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Windows 7 System Support Tools


Windows 7 comes with  collection of very useful diagnostic and maintenance and recovery tools to help you maintain your computer and troubleshoot and resolve issues. This article is intended to provide a quick description of these tools, and how to access these tools. In some of the descriptions on this page, there are links to more detailed and specific usage information. I am working on creating detailed description and usage articles for all of these tools, and I will link them to the descriptions here. In the meantime, there is enough information here to at least get you started on your way to becoming the Guru Master of your computer.

  • Note: Most of the tools listed on this page require that you have Administrative-level permissions in order to make modifications on the computer you are using these tools on.
  • Methods for launching these tools are indicated in red

The Tools discussed in this article are:


Backup and Restore

Use the Windows 7 Backup and Restore Center to create and manage backups and system images, and create repair disks to recover from non-booting system errors.

  • Start -> Control Panel -> Backup and Restore

See Also: Windows 7: Backup and Restore


DirectX Diagnostics

Dxdiag.exe is a diagnostic tool that you can use when troubleshoot video related or sound related problems with Microsoft DirectX components. Dxdiag can save scan results in a text file, which can be helpfull when analyzing a hardware failure or incompatibility.

  • The System tab provides the current DirectX version, the computer’s hostname, the operating system’s version, the system BIOS information, and other data.
  • The Display tab includes name, manufacturer, Approximate Total Memory, Main Display Driver and version of your current Device Display Settings and drivers.
  • The Sound tab is about your current sound settings, and the Input tab demonstrates the input devices connected to your computer and installed drivers.
  • Start -> Run -> dxdiag.exe


Disk Cleanup

Cleanmgr.exe Runs the Disk Cleanup utility, which examines disk drives for files that aren’t needed. By default, Disk Cleanup examines temporary files, the Recycle Bin, and various types of offline files to see whether there are files that can be deleted.

  • Start -> Run -> cleanmgr.exe
  • Start -> Accessories -> System Tools -> Disk Cleanup


Disk Defragmenter

Dfrgui.exe Runs Disk Defragmenter utility, which examines disk drives for fragmentation and can then be used to defragment the drive. A drive with many fragmented files can reduce the system’s performance.

  • Start -> Run -> dfrgui.exe
  • Start -> Accessories -> System Tools -> Disk Defragmenter
  • Right-Click on a Drive -> Properties -> Tools -> Defragment Now


Event Viewer

Eventvwr.msc This is the first place to go when troubleshooting issues in Windows. The Event Viewer logs all application, security, setup, and system events, in a user-friendly interface. You can easily locate errors as they correspond by date or time to the event you are troubleshooting.

  • Start -> Run -> eventvwr.msc
  • Start -> Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Event Viewer

See Also: Using the Event Viewer to Troubleshoot Issues


File Signature Verification

Sigverif.exe Used to check operating system files that have been digitally signed. Any critical files that aren’t digitally signed are displayed in a results list. The complete list of system files checked is available in a log file stored in C:\Windows\Sigverif.txt.

  • Start -> Run -> sigverif.exe

See Also: Check Windows folders for file signatures with SigcheckGUI


Performance Monitor

Perfmon.msc – An excellent resource for isolating performance issues in Windows. Performance Monitor measures the statistical data generated by various components of your computer. Performance Monitor provides a visual display of built-in Windows performance counters, either in real time or as a way to review historical data.

  • Start -> Run/Search Box -> perfmon.msc
  • Start -> Search Box ->performance monitor
  • Start -> Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Performance Monitor


Remote Assistance

Remote Assistance Enables you to offer remote assistance to a user, or to give access to a remote user. When you use Easy Connect, Remote Assistance generates a temporary password that the person you’re helping gives to you. You can use the password to directly connect to that person’s computer. When the connection is made, contact information is exchanged between your computer and the other person’s computer that will allow you to quickly connect in the future without using the password.

  • Start -> Run -> remote assistance


Resource Monitor

If you’re having trouble with a program taking over your computer, slowing things down, or even locking things up, you can use the Reliability Data available in the Windows 7 Resource Monitor to see what’s happening inside the computer.

  • Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools -> Resource Monitor
  • CTRL+ALT+DEL -> Task Manager -> Performance -> Resource Monitor
  • Right-Click on the Taskbar -> Task Manager -> Performance -> Resource Monitor


System Configuration

Msconfig.exe Enables you to manage system configuration information. You can configure normal, diagnostic, and selective startup as well. System Restore (Rstrui.exe) Opens the System Restore utility, which can be used to create restore.

  • Start -> Run -> msconfig.exe


System File Checker

System File Checker is a utility in Windows that  scan your system for corruptions in Windows system files and restore corrupted files. System File Checker runs from an elevated command prompt, meaning you need to run System File Check with administrator privileges.


  • Start -> Run -> sfc/scannow
  • Start -> Search -> cmd (right-click on the found cmd, select Run as Administrator) -> sfc/scannow

System Information

MSinfo32.exe – Presents detailed information about your computer’s hardware, software, and system resources. This information can be very helpful when troubleshooting resource issues., especially when used in conjunction with the Event Viewer.

  • Start -> Run -> msinfo32.exe


Task Manager

Task Manager is a great utility to see what processes are currently running, and what resources they are using. If you have a program that has become unresponsive, you can Task Manager to kill the program. You can also use Task Manager to monitor your system performance, and access the Resource Monitor for even more information.

  • Right-Click on the Taskbar -> Task Manager
  • CTRL+ALT+DEL -> Task Manager


Troubleshooting Wizards

Windows 7 has a set of automated troubleshooting wizards to help diagnose and resolve problems with programs, hardware and sound, network and Internet, Appearance and Personalization, and System and Security.

  • Start -> Control Panel -> Troubleshooting
  • Start -> Search -> Troubleshoot


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