Using System Information to Create Data Sets for Windows 10 Troubleshooting
You’re an IT pro, and you’re responsible for managing multiple Windows 10 computers. You’ve just finished installing the latest patch, and you’re about to restart the computers when your phone rings. It’s Jane from marketing, saying that her computer keeps crashing during her presentations, and she needs it fixed now. The patch was supposed to fix the problem she was having, so what happened? How do you create more data sets to troubleshoot this problem? Follow these instructions on how to use System Information in Windows 10 to create configuration data sets for troubleshooting.
The new Windows as a Service model
Windows as a Service (WaaS) is the new model for delivering and updating Windows. Updates are now cumulative, meaning that after installing the latest update, you will continue to receive all future updates. For this reason, it’s important to ensure that your system is always up-to-date with the latest security patches and fixes.
The SysDiag utility
SysDiag is an easy-to-use tool that allows you to create data sets for troubleshooting. This can be done by either taking a snapshot of the system or creating a configuration set. Configuration sets are created when you take a snapshot, so there’s no need to do this again if you want to make another one. To create a new configuration set, click on Create Configuration Set from the Start menu and enter in your name and description for the new data set in order to save it. A few more options will appear below these fields, including Advanced Settings and Summary Settings where you can configure what happens with your system once it has been taken into maintenance mode and captured as part of your new configuration set. You can even specify whether it should enter Maintenance Mode automatically without asking if that’s something you would like enabled on all your computers.
The four data set types
- Apps and Features – This data set provides information on the applications installed on your device, as well as their state. This can be used to see if an app is running or if it’s been updated recently.
- Hardware – This data set provides information on the hardware in your device. You can use this data set to see how much memory or storage you have available, what type of battery your device has, and more.
Creating System Information Reports
To create a System Information report, first open the Command Prompt (by searching Command Prompt from the Start menu). Next, type: sysdm.cpl and then press Enter. This will open the System Properties window with all the information about your computer on the left side.
Comparing reports with Compare-Sysdiag.ps1
One tool that can be used to compare the system information from two separate reports is Compare-Sysdiag.ps1. This PowerShell script, which can be downloaded from GitHub, enables you to see the differences between two files in a visual manner and identify what has changed.
Why do I need to know about Windows Drivers?
Windows drivers are the foundation of any operating system, but they can be especially important when it comes to troubleshooting. Drivers are pieces of software that allow your computer’s hardware and other components to communicate with one another. If a driver is not installed correctly, or if something happens that causes the driver to malfunction, your entire system will be adversely affected and you might not even know what caused the problem.