A Digital Age Deserves A Digital Leader

Can't run systeminfo (NOT msinfo32)

Can't run systeminfo (NOT msinfo32)

Postby Cornflake » Tue Apr 07, 2009 3:29 am

Hi,

I use the 'systeminfo' command to see my system's uptime, and it also tells you the originall date that Windows was installed among other things. For some reason though the command is no longer working for me. When I type it in a command prompt, nothing happens. When I type it in a run box, a command window flashes very quickly and then quits, without even gathering the system's info. Note that this is NOT the msinfo32 dialog box. I did a web search and only thing I could find was people referring to msinfo32.

I tried sfc /scannow and it didn't find any modified files... and I copied the systeminfo.exe program from a seperate Windows XP SP2 install with the command working and still didn't resolve the problem. Any ideas?

- Thanks ;)
PRO Level 15
User avatar
Posts: 1254
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2005 8:51 pm
Location: Colorado, USA
Real Name: Adam Israel

Re: Can't run systeminfo (NOT msinfo32)

Postby JabbaPapa » Tue Apr 07, 2009 9:58 am

I just tried this in W7, and the information gathered quickly flashes onscreen, then the window closes -- but if I open the command prompt and type the command, the info is persistent and remains.

Hmmm ... in cases like these, you usually have some kind of Windows damage, often caused by malware/malicious-scripts, but sometimes by hardware-related and/or bad-partitioning/file-system I/O failures.

These things happen to me, if it's XP I immediately clean install, as it's usually indicative of some deeper Windows issues that I do not want to have anywhere near my data ... in more recent Windows versions I would be more suspicious of my hard drive than I would in XP, due to the inherent instability of XP as compared to Vista or W7...
Image
PRO VETERAN
User avatar
Posts: 9538
Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2004 5:17 pm
Location: Monte-Carlo
Real Name: Julian Lord

Re: Can't run systeminfo (NOT msinfo32)

Postby SmokeYou » Tue Apr 07, 2009 10:18 am

Try to create a shortcut linking it to your desktop. Right click on it and run it as an Administrator. Sometimes it is a good thing to turn your computer off or at leased reboot it. Uptime means damage if you dont care for your computers hardware properly. Plus it isent that cool to brag about. just sayin.
PRO Level 11
Posts: 491
Joined: Mon May 10, 2004 12:47 am
Location: Southern Colorado

Re: Can't run systeminfo (NOT msinfo32)

Postby Grav!ty » Tue Apr 07, 2009 11:48 am

As Julian says, you need to run that command from the command prompt (DOS Window), otherwise it just executes the command if run from the run box but does not display.
Image

"The great majority of mankind are satisfied with appearances, as though they were realities, and are often more influenced by the things that seem than by those that are." - Niccolo Machiavelli
PROfessional Member
User avatar
Posts: 15790
Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 5:22 am
Real Name: Graham

Re: Can't run systeminfo (NOT msinfo32)

Postby JabbaPapa » Tue Apr 07, 2009 12:10 pm

Grav!ty wrote:As Julian says, you need to run that command from the command prompt (DOS Window), otherwise it just executes the command if run from the run box but does not display.


He said :

Cornflake wrote:When I type it in a command prompt, nothing happens.


This means it's broken :(
Image
PRO VETERAN
User avatar
Posts: 9538
Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2004 5:17 pm
Location: Monte-Carlo
Real Name: Julian Lord

Re: Can't run systeminfo (NOT msinfo32)

Postby Grav!ty » Tue Apr 07, 2009 12:18 pm

JabbaPapa wrote:
Grav!ty wrote:As Julian says, you need to run that command from the command prompt (DOS Window), otherwise it just executes the command if run from the run box but does not display.


He said :

Cornflake wrote:When I type it in a command prompt, nothing happens.


