Is your PC healthy? Or has it seemed a little under the weather lately? A little-known tool in Windows 7 can give you a report on what is ailing your system. It can also give you a wealth of information about what goes on in a perfectly healthy computer. It’s called the System Health Report. There are several ways to access it and here is one way to open it from the Control Panel:
- Open Control Panel
- Click “System and Security”
- Under “System” select “Check the Windows Experience Index”
- In the left pane check “Advanced tools”
- On the Advanced Tools page, click “Generate A System Health Report” (requires administrative credentials)
- Resource And Performance Monitor opens and begins collecting data for at least 60 seconds. When it is finished, you will get a System Diagnostics Report similar to the graphic shown below
A considerably shorter way to generate a report is to use the Run box:
- Open the Run box with the keyboard combination Windows key+R
- Enter “perfmon /report” (without quotes)
- A report will be generated
As the example shown in the figure below illustrates, a substantial variety of system information is reported. Each category shown in the figure can be expanded by clicking on the button on the far right. Try it and you will be surprised at how much information is there. Major problems are listed at the top under "Warnings". Other categories include:
- Software Configuration - Checks on the OS, Security Center, system services and data on start-up programs.
- Hardware Configuration - Checks on the disks, system, desktop rating (Windows Experience Index), BIOS, devices, interactive session processes, logged on users and user accounts.
- CPU - Includes checks and information on processor, CPU unit type, CPU interrupts, services and system.
- Network - Includes checks and information on outbound and inbound traffic.
- Disk - Includes checks and information on hot files (those causing the most disk IOs), disk breakdown, physical disk and NTFS performance.
- Memory - Includes checks and information on process and counters.
Antivirus monitoring bug
The Windows 7 report does not always recognize that you have an antivirus program installed and working. It may report that you have no antivirus even when you do. Microsoft has a hot fix for this bug at this link.
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This tips section is maintained by Vic Laurie. Vic runs several websites with Windows how-to's, guides, and tutorials, including a site for learning about Windows and the Internet and another with Windows 7 tips.
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