One of the new command-line utilities available in both Windows XP and Windows 2003 Server is a tool called SYSTEMINFO, which allows an administrator to query either a local or remote system for detailed system configuration information. (The report is by default returned to the console, but can be piped or redirected as needed.)
SYSTEMINFO reports back on a broad variety of topics: details about the operating system installation, network stacks, boot and system devices, locale/timezone information, memory and available storage space, domain and logon information, hardware (including processors), and any hotfixes or service packs currently installed. All of the information is returned in a plain-text report, although the formatting can be modified.
SYSTEMINFO has several command-line options:
/S <system_name> -- Specifies a remote system from which to garner system information. The system can be a NetBIOS name or an IP address.
/U [<domain_name>]<user_name> -- Specifies a user context for the command when it is executed, either on a local or remote machine. The domain_name parameter is useful if you want the authentication for the user name to be done under a specific domain, or if the remote system is a standalone server or domain controller that you need to authenticate on.
/P <password> -- Provides a password to be used with the /U switch. If the password switch is omitted and a password is needed, the program will prompt for one.
/FO <format> -- Specifies a format for the system information report. This can be TABLE, LIST or CSV (comma-separated value), with LIST being the default.
/NH -- Leaves off column headers when /FO TABLE or /FO CSV is specified.
Possible uses for SYSTEMINFO include gleaning system information that can be re-used in a script or other standalone program, or just for simple, quick-and-dirty auditing of systems. (If the program's output is being piped for processing, the CSV format with headers may prove to be the easiest to parse; the conventional list format is best for human-readable output.)
Serdar Yegulalp is the editor of the Windows 2000 Power Users Newsletter. Check out his Windows 2000 blog for his latest advice and musings on the world of Windows network administrators – please share your thoughts as well!