Printing Resource Reports from Device Manager

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Inside Microsoft Windows 95

A Publication of The Cobb Group
Published September 1997

If you're the do-it-yourself type of person, you probably enjoy tackling hardware installations—upgrading to the fastest modem or the newest video card—and have already familiarized yourself with Device Manager. But did you know that you can use Device Manager to conveniently print reports that give you a snapshot of your system's configuration? These reports offer a wealth of useful information in a tidy package, and you can use them for a number of purposes—for example, you might want to provide technical support with system information or acquaint yourself with your system's finer details. In this article, we'll describe Device Manager's reports and show you how to print them.

On This Page

Choose your weapon
Printing the reports
Filing the reports

Choose your weapon

Device Manager offers three reports that are invaluable tools for troubleshooting and understanding your system's configuration: the Resource Summary Report, the Selected Resource Report, and the System Resource Report. The first report, Resource Summary, provides general information about your system, such as the computer name, Windows version, and processor type, in addition to IRQ, I/O port, and memory and DMA channel usage summaries. If you're more interested in a particular device, the Selected Resource Report will show you everything you need to know about how a device is configured, including what resources and drivers it's using. And if you want it all, the System Resource Report combines a resource summary with a resource report for each device, plus a memory summary and disk drive information. Now, we'll look at each report in more detail.

Resource Summary Report

Listing A shows a sample Resource Summary Report, which gives you an overview of your system in a tidy package (usually about two pages in length). It starts with a very basic System Summary section, which contains general information regarding the system—Windows version, computer name, processor type, BIOS information, registered owner, and registered company, among other things.

Listing A: The Resource Summary Report gives you a broad range of information about your system.

       Resource Summary Report   -  Page: 1
       ******************** SYSTEM SUMMARY *********************
       Windows version: 4.00.950
       Computer Name: Unknown
       Processor Type: Pentium
       ******************** IRQ SUMMARY ************************
       IRQ Usage Summary:
         00 - System timer
         01 - Standard 101/102-Key or Microsoft Natural Keyboard
         02 - Programmable interrupt controller
       ******************** IO PORT SUMMARY ********************
       I/O Port Usage Summary:
         0000h-000Fh - Direct memory access controller
         0020h-0021h - Programmable interrupt controller
         0040h-0043h - System timer
       ******************** UPPER MEMORY USAGE SUMMARY *********
       Memory Usage Summary:
         000A0000h-000AFFFFh - S3
         000B0000h-000BFFFFh - S3
         000C0000h-000C7FFFh - S3
       ******************** DMA USAGE SUMMARY ******************
       DMA Channel Usage Summary:
         01 - Creative Labs Sound Blaster 16 or AWE-32
         02 - Standard Floppy Disk Controller
         04 - Direct memory access controller

In the next section of the Resource Summary Report, the IRQ Summary provides you with a list of IRQs and the devices that are currently using them. This information is most useful when you're troubleshooting a hardware conflict or installing new hardware, especially if it isn't plug-and-play.

Following the same pattern as the IRQ Summary, the IO Port Summary lists each occupied IO address along with its corresponding device or resource. The IO Port Summary is the largest section of the Resource Summary Report and contains an entry for almost every resource you can imagine, from the programmable interrupt controller to the numeric data processor to the game port joystick.

Next comes the Upper Memory Usage Summary, which lists resources using upper memory addresses. Last, and usually least in size, is the DMA Usage Summary section. As you might expect, this section lists occupied DMA channels and the resources using them. It's a good place to look when you're troubleshooting a sound card conflict.

Selected Resource Report

If you're having trouble with a particular device, you may find the Selected Resource Report useful. In this report, shown in Listing B, Device Manager consolidates all the selected device's configuration information into a single reference. The Selected Resource Report lists each resource (IRQ, I/O addresses, and DMA settings) and driver that the device uses. If driver information is available, it lists that data by the driver's path and filename, file size, manufacturer, version, and copyright information.

Listing B: If you're looking for information on a particular device, the Selected Resource Report has it all—from IRQ settings to device driver summaries.

       Selected Resource Report  -  Page: 1
       ******************** SYSTEM DEVICE ********************
       Class: Sound, video and game controllers
       Device: Creative Labs Sound Blaster 16 or AWE-32
         IRQ: 05
         I/O: 0220h-022Fh
         I/O: 0300h-0301h
         I/O: 0388h-038Bh
         DMA: 01
         DMA: 05
       Device drivers:
           File size: 0 bytes.
           Manufacturer: Creative Technology Ltd.
           File version: 4.00
           Copyright: Copyright © Creative Technology Ltd. 1994-1995
           File size: 54363 bytes.
           Manufacturer: Creative Technology Ltd.
           File version: 4.00.493
           Copyright: Copyright © Creative Technology Ltd. 1994-1995

When you select a class of devices, Device Manager will provide you with information on each of the devices in that class. If you've already narrowed the problem to a specific device, however, you'll receive information for that device only.

