System Information provides a centralized location to get all kinds of details about your computer's hardware configuration, computer components, and software, including drivers. As such, System Information can come in extremely handy as a starting point for troubleshooting problems related to your system configuration.
In this gallery I will provide detailed screen shots illustrating 7 tips for using the System Information tool in Windows 7.
Image created by Greg Shultz for TechRepublic.
Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.
Totally agree with wanting a different format: pdf or even full online article. This format is okay if you want it; I'm impatient and I can read faster than I can click through the screens. I prefer when an alternate format is offered.
there should always be alternate formats when the subject is so important to many different types of readers!
I would like to have a USB running XP operating system on which I could add an Antivirus program & other Diagnostic programs such as a Memtest, & a HDD test.
I do not even bother to look at articles like this anymore - I can get information I need more easily elsewhere.
The reason for using this format is the money. The more screens you see, the more advertisements you are exposed to. This has just gone way too far. I suppose that in the future we will only see one word then look at another screen.
While the total number of comments regarding this subject may not be very large in numbers, the overwhelming agreement among those commenters should be cause enough, to deserve a response from the editors of "Techrepublic"! Currently there are 45 comments to this article, but more significantly, there are 186 votes cast in agreement (this does not include the few negative votes cast regarding proper responses)! How many other issues have garnered that many "like" votes among a similar number of comments? It appears that more of your readers have read & voted on the comments submitted, than have read & viewed the actual article. If we cannot elicit a change in the format, we should at least deserve a response as to why. We know "you" are out there by virtue of "Mark Kaelin's" comment a few hours ago. jmk-nbsc
Give us a break already the slideshow format is absolutely useless. How many complaints does it take?
As soon as I saw it was a slide show with no alternative, I moved on. I'm done wasting my time with slide show only and then find out I wasted 15 - 20 minutes on nothing worth reading.
Maybe in withdrawing the blog format Tech Republic wanted to find out if it was worth the bother of the gallery format. Well now they know. There are other tech sites and I'm afraid Tech Republic is just teetering on the edge of the "too annoying to bother" bin.
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE !!!!! Above, you have nearly 50 negative comments on the decision to run this article as a slide show. YES, I realize that your Editor made you do it. Next time, please put both his business and personal email address links in your article. It is very noticeable that there is never a 'Letters to the Editor' link anywhere to be found in any Techrepublic page or article. This format is equal to using 10' high, stepladder access only to restroom facilities in a home for severely crippled people. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE !!!!!
Some very intresting subjects, but I cant be bothered to scroll through all the the screens. What a way of putting off readers.
where I paraphrased his arrogant, condescending response (in a previous article) to our requests for a better presentation. Not cool, Shultz. Way to listen to your readers.
but it's difficult to copy/print. I suspect that's the reason. It will be interesting to see if the format drives people away onto other tech forums. I suspect it might. The format has been bitterly complained about since it was introduced but TR do nothing. They cannot have failed to note this so the hard-to-copy must be why (and yes, I'm being diplomatic). As for the topic itself; very pretty but ultimately useless. Here is one place I can see all the technical info on my machine, but cannot alter anything. To remove a non-working device, or stop a startup program, stop or start a service etc., I need to load up something else. So I am far more likely to use a 3rd party tweaker than this, even if I'm not wanting to change anything.
I now probably only read 1 out of four.Its like reading a book where each chapter comes bound seperately
These tips were presented a week or so ago and many of us told Mr. Shultz to present the material in an easy to print out format for future reference.He is usually responsive to readers needs so it is a surprise to see the material once again presented in a picture gallery format.
I'm no longer consuming any more of these so-called articles in this format. You generally have good info, condense it and put it in a blog. Enough already.
Cant read your screen shots and I would like to see this information could be very useful, need a download format
As so many others have already stated, the value of this & other "Tips" that you provide is really diminished when it is presented in this sole format. I would much rather have an option to review it in a similar format to begin with, but once determining that it is something that I would find valuable in the future to refer to (if not now), I would appreciate a downloadable version e.g., .pdf, doc, docx. The included figures are an invaluable part of these tutorials, but as they are provided in this "Tip" they leave a lot to be desired. Please ask "the powers that be" to rethink their current presentation format. Thanks; jmk-nbsc
There might be some useful information in this but I'll never know because of the dreadful presentation. Make a PDF out of it, PLEASE!!!!