This means it's broken :(


Thanks Julian, I missed that :)
Image

"The great majority of mankind are satisfied with appearances, as though they were realities, and are often more influenced by the things that seem than by those that are." - Niccolo Machiavelli
PROfessional Member
User avatar
Posts: 15790
Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 5:22 am
Real Name: Graham

Re: Can't run systeminfo (NOT msinfo32)

Postby Cornflake » Tue Apr 07, 2009 4:16 pm

JabbaPapa wrote:Hmmm ... in cases like these, you usually have some kind of Windows damage, often caused by malware/malicious-scripts, but sometimes by hardware-related and/or bad-partitioning/file-system I/O failures.

These things happen to me, if it's XP I immediately clean install, as it's usually indicative of some deeper Windows issues that I do not want to have anywhere near my data ... in more recent Windows versions I would be more suspicious of my hard drive than I would in XP, due to the inherent instability of XP as compared to Vista or W7...


Inherent instability of XP? What exactly are you referring to? (Just curious...). If you ask me, I feel any recent Windows OS has about the same instability factor; did I tell you about the bug in Vista that caused a BSoD when you hibernated with WMP minimized, and upon resume you would BSoD if you attempted to maximize it from the taskbar? Before it was patched, it happened to me several times. But of course, they completely wrecked the sound system to lessen the very chance of BSoD's in Vista but then recreated another one just as easily. It's funny, really. 90% of the BSoD's I've ever had in XP have been due to my display driver, or something else anyway. Last time the sound system caused me to crash was when I was running F.E.A.R. and EVE-Online at the same time ^*^

Anyways back on topic. I don't think this necessarily means that there's a deeper windows issue... Just a few weeks ago, the command prompt stopped recognizing some commands (like chkdsk, defrag, etc) and it turned out some program modified my environment variables and changed my system root :eehh The scary thing is, it was a program I Installed and not a malicious script!
PRO Level 15
User avatar
Posts: 1254
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2005 8:51 pm
Location: Colorado, USA
Real Name: Adam Israel

Re: Can't run systeminfo (NOT msinfo32)

Postby Grav!ty » Tue Apr 07, 2009 5:13 pm

Try this...not sure it will help but it may. Locate systeminfo.exe in the Windows\system32 folder, right click it and select Run as... and then see if it's associated with your current user name. Looks like one has the option of changing that to Administrator. There's also a check box there to "Protect my data and computer from unauthorized program activity" which by default is checked.
Image

"The great majority of mankind are satisfied with appearances, as though they were realities, and are often more influenced by the things that seem than by those that are." - Niccolo Machiavelli
PROfessional Member
User avatar
Posts: 15790
Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 5:22 am
Real Name: Graham

Re: Can't run systeminfo (NOT msinfo32)

Postby JabbaPapa » Wed Apr 08, 2009 7:42 am

Cornflake wrote:Inherent instability of XP? What exactly are you referring to? (Just curious...).


I mean that XP is particularly prone to degrading over time, through some sort of degenerative process that can cause a need to reinstall it after a certain number of months, with no need for any malware attack to provoke it.

This is because XP was a bit of a rush job, and used the Windows 2000 code base instead of having its own code base -- and one of the *features* of this OS is that it attempts to continue working in cases of normal I/O failure. This is a good feature to have in a server Windows version ; in a client version though such as XP, the fact that Windows does not fail after I/O errors leads to situations where you can very easily start running a damaged XP installation leading to further I/O errors that it never informs you about until one day something vital gets broken. This is PARTICULARLY annoying where you may be getting hard drive I/O issues from some simple bad hardwire connection like cable damage or cable not plugged in correctly that XP can easily fail to be informative about.

Windows 95/98/Me and Windows Vista/W7 do not include this feature, and although 95/98/Me and (in some unusual cases Vista) are more likely to BSOD than XP (W98 and Me particularly), they are in fact much better than XP at protecting their own core OS stability.

Having said that, if you run XP on rock solid hardware and do not have any significant hardware-based I/O failures, AND you have a rock solid electrical system, then XP will appear to have far greater stability and will likely avoid these inherent instability issues.

