Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Using Performance Monitor to Get More System Stats
Setting the Update Interval
Now that you have all your performance counters set up and displaying data,
you need to select the interval time of how often the data will be updated. How
often the counters should be updated depends on your reasons for monitoring
your hardware. For example, if you are trying to track how much data your
computer is sending through your network adapter every day or hour, it is not
necessary to have that counter update every second. You are just wasting CPU
cycles because you are making the computer constantly update the performance
counter. However, if you are interested in current memory or CPU utilization,
you want a much faster update time.
To change the update interval, perform the following steps:
1. While in the Performance Monitor, right-click the graph and select Properties.
Alternatively, you can press Ctrl+Q.
2. After the Performance Monitor Properties window loads, click the
3. Locate the Graph Elements section and update the Sample Every text box.
This number is in seconds.
4. Click OK to close the window and save your changes.
Now Performance Monitor polls the data sources at your specified interval.
Analyzing and Detecting Problems
The Performance Monitor and the various performance counters make it
possible to detect many problems and shed light on how to make your system run
faster. You should familiarize yourself with a handful of tips that deal with the
specific performance counters listed next; these prove to be invaluable in your
analysis and decision-making. The following are some of the things to look out
for when monitoring your system:
■ Physical Disk: Disk Read Bytes/sec and Disk Write Bytes/sec —These
two performance counters tell you whether your physical disk is set
up and functioning correctly. To determine this, consult the website or
the manual of the manufacturer of your hard drive. Look up the range
of read/write speeds. If the readings that you are getting are far below
what you should be getting, your hard disk could be damaged or set
up incorrectly. Run diagnostic software on the disk and make sure that
it is set up properly in Device Manager with the correct transfer mode.
Remember that most hard drives read at different speeds when they are
reading from different parts of the disk. This is why there may be some
discrepancies between your readings.
■ Paging File: % Usage and % Usage Peak —These two performance counters
can tell you how well your system is using the page file. If you set the size
of the page file manually, these counters are critical to deciding what size