What is msconfig?
msconfig, or the System Configuration Utility, is a tool that allows you to change various settings. A common use is using the "Startup" and "Services" tabs to tweak what starts when you login to make the process go more quickly. You can launch it by going to Start | Run and typing msconfig.
What does the tools tab have? Should I install it?
The Tools tab allows you to launch other tools, for many of which I am working or planning writing overviews. The list includes:
About Windows - information about the version of Windows installed
Event Viewer - shows detailed logs for analysis and troubleshooting
Internet Protocol Information - (ipconfig) shows information about your computer's network connection(s)
Network Diagnostics - basic information about your network including hardware and software
Programs - allows you to add or uninstall programs
Registry Editor (regedit) - launches the Registry editor
Security Center - shows the XP security center, which displays information about your system's security settings and programs
System Information - information related to your computer relating to both hardware and software
- opens the System Properties window that shows basic system information and allows you to make various changes to your system. More information here
System Restore - allows you create a restore point or go back to a previous restore point
Task Manager - shows information about running programs and processes along with performance and network information and currently logged-on users.
There are shortcuts to many of these (such as Ctrl+Alt+Del or Ctrl+Shift+Esc for the Task Manager and Windows + Break for System Properties) and all can be started through either the Run tool (some with a command prompt, (ex. C:\WINDOWS\system32\cmd.exe /k C:\WINDOWS\system32\ipconfig.exe to run ipconfig in a Command Prompt)). So, if you know all of these and will remember them you might not need it. But, if you would rather only remember how to launch msconfig, you might be better off having all of these tools in one place.
How do I add it?
You just need to install KB906569 - A Microsoft update that adds the Tools tab with all of the features listed above.