Windows XP / Beginners

Software Environment

The Software Environment category gives you information about the software configuration of Windows XP. If there are any problems or errors, you'll see them appear in red or yellow. This category can be very helpful to technical support personnel who are helping you solve a problem with Windows XP.

You see the following information in this category:

  • System Drivers This section lists the drivers that manage your computer's software environment.
  • Signed Drivers This section provides a list of installed drivers that are certified by Microsoft.
  • Environment Variables This section list such items as your TEMP file that is used for temporary files and other variables in the software environment.
  • Print Jobs This option gives you the information found in your print queue.
  • Network Connections All network connections currently held by your computer are listed here.
  • Running Tasks This option lists all of the tasks on your computer that are currently running.
  • Loaded Modules This option lists all software modules currently loaded.
  • Services This section list the services-such as automatic updates, fax, and much more-that are currently installed on your computer.
  • Program Groups This option lists all program groups currently configured on your computer.
  • Startup Programs This option lists all programs that are configured to run automatically when your computer starts up.
  • OLE (Object Linking and Embedding) Registration Windows XP uses OLE so that various system components and programs can communicate with each other. OLE information is listed here.
  • Windows Error Reporting This section provides a listing of software errors reported by the system.

Note The Windows Error Reporting section, which is new in Windows XP, is a great feature because it lists all of the application lock-ups and related service problems. If you are having trouble, this can be a great place to find the culprit.

Internet Settings

The Internet Settings category provides you information about the configuration of Internet Explorer.

You'll find the following information in this category:

  • Summary Access this option for a quick summary of IE's configuration.
  • File Versions This option lists all files and file versions used by IE.
  • Connectivity Access this page to see a quick review of IE's connectivity configuration. This consists of the settings that you configure in Internet Options in IE.
  • Cache IE uses a cache to store temporary Internet files. Access this option to learn more about the cache size and to view a list of objects in the cache.
  • Content Examine security and content settings here.
  • Security View the zone security configuration here.


Any applications that are installed on your computer are listed in the Applications category. Click the plus sign (+) next to each listed application to learn about configuration specific to that application. This is a useful option to find out about problems and conflicts with any installed applications.

Note If you are having problems finding the information that you need, try the Find What quick search utility that appears at the bottom of the System Information window.

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