Poor visual quality indicates a lack of product quality control. Not only the utility of the content must be "proofed," but also its visual presentation. The technical editor should ensure the final result is readable in all respects. This constitutes a technical/visual failure to communicate. Time to assimilate the responsible droids into the unemployed collective.
Can't keep clicking each pic. Too hard to read screen shots - very poor reproduction. My PC will make better copies. I am not going to spend time clicking each picture. I need to down load it so I can read it when I want to. Very poor judgement to use this Gallery approach.
Having been a PC tech/consultant for over 20 years, I'm the go-to guy for all my friends and family when their computer goes south. They all think I have a magic wand or "the touch" when it comes to fixing their computer woes. This often leads to referrals to their friends and co-workers to repair a misbehaving computer. While I enjoy the "mystery" everyone bestows on me, I'm much more interested in teaching or passing on my knowledge so I don't get the 3am calls from a frantic friend or family member when the computer, whom they have trusted with all the family photos, hundreds of dollars of downloaded music and the kids semester final writing assignment (which he/she worked on for two weeks and is due in the morning), and the blasted thing won't boot up (you did back up all your personal data?). More often than not, when I ask what happened ,they look at me and shrug their shoulders. Safe Mode usually does the trick, and then diving into the event viewer and system information (and device manager). Having this information downloadable would be a great training aide as well as a way to show people how to find signs of impending doom BEFORE it happens.
I never bother with articles that are gallery only. Very dumb move for even starting something like this. Who are you trying to reach in this mode?
Of making us click through so many screens. As others have said, if I could save the article as a pdf or docx I would file it for reference. In this format, there is no way to save it. Pity.
I agree. I also prefer a blog or pdf format so I can keep the documtne for future use. Why not continue to offer options?
Somehow i hadn't previously learned of this tool. While I second the comments questioning the slideshow format, the instructions for starting it are all I need to get started. I can screw around with it from that point on my own. Thanks.
"Got to third screen and decided it is too much work to go through. So sorry you wasted your time putting together an interesting article only to lose it in the presentation format." I agree - this is just too poorly presented to get us to read it. Please figure out how to present it better and it would be nice if we could just receive the whole article in our email so we don't have to go through all the login hoops.
When are you going to listen to users, the current format is unbelievable, irritating and needs to be more user friendly. Listen to your members / public guys.
I agree that this format is difficult to read and needs to be offered as a continuous blog and/or download.
Greg, I'm thinking of becoming a certified computer geek. Could you tell me if there is a certification program that teaches me to be as nasty as these other comment-makers? I'm not getting enough puerile sputum on the political sites. As a normal non-techie user, thanks for the help understanding the SysInfo.
Try reposting this in the 'Q&A' forum. The 'Discussion' forum is for matters of general discussion, not specific problems in search of a solution. The 'Water Cooler' is for non-technical discussions. You can submit a question to 'Q&A' here: http://www.techrepublic.com/forum/questions/post?tag=mantle_skin;content There are TR members who specifically seek out problems in need of a solution. Although there is some overlap between the forums, you'll find more of those members in 'Q&A' than in 'Discussions' or 'Water Cooler'. Be sure to use the voting buttons to provide your feedback. Voting a '+' does not necessarily mean that a given response contained the complete solution to your problem, but that it served to guide you toward it. This is intended to serve as an aid to those who may in the future have a problem similar to yours. If they have a ready source of reference available, perhaps won't need to repeat questions previously asked and answered. If a post did contain the solution to your problem, you can also close the question by marking the helpful post as "The Answer".
Greg cannot remove a post - he does not have that power. I, on the other hand, do have that power. I would appreciate it if you keep the comments respectful and professional.
