Microsoft KB Archive/255713

From BetaArchive Wiki

Article ID: 255713

Article Last Modified on 3/1/2007


  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Datacenter Server

This article was previously published under Q255713


Windows 2000 includes Microsoft System Information (Msinfo32.exe), which is an updated version of the Microsoft Windows NT Diagnostics tool (Winmsd.exe).

You can start Microsoft System Information with Winmsd.exe as in Windows NT 4.0, but the difference under Windows 2000 is that Winmsd.exe is a stub executable file that starts Msinfo32.exe. Msinfo32.exe is located in the Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\MSInfo folder.

System Information displays a comprehensive view of your hardware, system components, and software environment. The system information that is displayed is organized into three top-level categories that correspond to the following nodes on the console tree:

  • Hardware Resources: This node displays hardware-specific settings, namely direct memory access (DMA), IRQs, I/O addresses, and memory addresses. The Conflicts/Sharing node identifies devices that are sharing resources or that are in conflict. This can help identify problems with a device.
  • Components: This node displays information about your Windows configuration and is used to determine the status of your device drivers, networking, and multimedia software.
  • Software Environment: This node displays a snapshot of the software loaded in computer memory. You can use this information to see if a process is still running or to check version information.

NOTE: Other programs may add nodes to System Information that display information specific to the program.


There are a variety of command-line options that you can use to automate Msinfo32.exe. The purpose for calling Msinfo32.exe instead of the Winmsd.exe stub executable file is for control of the process.

Msinfo32.exe Usage

/? - Displays the Help dialog box

/msinfo_file=filename - Opens the specified .nfo or .cab file

/nfo or /s filename - Outputs a .nfo file to the specified file

/report filename - Outputs a text-format file to the specified file

/computer computername - Connects to the specified computer

/categories (+|-)(all | categoryname) +|-(categoryname)... - Displays or outputs specified categories

/category categoryname - Sets focus to a specific category at startup

High-Level Categories

Category Heading              Category Switch
System Summary                SystemSummary
Hardware Resources            Resources
Components                    Components
Software Environment          SWEnv

The following items are add-ons that may or may not be present.

Category Heading              Category Switch
Internet Explorer 5            InternetExplorer
Applications                   Apps

Subcategories for Hardware Resources

Subcategory Heading              Subcategory Switch
Conflict/Sharing                 ResourcesConflicts
DMA                              ResourcesDMA
Forced Hardware                  ResourcesForcedHardware
I/O                              ResourcesIO
IRQs                             ResourcesIRQS
Memory                           ResourcesMemory

Subcategories for Components

Subcategory Heading              Subcategory Switch
Multimedia                       ComponentsMultimedia
Display                          ComponentsDisplay
Infrared                         ComponentsInfrared
Input                            ComponentsInput
Modem                            ComponentsModem
Network                          ComponentsNetwork
Ports                            ComponentsPorts
Storage                          ComponentsStorage
Printing                         ComponentsPrinting
Problem Devices                  ComponentsProblemDevices
USB                              ComponentsUSB

Subcategory for Software Environment

Subcategory Heading              Subcategory Switch
Drivers                          SWEnvDrivers
Environment Variables            SWEnvEnvVars
Jobs                             SWEnvJobs
Network Connections              SWEnvNetConn
Running Tasks                    SWEnvRunningTasks
Loaded Modules                   SWEnvLoadedModules
Services                         SWEnvServices
Program Groups                   SWEnvProgramGroup
Startup Programs                 SWEnvStartupPrograms
OLE Registration                 SWEnvOLEReg

The following example gathers each high-level category into a separate .nfo file, which can be read by Msinfo32.exe.

start /wait msinfo32.exe /nfo syssum.nfo /categories +SystemSummary
start /wait msinfo32.exe /nfo cmpnt.nfo /categories +components
start /wait msinfo32.exe /nfo swenv.nfo /categories +swenv
start /wait msinfo32.exe /nfo hwdres.nfo /categories +resources
start /wait msinfo32.exe /nfo ie.nfo /categories +internetexplorer
start /wait msinfo32.exe /nfo apps.nfo /categories +Apps

The following example gathers basic system summary information and conflicts into an .nfo file, which can be read by Msinfo32.exe.

start /wait msinfo32.exe /nfo conflicts.nfo /categories 

The Conflicts.nfo file that is created contains the following top-level categories:

System Summary
Hardware Resources

Under Hardware Resources, the Conflict/Sharing and Forced Hardware subcategories are present. Under Components, the Problem Devices subcategory is present.

The following example gathers the Software Environment information but does not include the Program Groups and Startup Programs subcategories. The .nfo file that is created can be read with Msinfo32.exe.

start /wait msinfo32.exe /nfo swenv.nfo /categories +swenv-swenvprogramgroup-swenvstartupprograms  

NOTE: The start /wait switch is used in the examples for batch file and/or command-line execution from a Cmd.exe command prompt. The start switch is required to start Msinfo32.exe and the /wait switch does not process the next item until the current item completes. Using the start /wait switches ensures that the computer is not overloaded because some of the Msinfo32.exe categories can use a large amount of CPU time.

Additional query words: winmsd MSINOF32

Keywords: kbhowto kbprogramming KB255713