Windows 8 Administrative Tools – System Information

How to Launch It

Control Panel Way

  • Open “Administrative Tools” applet from the traditional Control Panel.
  • Launch “System Information” from the list of administrative tools.

Command Way

  • Invoke Run window or Search Charm. Select the Settings tab in case of Search Charm.
  • Type in the command “msinfo32”, and hit Enter.
System Information tool lists a plethora of components of your system. I will describe several of them. Note that this tool provides only static information. You can’t interact with any information provided by this tool.

System Summary

This section gives summarizes both the hardware and the software part of your system. Here are some of the details listed in this section.
  • Version (e.g., Windows 8) and edition (e.g., Release Preview) of the operating system
  • Name and model of the computer
  • Manufacturer of the computer
  • Details of the processor, like its name, speed, number of cores, etc.
  • Type of system architecture – 32-bit or 64-bit
  • Location of Window and system directories
  • Username of the logged in account
  • Time zone
  • Physically available RAM size
  • Size of RAM that Windows can actually use


This section of the tool lists all the physical hard drives attached to your system. It provides hardware details of each drive. Some of provided details are as follows.
  • Manufacturer of the drive
  • Size of a sector (e.g., 512)
  • Total sectors on the disk
  • Number of partitions on the drive. Note that even the logical partitions are counted.
  • Total space on the disk
  • Details of each partition, like the size of the partition and the starting position of the partition on the drive

Running Tasks

This section lists all the programs that are currently running on the system. This functionality is actually superseded by Task Manager because you can interact with the list provided by Task Manger, while System Information merely gives a static list. Each program contains details like
  • Name of the process
  • Location of the program that created this process
  • Process ID
  • Time when the process was created
  • Size of the program, if available.

Startup Programs

This section lists all the programs that are configured to launch automatically after logging in. Again, the Task Manager supersedes the functionality of this section, because you can interact (for example, enable of disable automatic launch of a program) with the list provided by Task Manger; System Information merely gives a static list. Each program lists details like
  • Name of the program
  • The command that invokes the program
  • Username, under the parenting of which the program will launch at startup.
  • Location of the registry entry for the startup configuration of this program

System Drivers

This section lists all the drivers that have been installed by Windows till date; and trust me, it is a really, really long list. You would be surprised to know that Windows takes so much pain to make your hardware devices work smoothly and happily! Each driver contains details like
  • Name and description
  • Location of the driver file
  • Type of the driver – kernel driver, device driver, file system driver, etc.
  • Whether it should be started automatically at boot, started by system when required, or started manually.
  • Current status – running or stopped
  • Status of the driver file

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