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Webroot System Analyzer: a quick and easy way to check any PC for problems

26 July 2012, Mike Williams

If you regularly help to fix issues with other people’s PCs then you’ll know that trying to understand those problems is the first major hurdle. They may have told you that their system is slow, for instance, but could this be malware? Resource-hungry software? Hardware issues? It could take a while to find out.

But that’s where Webroot’s System Analyzer comes in. The program is a small (669KB) portable executable which scans your target system at a click, and within a minute or two will display a report highlighting any issues which need your attention.

These might include malware problems, for instance (the program runs a quick scan of the most commonly infected areas).

System Analyzer scans your hard drive, making sure there’s enough free space, that files aren’t too fragmented, that you don’t have too many temporary files on the disk, and more.

The program checks recent crashes, telling us on our test PC that “a system crash has occurred in the last month which could indicate failing hardware”.

After only around 1 minute System Analyzer will deliver a basic summary of your PC's problems

It’ll also alert you to faulty devices, missing Windows security patches, passwords which haven’t been changed recently, and a whole lot more.

And if you need extra detail, then clicking “View Full Report” will open Notepad with a copy of the program’s text log, which includes basic system information (CPU, GPU, DIMM details and more), installed software details, Windows services, drivers and more.

What you won’t get here, unfortunately, is even the smallest amount of help in solving any of the problems the program might highlight.

We were curious which of our system crashes might indicate “failing hardware”, for instance, but that information isn’t present anywhere in the reports. The most it did was point us at three minidump files: if you’ve no idea what to do with those then you’ll be left none the wiser.

We were told there was a “large number of temporary files” on our test PC, too, so you might expect the program to tell you where. But you’ll be disappointed here, too. The most it did was itemise the total space taken by “user” and “system” temporary files.

This really isn’t a tool for the PC novice, then. It makes little or no effort to explain anything, assuming instead that you’ll understand its every reference right away.

If you’re a more experienced Windows user, though, Webroot System Analyzer could be very valuable. It’s small, portable, relatively quick in its first scan and covers a lot of issues in its report, making the program a great way to get an immediate health check on just about any Windows PC that you might encounter.

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