When your system is acting up with mysterious symptoms, the System Information tool can tell you a lot about what's going on with your software. Many of the entries it reveals are obscure to everyone but the most expert. But even if you're not a computer professional, System Information is where you find the information asked for by the technical-support person at the other end of the phone line.
To open System Information, right-click My Computer and select Manage from the shortcut menu. Under System Tools, open the entry for System Information (Figure 7-13). The application-related information here lurks in the two folders called Software Environment and Applications. (See Chapter 19 for more on general Windows troubleshooting.)
Figure 7-13. Double-click the Software Environment folder to read information about the software currently loaded in the computer's memory, both all running programs and their active components.