Windows Tip Sheet

Get The 411 on Your System

Want your OS config information quickly? If you're running Vista, just use SystemInfo.

Windows Vista includes a new command-line tool called SystemInfo. This utility displays information about the operating system configuration including service pack, page file, processor, memory, boot devices, network cards and hotfixes. To run, simply type Systeminfo at a C:\ prompt.

By default the information displays as a list, but you can have it formatted to comma separated values. You’ll only want to do this if you are saving the results to a text file, like this:

C:\ systeminfo /fo CSV > mysystem.csv

SystemInfo is a pretty good utility, but it gets better. You can also specify a remote server or desktop to query. You can even specify alternate credentials:

C:\ systeminfo /s File09 /u mydomain\admin /p Passw0rd

You don’t have to specify a password. If you specify /p, you will be prompted for the password, which won’t display on your screen.

You can probably see where I’m going with this if you've been reading my columns for a while. Take a list of computers and get system information saved to a single .CSV file. To get a clean file, this will take two steps:

C:\ systeminfo /fo csv > systeminformation.csv
C:\ for /f %m in (computers.txt) do @systeminfo /s %m /fo csv /nh >>systeminformation.csv

The first command runs against the local system and includes the header. The second line processes the list of computer names, passing each name to systeminfo. The information is formatted as CSV and no header is included. Information from each computer is appended to the .CSV file.

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SystemInfo offers a pretty quick way to get lots of system information that you normally need to query with WMI scripts or WMIC.

About the Author

Jeffery Hicks is an IT veteran with over 25 years of experience, much of it spent as an IT infrastructure consultant specializing in Microsoft server technologies with an emphasis in automation and efficiency. He is a multi-year recipient of the Microsoft MVP Award in Windows PowerShell. He works today as an independent author, trainer and consultant. Jeff has written for numerous online sites and print publications, is a contributing editor at Petri.com, and a frequent speaker at technology conferences and user groups.

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