|Other names||MSD, |
|Operating system||MS-DOS, OS/2, Windows|
|License||Proprietary commercial software|
Microsoft Diagnostics (MSD) was a software tool developed by Microsoft to assist in the diagnostics of 1990s-era computers. Users primarily deployed this tool to provide detailed technical information about the user's software and hardware and to print the gathered information, usually for use by support technicians in troubleshooting and resolving problems. The assumptions made by the program were valid until the late 1990s: it does not handle plug-and-play USB or other new technologies that appeared around 2000.
In PC DOS 6.1 and above,
QCONFIG.EXE provides similar functionality. Commercial alternatives include Manifest
MFT.EXE from Quarterdeck's QEMM.
MSD.EXE first shipped with Microsoft Word for Windows, and was later included in Windows 3, MS-DOS 6, and on the Windows 9x CD-ROMs. Because OS/2 and Windows NT contain code forked from DOS at the DOS 5 level, the versions of
MSD.EXE included here correspond to that of that era (i.e. version 2.0).
Windows NT 3 and NT 4 have
WINMSD, a program with similar features. However, the DOS/Windows specific functions were replaced by similar Windows NT concerns.
WINMSDP.EXE, included in the resource kits, provides the print functionality of
WINMSD. Since NT 5 (Windows 2000),
WINMSD.EXE has been a loader for
Users generally started the program from the DOS Command Prompt using the command
MSD.EXE. Starting the program under a DOS window in either Windows or OS/2 shows only the DOS details allocated for that DOS session, not for the machine in general.
Aspects of the system for which
MSD.EXE provided technical information:
MSINFO32.EXE. This has similar features, but targets more recent machines. It first appeared in MS-Word, and later was distributed with Plus! for Windows 95 and Windows 98.
MSINFO32.EXE under Windows XP stores system history from WMI in the XML files in
Windows\PCHealth\HelpCtr\Datacoll. In the interest of backward compatibility,
WINMSD became a loader for
System Information in Windows XP provides a new view of changes to the computer. ... History Information is provided by WMI, and is stored in the Extensible Markup Language (XML) data files located in