W95 and W7 are the most stable client Windows versions Microsoft has ever developed BTW, and it is a HUGE acheivement that W7 can be favorably compared to W95 in this respect.

Cornflake wrote:If you ask me, I feel any recent Windows OS has about the same instability factor; did I tell you about the bug in Vista that caused a BSoD when you hibernated with WMP minimized, and upon resume you would BSoD if you attempted to maximize it from the taskbar? Before it was patched, it happened to me several times.


I think I vaguely remember that one :P --- Vista suffered quite a lot due to the fact that the WDDM drivers model is so much more complex than its predecessor, so that for 12-18 months after Vista went on sale, you very often had to run it with shoddy, half-baked drivers often being just quickly adapted from drivers written for another Windows version.

It was a laugh !! :pc

Cornflake wrote:Anyways back on topic. I don't think this necessarily means that there's a deeper windows issue... Just a few weeks ago, the command prompt stopped recognizing some commands (like chkdsk, defrag, etc) and it turned out some program modified my environment variables and changed my system root :eehh The scary thing is, it was a program I Installed and not a malicious script!


Not all malware is deliberately malicious you know, some of it is just so very poorly written that it damages Windows -- think Norton/Symantec for instance ;)

But honestly, if these deep system variables have been messed about with, then you cannot discount the possibility that your Windows installation may therefore have some deep damage that has been done to it. Some software installation packages can overwrite some absolutely vital Registry entries, with no possibility of restoring them to their initial states. Norton 360 is the worst example of this that I can think of on the spur of the moment, but Symantec are NOT the only culprits out there ...
Image
PRO VETERAN
User avatar
Posts: 9538
Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2004 5:17 pm
Location: Monte-Carlo
Real Name: Julian Lord

Re: Can't run systeminfo (NOT msinfo32)

Postby Cornflake » Wed Apr 08, 2009 7:35 pm

JabbaPapa wrote:
Cornflake wrote:Inherent instability of XP? What exactly are you referring to? (Just curious...).


I mean that XP is particularly prone to degrading over time, through some sort of degenerative process that can cause a need to reinstall it after a certain number of months, with no need for any malware attack to provoke it.


To that I definitely agree :yesnod: And you're saying the I/O system is usually the main cause of such problems? I see.

I was reading an interesting (although particularly long and detailed) article comparing the NTFS and Linux based file systems (Ext2 / Ext3 / ReiserFS) and although there was much of it I didn't understand because I was not as familiar with all the concepts as the author, it really was an eye opener on what a nightmare NTFS can be. For example, just the basic partition structure of Windows systems is messy as the swap file, OS files, user data, etc are all stored in the same place which not only causes fragmentation to happen quickly, but it isn't very secure. A file system error could effect any data on the drive or partition, ruining data and OS files alike. Also it touched on error checking, and the fact that Windows should immediately open a drive in read only mode to prevent data corruption if a disk error is detected instead of being able to continue to write to the disk.

And yes drivers for Vista were the real nightmare. Of course I've ranted about the sound drivers before, but it was pretty bad with video too. You wouldn't believe the features in the nVidia drivers that were broken / missing / disabled / etc for years... that is, unless you used nVidia drivers :lol: Hopefully manufacturers will have their collective acts together with the Windows 7 release.

Back on topic once again :uhhh I'm still confused on one thing, though. If a core windows component is damaged, why would the sfc /scannow have failed to detect anything (assuming it scans ALL windows files). Oh wait, I see it coming: It uses a quick checking mechanism that can miss deep file corruption. OR it skips files that have been updated in a hotfix. OR, <choose possible reason here>.

Something tells me in order to continue building on already such complex OS'es we're going to need to rewrite nearly everything from scratch. Because there's only so long you can build on something before fundamental problems force you to go back to the drawing board :yesnod:
PRO Level 15
User avatar
Posts: 1254
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2005 8:51 pm
Location: Colorado, USA
Real Name: Adam Israel

Next

Return to General Windows Support

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 2 guests

cron
cron