System Resource Report

The System Resource Report is basically a detailed snapshot of your system's configuration. It includes all the information from the Resource Summary Report, and it regroups the information from the Selected Resource Report and lists it by device in the System Device Info section. Plus, it adds two new sections—Memory Summary and Disk Drive Info. As you can see in Listing C, the Memory Summary section tells you how much conventional and extended memory is installed. The Disk Drive Info section lists each logical drive on your system and gives a description of its attributes, such as the number of cylinders and heads, total capacity, and the amount of free space remaining.

Listing C: The System Resource Report combines the features of the other reports and adds the Memory Summary and Disk Drive Info sections.

       System Resource Report    -  Page: 1
       ******************** MEMORY SUMMARY ********************
       640 KB Total Conventional Memory
       15836 KB Total Extended Memory
       ******************** DISK DRIVE INFO ********************
       A:  Floppy Drive, 3.5" 1.44M  
           80 Cylinders   2 Heads
           512 Bytes/Sector   18 Sectors/Track
       C:  Fixed Disk                   717472K Total  253536K Free
           356 Cylinders   64 Heads
           512 Bytes/Sector   63 Sectors/Track
       D:  Fixed Disk                   338472K Total  338416K Free
           168 Cylinders   64 Heads
           512 Bytes/Sector   63 Sectors/Track
       E:  CD-ROM Drive               
       ******************** SYSTEM DEVICE INFO ********************
       Class: Network adapters
       Device: 3Com EtherLink III ISA (3C509/3C509b) in ISA mode
         I/O: 03E0h-03EFh
       Class: Ports (COM & LPT)

Printing the reports

If you're familiar with Device Manager but haven't yet discovered its reports, you may be surprised to know that they've been there all along. To access them, first click the Start button and choose Settings|Control Panel from the Start menu. Next, double-click the System icon and then select the Device Manager tab, shown in Figure A. Now, simply click the Print... button. When the Print dialog box appears, as shown in Figure B, click the radio button for the appropriate report type and click OK. Notice that the report types differ from the actual names of the reports, but it isn't difficult to figure out which is which.


Figure A: Click the Print... button on the Device Manager tab to access the reports.


Figure B: Just select the report you want and click OK to print it.

Filing the reports

You may have noticed the Print to file check box while you were in the Print dialog box. You can use this option in several ways. For instance, let's suppose that you want to keep a log of system settings prior to each hardware installation. To avoid having to keep up with yet another stack of papers, you can just select the Print to file option and tuck the reports safely away in a folder on your hard drive. This practice not only saves paper, but it reduces clutter and provides you with a convenient way to compare the current configuration with previous ones. When you want to print the file, issue the COPY command from a DOS window to copy the file to the printer. If you're using a local printer, you'd use the command line


where FILENAME is the name of the file you want to copy to the printer. If you're using a network printer, however, you may need to send the file to the printer's network address instead of to PRN. For example, if your network printer's address is \\MAGIC\COBBIO, you'd enter the command line


Printing a report to a file is also advantageous when you're dealing with technical support personnel who are off site. You can simply attach the file to an E-mail message to provide them with your system's details. It's important to note, however, that since Windows 95 formats the file for the currently selected printer, it contains printer-specific language instead of plain text. So, if you plan to E-mail the report to your friends in tech support or view the report in Notepad or another text editor, you'll want to save the report in plain text format by selecting the Generic/Text Only on FILE printer option in the Print Setup dialog box.

If the Generic/Text Only on FILE printer option isn't already installed, simply follow these steps to install it. (You'll need to have your Windows 95 disk handy.) First, select Settings|Printers from the Start menu, double-click the Add Printer icon in the Printers dialog box, and click the Next> button. On the resulting page, click the Local printer radio button and then click Next>. When you do, you'll be presented with a choice of manufacturers and printers. Select Generic from the Manufacturers list box, choose Generic/Text Only in the Printers list box, and click Next>. From the Available ports list, select FILE, then click Next>. When you see the message

Do you want your Windows-based programs to use this printer as the default printer?

select the No radio button, and then click Next>. Finally, when Windows 95 prompts you to print a test page, select No and click Finish.

Now, to print Device Manager reports to a readable text file, click the Setup... button in Device Manager's Print dialog box. Next, select Generic/Text Only on FILE from the Specific Printer dropdown list, as shown in Figure C, and then click OK to close the Print Setup dialog box. In the Print dialog box, select the Print to file check box and click OK. Finally, in the Print To File dialog box, supply a name for the file, as shown in Figure D, and click OK to save the file to disk. When you open the file in Notepad, you'll find that the text is written in plain English, not in printer language.


Figure C: Be sure to select the Generic/Text Only on FILE option if you want the report to be readable in a text editor or viewer.


Figure D: Type the name of the file and save it in the selected folder by pressing OK.


Device Manager's built-in reports provide a wealth of information about your system's configuration and are handy for troubleshooting configuration problems such as hardware conflicts. In addition, the Print to file option allows you to store a snapshot of your system's configuration on disk or even send that information via E-mail. In this article, we've described the three reports, shown you where to find them, and explained how to print them to paper and to file.

The article entitled "Printing Rsource Reports from Device Manager" was originally published in Inside Microsoft Windows 95, September 1997. Copyright © 1997, The Cobb Group, 9420 Bunson Parkway, Louisville, KY 40220. All rights reserved. For subscription information, call the Cobb Group at 1-800-223-8720.

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