Software

Quick Tip: Gather Windows system information into Excel

Gather and track Windows system information in Excel for all your PCs with the systeminfo command and a few switches.

Whether you are the system administrator for a large enterprise or just the person responsible for keeping your home network up and running, sometimes you just have to know some specific Windows system information. Like its predecessors, Microsoft Windows 7 has a command-line tool called systeminfo that can gather this information for you.

What's more, with a few switches, the gathered information can be placed in an Excel worksheet for tracking and comparison purposes.

Command line

The command-line utility systeminfo.exe displays information such as Windows version, BIOS specifications, installed processor, memory configuration, and network information.

To access this utility, navigate to the Start menu and type command in the search box to start a Command Prompt window, as shown in Figure A.

Figure A

Screenshot by Mark Kaelin for TechRepublic

Open the Command Prompt window.
Type systeminfo at the prompt and press Enter to run the application. You will get an information dump similar to the one shown in Figure B.

Figure B

Systeminfo tells you what you want to know.

While all that information is great, it is not really useful or in a condition that can be stored. However, with a few switches, you can gather it into Excel. For example, type this command at the prompt:

systeminfo /fo csv > PC_one.csv
The utility will create a file in the CSV format that contains all the system information and that can then be loaded into Excel. You'll probably want to do a little formatting to make it more readable, as shown in Figure C.

Figure C

View the system information in Excel.
Using other switches, you can gather system information about other computers on your network and add them to your CSV file. Just think, you can get system information about all your PCs in a central location --all it takes is some command-line typing. Figure D shows you the available switches and syntax for systeminfo.exe.

Figure D

These are the switches and syntax that are available for you to use.

About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

6 comments
ibh1
ibh1

Why can't we use simple formula or VBA to get the info directly into Excel ?

jmackeyiii
jmackeyiii

this should make it look more readable.

ian
ian

Most people will click on the .csv and end up with a load of unformatted crud. This is the easy way to do it. 1. open a worksheet (excel) 2. go to File > Open 3. Select your .csv file and click Open 4. Select Delimited 5. Next 6. Select Tab and Comma 7. Finish Select the Spreadsheet (top left corner) then double click the divider between columns A and B. I like to see my stuff listed down. To do this: Select the all the rows with data. In my case rows 1 and 2 Copy Select A3 Paste Special Select Transpose Enter Your Output is now formated in two columns. Save as .xls Note: Each time you pull this info, you can have it go to the same file. Each time you import it, you must do it in a new spreadsheet on the same worksheet. If you want to be really cute, you can then run a macro to highlight differences

galach
galach

And first of all, sorry about this harsh post, but while the ideia is great, the outcome is a pain. Without a great deal of work, the information will not be really readeble or usefeful, lets say, to a person who manage a DML (definitive media library) or similar information. Without formating, the spreadsheet is near useless. Is there any way to use a comand like this to create a already formated spreadsheet? Anyway, thank you very much for the information.

RodsMine
RodsMine

I have 456 hotfixes installed.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

the cli command apears to dump data into a consistant format. You could create a spreadsheet with two tabs; formatted, data. You copy/paste this information into the data tab. cell formula pull that information into the formatted tab. Save as to a dated filename or such or copy/paste the formatted information to wherever you want it.