The Msinfo32 command-line utility provides the same functionality as the System Information utility. Through the use of this command, you can:
■ Gather information about computers through batch files
■ Automatically create a System Information file ( .nfo) or text file ( .txt) with a snapshot of the computer's system information
■ Create and save a System Information file, without ever opening the System Information utility on a local or remote computer
The options associated with Msinfo32 are defined in Table 2.6. TABLE 2.6 Msinfo32 Command Line Switches Defined Msinfo32 Switch Description
/pch Starts the System Information tool in System History view.
/nfo path Creates an export file that collects data as a System Information file with an .nfo extension (unless another extension name is specified in path)
TABLE 2.6 Msinfo32 Command Line Switches Defined (continued)
Creates a report file that collects and stores the system information as text format.
Assuming you have administrative rights on a remote computer, allows you to start the System Information tool on a remote computer.
Instead of starting System Information with friendly or localized names, starts System Information with all available categories displayed.
Starts the System Information utility and displays only the specified category. You can get a list of all categories from the /showcategories switch. If you want to display more than one category, you can add them to this switch with +CategoryID
The Msinfo32 command should be executed from the Run utility. If you use it from a command prompt window, you will generate an error message that the program is not recognized.
Real World Scenario
You are the corporate network administrator for a company that has the main corporate office in Atlanta and remote offices in Houston, San Jose, and New York. Each remote location has its own Windows Server 2003 domain controller (and a local administrator), which is connected to the corporate network. The local administrators can perform basic tasks, but require corporate support for complex administrative tasks or occasionally for troubleshooting.
In order to better support the remote administrators, you are collecting configuration information for each of the remote servers. You want the information to be as detailed as possible. You decide to use the Msinfo32 command to create .nfo files for each remote server. The information is then stored in a central location and accessed when any of the servers require hardware troubleshooting.
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