The System Information Tool
It is important for an A+ technician to be able to produce a comprehensive system report when required. It can assist with troubleshooting, auditing or just to provide some general information on a new, unknown machine. To get to the System Information Tool in Windows 95, 98 and NT, go to Start, Programs, Accessories, then System tools, then System information, then System configuration utility.
It is somewhat impractical to review this tool in detail for two reasons. First, it only reports the current system configuration. It has no options or configuration settings associated with it. Second, the information it contains is unique to each computer, therefore reviewing it in detail would provide no benefit. Instead, review the reporting categories within this tool and ensure you know where to look for information, even if the information itself is specific to each machine.
There is one extremely useful report available worth looking at separately. Expanding the Software Environment folder and clicking on the Startup Programs folder provides a list of all applications that launch when a user logs into Windows.
If you compare this list with the items listed in the Start Programs Startup folder, you will note that many more programs are listed here. This is because there is more than one method of starting programs automatically. Therefore, if a rogue application does not appear in the Startup folder but does continually launch itself upon login, the culprit will most likely appear in this list.
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