SIW v2011.10.29

A Full Review of SIW, a Free System Information Tool

Screenshot of SIW v2011.10.29 in Windows 7
SIW v2011.10.29. © Gabriel Topala

System Information for Windows (SIW) is just that - a system information tool for Windows. It's completely portable and provides an aggregated list of software, hardware, and network information that's well-organized and easy to read.

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Note: This review is of SIW version 2011.10.29. It doesn't appear like this free version of SIW is still being developed, but if so, and there's a newer version I need to review but missed, please let me know.

SIW Basics

There are three basic sections in SIW where all the information is gathered: Software, Hardware, and Network. Inside these categories are a combined total of 50+ sub-categories with a wealth of information in each.

SIW can be used in Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, and Windows 2000.

Note: See the What SIW Identifies section at the bottom of this review for all the details on the hardware and operating system information you can expect to learn about your computer using SIW.

SIW Pros & Cons

There are many things to like about SIW, but there are also a few pitfalls.

Pros:

  • Very detailed
  • Has a hardware summary page
  • Easy to read
  • Can create a QuickReport, which includes basic information
  • Uses less than 3 MB of storage
  • Can copy groups of text to the clipboard

Cons:

My Thoughts on SIW

SIW is definitely the program I'd recommend if you're looking for detailed hardware and software information but you don't want to feel overwhelmed and confused with the data, something similar system information utilities can sometimes do.

I really like that everything is organized and categorized so well. It's not a problem at all to sift through the side panel to find the exact component you need information for. Clicking on a section can sometimes take a little while before the information is shown, but it's really not that big of an issue when you see just how detailed SIW can get.

Though this program is filled to the brim with valuable data, it doesn't let you export any of it to a file for later use, which is really unfortunate. The only thing you can export is a brief summary of a few things that you can actually find without even using SIW, like basic memory and storage information.

It's also too bad that Windows 8 users can't use SIW. If you're running Windows 8, I recommend using Speccy or PC Wizard.

Overall, I think SIW is ideal for both a brief or a detailed look at your computer, as well as for both novice and advanced users.

Download SIW v2011.10.29

What SIW Identifies

  • Information regarding the Windows operating system as a whole, such as the build version, owner, activation status, installation time, installed and missing updates, and the OS root directory
  • A list of all the system directories and files, like the music directory, program files folder, fonts location, hosts directory, .NET framework version folders, and the services directory
  • Serves as a key finder program by displaying licenses of over 150 different programs, such as the Windows product key, Microsoft Office programs, and Adobe products
  • List of printers with what port they're on, their capabilities (color, duplex, copies, etc.), attributes, and their supported paper sizes
  • Version number for the Motherboard and BIOS
  • Security information that shows audit policy and firewall information as well as what antivirus programs are installed
  • Domain and local groups as well as system, domain, and local user accounts, complete with other details like their SID
  • List of installed applications with their file version number, path, attributes, and size
  • Laptop battery manufacturer and date, unique ID, charge capacity, allowed voltage, wear level, and remaining charge
  • Passwords in some applications that hide them with asterisks
  • Detailed processor information, such as the number of physical and logical processors, the CPU's instruction set and clock speed, the cache size, and whether turbo boost, virtualization, SLAT, and hyper threading are supported
  • List of shared and currently loaded DLLs, all the currently open files and processes, shell extensions, life of file associations, certificates, every running and installed driver, scheduled tasks, ActiveX components, and every item that runs when Windows first starts
  • The vendor for components like the motherboard, BIOS, CPU, and RAM
  • Live monitoring of the CPU and memory
  • Serial number for the motherboardRAM, and BIOS
  • The number of memory slots in the motherboard, as well as which are used or open, the speed of the memory sticks, and the total capacity of the RAM
  • Extremely detailed information on devices like laptop batteries, Bluetooth radios, display adapters, DVD/CD-ROM drives, IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers, imaging devices, audio devices, pointing devices, monitors, network adapters, and serial bus controllers
  • A logical disk drive's bus type (like SATA), total/used/free space, MS-DOS name, and serial number; also includes details like whether or not it's read-only, if it supports disk quotas, and whether or not it allows file-based compression, among other things
  • Model number for the motherboard, disk drives, and storage devices
  • Network information, such as currently established network connections, connection speed, shared resources, RAS connections, an interface's model and MAC address, networked computers, public and private IP address, and the origin of the connection (city, region, ISP)

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