Manage Performance in Vista

Before you start

Objectives: familiarize yourself with important performance and reliability tools in Windows Vista.

Prerequisites: you should know what do we mean by performance and reliability.

Key terms: data, system, performance, reliability, logs, select, time, case, cpu, menu, monitor


Reliability and Performance MMC

To open the Reliability and Performance Monitor tool we can right-click Computer, select the Manage option, and then select the Reliability and Performance option from the menu.

 MMC Snap-In

MMC Snap In

On the main screen we can see the resource overview which includes the CPU, Disk, Network and Memory. Notice that in our case we have a lot of CPU and Memory usage. To get more details about specific area we can expand specific option. Let’s see which process actually consumes our CPU. For that we will expand the CPU section and then click on the CPU column to see the highest value first.

 SVCHost

svchost.exe

In our case we can see that the svchost.exe is currently consuming a lot of processing power. This is OK in our case.

Let’s now select the Performance Monitor option from the menu on the left. Here we will click on the “plus” icon to add a counter. Notice that here we can add counters from other machines. In our case we added few processor counters, including C1 Time, Idle Time, User Time and Interrupts/sec.

 Counters

Counters

This will give us real time view of the performance but notice that the data is deleted during time. We only see small portion of data.

 Graph

Graph

Now let’s select the Reliability Monitor from the menu on the left. Reliability monitor keeps track of our system stability over time. Notice that we have a score indicating how stable our installation is.

 Reliability Monitor

Reliability Monitor

In our case our index is 10, which indicates a very stable system. On the graph we will see small red X if we had some kind of failure. Below the graph we have grouped reports which can be used to get more details on specific failures.

Now let’s choose Data Collector Sets. There are system defined data collector sets or you can define your own was just look at the built in system data collector sets. We can define our own (user) data sets, or we can work with predefined system data sets. In our case we will go to System, and then right-click the System Diagnostics set, and select the Start option.

 DCSs

DCSs

After some time we will stop the process of collecting data in the same way. All data will be saved in the C:\perflogs\ folder. But, now we can also take a look at reports of our data set. From the menu on the left we will select Reports, then System, then System Diagnostics. Notice that now we have a ready report available.

 Report

Reports

From the report we can see all kinds of information, and among other things we can see that our CPU has high load so we should investigate this. We can get a lot of details from those reports.

Event Viewer

Event Viewer is another snap-in so we can simply select it from the menu on the left, if we have opened Computer Management console. In Windows Vista, Event Viewer has a redesigned interface. It is designed to look like Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM). In the menu we still have standard Windows Logs portion.

 Event Viewer

Event Viewer

Windows Logs section includes Application, Security and System logs. We also have some new sections which include Custom Views and Application and Services Logs. We also have Microsoft logs which gives us many ways in which we can keep track of what’s going on the computer. On the right side we have some additional actions that we can take. Among others we can filter our logs which is often useful. If we go to Properties, we can subscribe to other computers to receive logs from them also. So in one location we can gather data from multiple machines.

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