categories, jump right to the item you want by using the "Find what" field at the bottom of the window.

  • Like Device Manager, you can also connect to another computer and view information about that system. Go to View Remote Computer and enter the name of the remote machine.

  • The Tools menu provides access to several diagnostic utilities, all of which are documented elsewhere in this chapter.

  • System Information can also be used to view reports and logs generated by other utilities, such as Dr. Watson (.wlg files), Windows Report Tool (.cab files), and even .txt files.

  • You can print a report with System Information, but you can only print the entire system information collection, which usually comes out to more than 75 pages. If you want to print only sections of the system information, copy it to Notepad and print it from there.

  • If information appears to be incorrect, out-of-date, or missing altogether, try View Refresh or press F5.

  • winmsd.exe and msinfo32.exe have the same features, except that msinfo32.exe accepts command-line parameters, all of which are documented at http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q255/7/13.ASP.

See Also

Microsoft Management Console

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