TechRepublic has always created a variety of galleries, articles, and downloads and we will continue to do so. This was a gallery, created by Greg at my request. For the record, I agree that the current gallery presentation is a terrible user experience. The TR editorial staff has been begging for a better, more modern, treatment - perhaps someday soon.
Charlie, could you please share if he informed you of a tool that would avoid the nauseous click, click, click, fuhgedabotit! Thanks!
I'm a full time Techie and most of us a good bunch! Yes I can see their point of view but the constant whinging is infantile...once one person has made the point it becomes somewhat useless to keep harping on...
I wrote it the way I did because I felt that was the essence of what he said (in that other article's comments, don't remember which one). I admit, there is one word I could have left out but that's how he came across to me. I wish I could find it again so I could send you the link. Maybe you should talk to him about professionalism and customer relations. He came across as a whiny little child, not a professional writer. Sorry, but that's the way I see it and before you removed it at least two others agreed with me. I stand by my criticism of his response to our requests to at least give us a choice of formats. This format works for such things as ComicCon pictures and the like but not for how-to tech articles.
Mark, then how do the other writers manage to provide a PDF or blog or both? Since this does not seem to be a problem for the others, why is it a problem for Greg and why didn't you suggest either a PDF or a blog in addition? Like the others who have posted here, I too enjoyed Greg's articles in the past (prior to this xxx slideshow approach). As soon as I see a slideshow only, I just skip it (and maybe post a complaint if it looked like an article I would have wanted to read).
Thank you for your comment. I guess the comments show we have an interest in what you have to say but would like to be able to have a record in an easier format to work with. Since the Portable Document Format has become ubiquitous in recent history it is a wonder it hasn't been adapted on this forum.
while it's good to know the PTBs feel the same way, if we agree the galleries are terrible then why create content in that format? This isn't the first gallery to draw criticism of the form, just the latest and loudest. Isn't it a waste of the author's time and TR's money to create content few will read? It appears to generate more ill-will than value. Do you stick by a terrible format because you can republish them on other CNET sites where galleries are more popular? It's not like galleries are the only option. Galleries with few slides of screenshots could as easily be presented in the standard TR article format. There have been plenty of articles with more than the seven screenshots that comprised this one. At least mandate a downloadable .PDF. TR used to do this more frequently. Would creating one take that much longer? Part of the problem is the galleries that consist of screenshots with absolutely no explanation of what we're looking at. The most recent example was the Office 2012 preview gallery, with a half-dozen screenshots and absolutely no text. These crop up far too often, although it's not as bad as when Adrian Kingsley-Hughes had a patent on them a couple of years ago. TR has indeed always used a variety of formats. It has also dropped ineffective ones before. 'Thumbs', member blogs, TROLOV, audio interviews with members have all gone to the Bit Bucket, and I still have a couple of bags of TR points I'd like to redeem. :-) Until the gallery format can be improved, consider putting it on hiatus.
he hasn't listened. Hence the "told" and stronger. Much like a child who doesn't listen. At least the other authors here provide a link to a blog post or .pdf. I've actually enjoyed his articles in the past, but lately he has become stuck on this ridiculous format. And, he took us to task for suggesting it. Not very customer oriented.
to just one constituent? No, it takes thousands and still they most likely won't listen. This proves that it's not only those in politics (from the Latin root 'poli' meaning 'many' and 'tics' meaning 'blood sucking parasites') who ignore those that pay their way.
My pleasure. You didn't come across as insolent. Frustrated, perhaps but not insolent. PDF would be great. They used to do articles with screenshots and also offer a downloadable pdf. That was great. Saved me the trouble of copying/pasting into Word. Greag Shultz's articles have always been useful to me and I used to look forward to seeing his work. When I was active in IT, I saved many of his articles (as well as other author's) as I found them tremendously useful in my job. But, I can't deal with these galleries. They may work for pictures of Mars and other things like that, but not for technical articles. They are still a pain for pictures but short of offering the pics in a downloadable ZIP file, I don't know how else they can present those.
Thank you for your support. I wasn't trying to be insolent with my comment and I guess I really didn't give it a thought when wording my comment. Let's hope they do it as a PDF or other downloadable and printable method in the future.