Updated: 12/20/2017 by Computer Hope

Alternatively referred to as System Information, msinfo32 is an executable file that was first included with Microsoft Windows 98 and included with all versions of Windows since then. This program is designed to give Windows users a comprehensive listing of the computer hardware, resources, software, and Internet settings.

How to open System Information

  1. Click Start and Run.
  2. Type msinfo32 and press Enter.
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 and XP users can also enter the System Information window by typing winmsd and pressing Enter.

Below is an example picture of what the Microsoft System Information window may look like on your computer.

Windows System Information - msinfo32 window

Below is a list of what is detected and listed by this program once opened.

  • Version of Windows and service pack information.
  • Computer name, make, and model.
  • Computer CPU and speed.
  • BIOS version and data.
  • Complete hardware resource information including conflicts/sharing, IRQ, DMA, and other resource information.
  • Installed drives including the CD-ROM, hard drive, and other disc/diskette drives.
  • Installed sound card and video cards.
  • Installed network cards and their associated network addresses and information.
  • Other devices such as the keyboard, mouse, and connected USB devices.
  • Installed software, drivers, signed drivers, startup programs, and services.

System information tools

Within early versions of the System Information Tools drop-down-menu, you'll be able to access other helpful Windows utilities as shown below.

Windows System Information Tools in Windows 98Windows Report Tool - Tool used by technicians and engineers to take a snap shot of your computer to help better troubleshoot and diagnose your computer.
Update Wizard Uninstall - When updating through Microsoft's update wizard, use this utility to convert back to the previous system files. Taking this action can help if the update did not complete successfully or caused unforseen issues.
System File Checker - Tool used to check the integrity of your hard drive if a file is found to be missing or corrupt it can be restored by this tool.
Signature Verification Tool - Used to verify files or drives on your computer that have been granted with the Microsoft digital signature.
Registry Checker - Tool used to check your Registry for errors and make additional backups of the Registry.
Automatic Skip Driver Agent - Searches the hard drive for ASD (automatic start drivers) that prevented the computer from starting and optionally disables those drivers.
Dr. Watson - Diagnostic tool used to stay resident in your memory if it detects a problem or your computer causes a fault Dr. Watson will appear on the screen with a resolution to the problem.
*System Configuration Utility (msconfig.exe) - Extremely helpful program that allows you to take lines out of your autoexec.bat, config.sys, win.ini, system.ini, and items from loading up automatically by un-checking a box.
ScanDisk - Normal ScanDisk program to check your hard drive for errors.
Version Conflict Manager - If older files are found during the installation of programs, they will be backed up. The Version Conflict Manager allows you to restore the original files if you run into problems after the installation of programs.

Msconfig, MSD, Operating system terms