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Piriform Speccy Worth a Look

In trolling over some of the Windows 8 Forums looking for “interesting” Windows 8 problems, I ran across numerous references to another nice tool from the folks at Piriform (about whose CCleaner free version I blogged recently). This one is called Speccy (which I assume speaks to its ability to elicit information about your PC, and what kinds of hardware and software it is using) and it provides useful information to those looking for specifics about their machines. Here’s the program’s Summary page:

speccysum

Your PC summary in Speccy includes basic info and temps for devices that measure them.

Over the years, I’ve gotten hooked on a commercial software package from Gabe Topala called SIW Pro (System Information for Windows) that does much the same thing as Speccy. It’s an excellent program, but I pay around $5 a year per copy for 10 or so copies (it costs $10 for the first year, $5 thereafter). After spending a couple of days with this program, I’ve observed that Speccy does enough of what SIW does for admins to consider making it a part of the standard utility directory on PC images they construct or, if they prefer not to put such tools in the hands of their users, to add to their standard traveling toolkit.

In particular, I found the “Device Tree” information which appears buried at the bottom of the Operating System pane to be especially interesting and informative. It unpacks the results of Windows device enumeration into a tree structure that you must expand manually, node-by-node. This takes a little time and effort but does reveal lots of detailed information about the devices Windows sees on your PC. For my PC, for example, it showed me exactly which storage devices are attached to the Marvell 91xx SATA controller, versus those attached to the Intel SATA ACHCI Controller, something I’d had difficulty determining up to that point without opening and closing lots of windows in Device Manager. Not even SIW makes this information readily available, and not in such clear form.

This tool is definitely worth checking out for sysadmins and power users. I’m adding it to my standard toolkit, in fact.

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We've used Belarc Advisor for years (free version...there's an Enterprise version if you need that), and we like it very much but this is one area where a bit of overlap/redundancy might not be bad - both for confirmation and for different perspectives on your systems.  I'll give Speccy a look - thanks!
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