Windows Assessment Console Overview

Published: February 29, 2012

Updated: October 20, 2013

Applies To: Windows 8, Windows 8.1

The Windows® Assessment Console and assessments are installed as part of the Windows Assessment Toolkit. The Windows Assessment Console is a GUI that you can use to discover assessments and predefined jobs, group assessments to create new jobs, change existing jobs, run jobs, and manage job results. A job is a collection of one or more assessments (and their settings) that run at the same time on a computer. The results of a job often include diagnostics and remediation information that help you determine areas that need additional investigation and corrective action. For more information about how to use the Windows Assessment Console, see Windows Assessment Console Step-by-Step Guide.

An assessment is a combination of .xml and binary files that induce a specific set of states on a computer, measure and record the activity, and preserve the recorded results. You can review the available assessments to determine what you want to assess. You can then add the assessments to a job or configure a predefined job to include the assessments and settings that meet your needs. For more information about individual assessments, see Assessments.

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The Windows Assessment Console can be installed on any of the following operating systems:

  • Windows 8

  • Windows 7 SP1

noteNote
Some assessments must be run on a specific operating system. For more information about system requirements for individual assessments, see Assessments.

In addition, the system partition where you install the Windows Assessment Console must have a minimum of 200 megabytes (MB) of free disk space to run assessments. This requirement is needed for Event Tracing for Windows (ETW), a feature that all assessments use. Over time, assessment results and log files can consume a large amount of disk space.

The Windows Assessment Console offers these benefits:

  • A GUI that you can use to assess a computer, investigate issues, review recommendations, and compare results.

  • Some job results provide links to additional information that can help you improve the computer, and direct links to Windows® Performance Analyzer (WPA) so that you can trace the cause of an issue back to the source.

  • The ability to compare a few results in a details view, and the ability to compare hundreds of results in a summary view. For more information, see Compare Results.

  • The ability to package a job and save it on a USB flash drive, and then run it on another computer. For more information, see Package a Job and Run It on Another Computer.

  • The ability to import results to the default results library from other locations, like removable media or a network share.

  • Predefined jobs that are easy to find and run.

  • The ability to restore the recommended assessment settings if you've modified them.

  • The ability to restore the default template settings if you've modified a predefined job.

  • The ability to customize a job to include the assessments and settings that you want to use.

  • The ability use custom assessments that are compatible with the Assessment Platform in the Windows Assessment Console, in the same way that you use the assessments that the toolkit provides. For more information, see Register and Unregister Custom Assessments.

    noteNote
    You can use a set of public APIs to create and extend assessments that are compatible with the Assessment Platform. For more information, see MSDN: Assessment Execution Engine.

These limitations apply to the Windows Assessment Console:

  • The Windows Assessment Console assesses one computer at a time. For more information about remotely assessing multiple computers at the same time, see Windows Assessment Services Technical Reference.

  • The Windows Assessment Console can't be installed on a server and isn't designed to assess server computers.

  • The Windows Assessment Console can't be installed on Windows RT. But, you can package a job and run it on Windows RT if the assessment supports ARM-based processors. Not all assessments support running on ARM-based processors. For more information, see Package a Job and Run It on Another Computer. For more information about system requirements for assessments, see Assessments.

The Windows Assessment Console and the assessments fulfill a general industry need for assessing a computer in a unified manner based on specific scenarios. They are intended for these audiences:

  • System builders who want to gauge key quality metrics and the effect that various component combinations have on the systems that they build

  • Computer reviewers and analysts who want a consistent way to measure performance, reliability, and functionality

The Windows Assessment Console is typically used in these scenarios:

 

Scenario Description

Black box

Run a predefined job and examine the results for any unusual values or indications of issues with drivers, memory usage, or other areas that the assessments address.

Comparison of results

Run a predefined job, or a single assessment with recommended assessment settings, on any computer that's running a supported operating system. Use the Windows Assessment Console to package the job to run on another computer. After you run the job on the other computer, import the results to the default results library. You can compare the results from any Windows 8-based computer with those of any other supported operating system to identify differences.

Clean computer

Run assessments on a clean computer (a computer that includes only the operating system) to establish baseline system results. For instructions, see Create Baseline Results for Comparing Windows Images.

Added hardware or software components

Add new hardware or software to the clean computer system and then rerun the assessments to compare the results with clean-computer results. For instructions, see Create Baseline Results for Comparing Windows Images.

See Also

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