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Find Technical Information about Your Computer from Windows 8 System

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If you ever need to look under the Windows 8 hood, heaven forbid, head for the desktop's Control Panel: Right-click your screen's bottommost-left corner and choose System from the pop-up menu.

From the desktop, slide your finger in from the screen's right edge, tap the Settings icon, and tap the Control Panel link in the screen's top-right corner. When the Control Panel appears, select the System and Security category and choose System.

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The System window offers an easily digestible technical briefing about your PC's viscera:

  • Windows Edition: Windows comes in several versions. In this section, Windows lists the version that's running on your particular computer.

  • System: Here, Windows rates your PC's strength — its Windows Experience Index — on a scale of 1 (frail) to 9.9 (powerhouse). Your PC's type of Processor — its brains, so to speak — also appears here, as well as its amount of memory.

  • Computer Name, Domain, and Workgroup Settings: This section identifies your computer's name and workgroup, a term used when connecting to other computers in a network.

  • Windows Activation: To keep people from buying one copy of Windows 8 and installing it on several PCs, Microsoft requires Windows 8 to be activated, a process that chains it to a single PC.

The pane along the left also lists some more advanced tasks you may find handy during those panic-stricken times when something's going wrong with your PC. Here's the rundown:

  • Device Manager: This option lists all the parts inside your computer, but not in a friendly manner. Parts with exclamation points next to them aren't happy. Double-click them to see Windows' explanation of why they're not working correctly. (Sometimes a Troubleshoot button appears by the explanation; click the button to diagnose the problem.)

  • Remote Settings: Rarely used, this complicated setup lets other people control your PC through the Internet, hopefully to fix things. If you can find one of these helpful people, let them walk you through this procedure.

  • System Protection: This option lets you create restore points. You can also come here and use a restore point to take your PC back to another point in time — hopefully when it was in a better mood.

  • Advanced System Settings: Professional techies spend lots of time in here. Everybody else ignores it.

Most of the stuff listed in the System window is fairly complicated, so don't mess with it unless you're sure of what you're doing or a technical support person tells you to change a specific setting.

For more information about Windows 8 and its features, explore Windows 8 For Dummies, available online.


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