The System Information tool in Windows XP, Windows Vista & Windows 7

The System Information tool in Windows (XP, Vista & Win 7) is a Windows utility which will provide you with the full details of what your computer is made up of. You can view the details of the Hardware Resources, Components, Software environment in your computer. This information could come in handy during those times when your computer is not working properly and you need more information to troubleshoot and fix it.

This tool is called MSINFO32.EXE. You can access this tool in Windows in any the following ways:

1. Go to Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools -> System Information.

2.Click on the Start button and then type in “msconfig” in the search box. Now, select the “Tools” tab and scroll down till you find “System information” and launch it. (To launch the system information utility, just select System Information from the list by clicking on it once and then click on the “Launch” button just below it.

3. You can also launch this application by simply clicking on the Start button and then typing in msinfo32.exe in the search box and click OK or just hit the <Enter> key. It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with this information about your computer. When you run this tool, you will find information about your computer categorized under the following three major headings:

  • Hardware Resources
  • Components
  • Software Environment

If you want more information about any of these headings, just click on the plus (+) mark before it. Do not be surprised if you feel a little overwhelmed by all the information this tool provides to you.

You can use the system information utility in any of the following syntaxes given below in the command line:

Correct Syntax


msinfo32 /? This syntax displays the help associated for this command, along with the correct usage.
msinfo32 /pch This syntax opens the system information utility in history view.
msinfo32 /nfo path This syntax exports the system information into a file with the extension .nfo. “Path” stands for where you want the .nfo file to be created in your computer, for example c:\temp. This syntax would then look like: msinfo32 /nfo path c:\temp\mysystem.nfo, which will create an .nfo file called “msystem.nfo in the folder “c:\temp”.
msinfo32 report path This syntax exports the system information into a text file in the path specified in the command. Just make sure that you specify the correct path and the filename with the .txt extension. If you do not specify the .txt extension to the file, then the report text file will not have the .txt extension by default.
msinfo32 computer computername This syntax initiates the system information utility in a remote computer. Replace “computername” with the name of the remote computer. You can also use the IP address of the remote computer you want to connect to. Ensure that you have adequate permissions to access the remote computer.
msinfo32 /showcategories This starts up the system information utility where the categories IDs are displayed instead of the regular friendly category headings. For example, the Software Environment category would be shown just as SWEnv.
msinfo32 /category categoryid This syntax starts up the system information tool with just the specific category ID, as against the previous syntax which showed up all the categories.
msinfo32 /categories categoryID This syntax starts the system information tool with all available information displayed about the specific category IDS. To find out the category ids, start up the system information utility using the /showcategories switch.

Check this link from Microsoft.