A multipurpose room temperature scanning Hall probe microscope (RT-SHPM) system incorporating an ultra-high sensitive sub-micron GaAs Hall probe (active area of similar to0.8 x 0.8 mum(2) room temperature Hall coefficient of 0.3 Ohm /G) exhibiting extremely high magnetic field sensitivity (0.04G/root Hz) was used for the direct, non-invasive and quantitative imaging of magnetic field fluctuations in very close proximity to the surfaces of thin film magnetic storage media, Bi substituted iron garnet epilayers and demagnetized Sr-ferrite permanent magnets placed in external magnetic fields. A scanning tunnelling microscope tip integrated adjacent to the Hall probe was used for precise vertical positioning of the probe. RT-SHPM images of 1.4 MB written floppy disks clearly showed well-defined magnetic transitions to coalesce into small island-like structures under external perpendicular fields greater than 1300 Oe. The RT-SHPM is demonstrated to be a versatile means of quantitatively monitoring micron-sized magnetic domain structures in the presence of external magnetic fields at: room temperature. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.