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Alternatives to SysChk

SysChk is not the only utility available that can analyze your PC. Another program (a trial version) you can download over the Internet is a program called SiSoft Sandra from SiSoftware, located at http://www.sisoftware.demon.co.uk/ (see Figure 3.9). This is an excellent utility that provides you with more information about your PC than you'll ever need.

Figure 3.9 You can download a copy of SiSoft Sandra from the SiSoftware Web site.

Another set of utility programs worth a preview are CheckIt and WinCheckIt by TouchStone Software at http://www.touchstonesoftware.com/ (see Figure 3.10). WinCheckIt/CheckIt provides much of the same type of information as SysChk, but where SysChk runs in DOS, WinCheckIt/CheckIt runs in most versions of Windows.

Figure 3.10 Another choice of utility program you can use to check your PC's configuration is CheckIt or WinCheckIt.

You can also check a few other sites that offer PC systems utilities, such as CNET's Download.Com, located at http://www.download.com (see Figure 3.11), and Shareware.Com, located at http://www.shareware.com (see Figure 3.12). To locate diagnostic utilities, search each site using the keyword "diagnostic."

Figure 3.11 CNET's Download.Com Web site.

Figure 3.12 CNET's Shareware.Com Web site.

If you are running Windows 95/98/2000/Me/XP, you do not have to download a program such as SysChk, SiSoft Sandra, or WinCheckIt. These versions of Windows all come with utilities that analyze your PC's system configuration and produce a printout.

Task: Using the Windows Device Manager

Most recent versions of Windows 98/2000/ME/XP all shipped with a utility called the Device Manager, which produces almost the same amount of information as you have seen SysChk and WinCheckIt/CheckIt produce. Use the Device Manager in Windows XP by following these steps:

  1. From the Start menu, select Control Panel to open the Windows XP Control Panel.

  2. From the Pick a Category screen, select the Performance and Maintenance option.

  3. From the Performance and Maintenance Screen, select System.

  4. Select the Hardware tab and then select Device Manager to access the Windows Device Manager (see Figure 3.13).

  5. To the left of each device category you see a plus sign (+). The plus sign indicates that additional devices exist or additional information is available about that device category. Click the plus sign to display a list of additional devices.

  6. Highlight one of the devices listed and then right-click Properties to see information about the device (see Figure 3.14).

Figure 3.13 The Windows Device Manager.

Figure 3.14 The Device Manager displaying information about one of the devices installed in your PC.

NOTE

The Windows Device Manager can print the entire hardware configuration for you. On the main Device Manager screen, select the Computer option at the top of the device listing and then click the Print button.

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