Viewing System Information

For answers to basic questions about your operating system and computer, there's no better place to start than the System application in Control Panel, shown in Figure 22-1 . No matter where you are in Windows or what your preferred input method is, this display is only a few clicks or keystrokes away. The simplest way to get there is to right-click Computer and choose Properties . This works just about any place that the Computer shortcut appears, including on the Start menu, on the desktop, and in a Windows Explorer window.

The System application displays the Windows edition currently running, system details (including processor type, installed memory, and whether the current operating system is a 32-bit or 64-bit version), details about the computer name and domain or workgroup, and the current activation status .

Figure 22-1 The System application in Control Panel provides basic details about your computer's configuration .

Figure 22-1 The System application in Control Panel provides basic details about your computer's configuration .

Links scattered around the dialog box lead to additional sources of information . Two in particular are worth noting here:

• Click Device Manager in the left pane to view detailed information about your installed hardware, including information about drivers . You can also open Device Manager directly, without first passing through System, by typing devmgmt.msc at a command prompt

For details about how to use the information displayed in Device Manager, see Chapter 24, "Setting Up and Configuring Hardware"

• Click Windows Experience Index to show a numeric breakdown of the five elements that make up the base score shown in the System window. Click View And Print Details to display a more detailed (but still not exhaustive) inventory of system components—motherboard and processor, storage, graphics, and network hardware . Knowing the numeric Experience Index rating for each subsystem is an important first step in improving system performance, as we explain in "Using the Windows Experience Index" on page 705.

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