One of the things I have learned today is the Windows System Information Tool (msinfo32.exe).
I have never previously used this tool, as I have always used third party software running on disc, either on a PE (pre-installed environment) or through the OS.
This particular tool is standard on all Windows based systems, although support has been discontinued for anyone still using operating systems such as Windows 98/SE and Windows ME (Miserable Edition) and it is why this tool, and knowledge of it, is important.
It does have its drawbacks compared to some other software, which is it doesn’t give as much information as many people would like such as serial numbers etc, but the big plus is that again, every system will have it.
Why is this a big plus?
Well, the scenario may arise that you have no internet and need to access some system info immediately. Msinfo is there and it is quick to gather, though for many, it does display a bit more information than your average techie would need. It gives instant access to Windows Error Reporting which can be invaluable for resolving issues, and the summary window will give most of the basic information needed. The left hand pane gives various options that can be expanded to provide more information such as hardware, software and other components.
One question I would ask is why this pre-installed utility does not have the reporting power that third-party software has? It would surely be a better tool for technicians if it had.