Using the System Information Tool

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 2, 2014)

1

In order for Windows to operate properly, it must maintain a huge amount of information behind the scenes. It needs to know, for instance, what devices are installed in your system, what the capabilities of those devices are, how to access those capabilities, and how to communicate with the device. With dozens of devices in most computers (hard drive controllers, video controllers, USB ports, a mouse, a keyboard, etc., etc.) the number of details to track quickly becomes mind-boggling.

If you want to get the full details on what Windows knows about various devices in your system, the easiest way to do it is to use the System Information tool. You can display this tool (if you are using Windows 7) by clicking Start | All Programs | Accessories | System Tools | System Information. If you are using Windows 8, the steps are a bit more complex: display the Control Panel, click System and Security | Administrative Tools, and then double-click System Information.

Regardless of the version of Windows you are using, you'll shortly see the System Information dialog box. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The System Information dialog box.

The actual information displayed in the System Information dialog box will differ from system to system, which makes sense since every system is unique. The information is grouped into three major areas, however: Hardware Resources, Components, and Software Environment. These three areas are shown at the left side of the System Information dialog box.

To explore the information maintained by Windows about your system, just use the controls at the left side of the dialog box. Click a plus sign, and the area is expanded. Click a minus sign and that area is collapsed. You can also use the Find What box, at the bottom of the dialog box, to locate some tidbit of information, if desire.

Do some exploring in the System Information dialog box, and your eyes may quickly start to glaze over—the amount of detail can be overwhelming. That detail, however, can come in quite handy if you are trying to troubleshoot a problem that crops up. The information can help you zero in on a problem or, by conveying the right tidbit to a technician, he or she can help you identify the solution to a problem.

 This tip (13122) applies to Windows 7 and 8.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Erroneous Table Math

Depending on the type of data you have in your table, the SUM(ABOVE) function might return incorrect results. Here's an ...

Discover More

Setting the Starting Line Number

Line numbers are an important part of some documents, such as those prepared in the legal profession. If you want to modify ...

Discover More

Rotating a Text Box

Text boxes are integral to the layout of many slides, especially if they contain text. Here's how to change the angle at ...

Discover More
More WindowsTips

Changing Your Sound Theme

Don't like the sounds that Windows has chosen to play when system events occur? Here's how to change the sound theme that ...

Discover More

Using Desktop Themes from Around the World

When you install Windows, it installs desktop themes appropriate to where you live. You can access a number of themes from ...

Discover More

Customizing the Start Menu

Windows gives you the ability to customize exactly what appears on your Start menu. Here's how you get to the controls for ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 9 + 4?

2014-06-02 09:24:13

Joe935

Easier to get there from "File Explorer":
This PC
C:
Control Panel
System and Security
Admin tools
System Information


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.