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Windows Vista Beta 2 Performance Monitoring and Tuning Step-by-Step Guide

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Windows Vista Beta 2 Performance Monitoring and Tuning Step-by-Step Guide

Microsoft Corporation

Published: December 2005

Author: Jaime Ondrusek

Editor: Katie Cumming




Abstract

Windows Performance Diagnostic Console is a Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in the Microsoft® Windows Vista™ operating system that combines the functionality of previous stand-alone tools including Performance Logs and Alerts, Server Performance Advisor, Performance Monitor, and System Monitor. It provides a graphical interface for customizing Data Collector Sets and Event Trace Sessions. This guide introduces the new interface, consolidated features, and expanded functionality.

This document supports a preliminary release of a software product that may be changed substantially prior to final commercial release, and is the confidential and proprietary information of Microsoft Corporation. It is disclosed pursuant to a non-disclosure agreement between the recipient and Microsoft. This document is provided for informational purposes only and Microsoft makes no warranties, either express or implied, in this document. Information in this document, including URL and other Internet Web site references, is subject to change without notice. The entire risk of the use or the results from the use of this document remains with the user. Unless otherwise noted, the example companies, organizations, products, domain names, e-mail addresses, logos, people, places, and events depicted herein are fictitious, and no association with any real company, organization, product, domain name, e-mail address, logo, person, place, or event is intended or should be inferred. Complying with all applicable copyright laws is the responsibility of the user. Without limiting the rights under copyright, no part of this document may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), or for any purpose, without the express written permission of Microsoft Corporation.

Microsoft may have patents, patent applications, trademarks, copyrights, or other intellectual property rights covering subject matter in this document. Except as expressly provided in any written license agreement from Microsoft, the furnishing of this document does not give you any license to these patents, trademarks, copyrights, or other intellectual property.

© 2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Active Directory, Microsoft, MS-DOS, Visual Basic, Visual Studio, Windows, Windows NT, and Windows Server are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.

All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.

Contents

Windows Vista Beta 2 Performance Monitoring and Tuning Step-by-Step Guide 

What is Performance and Reliability Monitoring?

What's new in Performance and Reliability Monitoring?

Who should use Windows Performance Diagnostic Console

Benefits of Windows Performance Diagnostic Console

In This Guide 

Key Scenarios for Monitoring Performance and Reliability

Scenario 1: Monitor general system activity using Resource View

Overview: Monitoring general system activity using Resource View

Prerequisites for monitoring general system activity using Resource View 

Known issues for monitoring general system activity using Resource View 

Steps for monitoring general system activity using Resource View

Scenario 2: Monitor specific system activity using Performance Monitor 

Overview: Monitoring specific system activity using Performance Monitor 

Prerequisites for monitoring specific system activity using Performance Monitor 

Known issues for monitoring specific system activity using Performance Monitor 

Steps for monitoring specific system activity using Performance Monitor 

Scenario 3: Create a Data Collector Set from Performance Monitor

Overview: Creating a Data Collector Set from Performance Monitor

Prerequisites for creating a Data Collector Set from Performance Monitor 

Known issues for creating a Data Collector Set from Performance Monitor 

Steps for creating a Data Collector Set from Performance Monitor

Scenario 4: Create logs from a Data Collector Set

Overview: Create logs from a Data Collector Set

Prerequisites for creating logs from a Data Collector Set

Steps for creating logs from a Data Collector Set

Scenario 5: View and interpret logs in Performance Monitor

Overview: View and interpret logs in Performance Monitor

Prerequisites for viewing and interpreting logs in Performance Monitor 

Steps for viewing and interpreting logs in Performance Monitor



Scenario 6: View system stability with Reliability Monitor

Overview: View system stability with Reliability Monitor

Prerequisites for viewing system stability with Reliability Monitor 

Known issues for viewing system stability with Reliability Monitor 

Steps for viewing system stability with Reliability Monitor

Windows Vista Beta 2 Performance Monitoring and Tuning Step-by-Step Guide

The Beta 2 release of the Microsoft® Windows Vista™ operating system includes Windows Performance Diagnostic Console, a snap-in for Microsoft Management Console (MMC) that combines the functionality of previous stand-alone tools including Performance Logs and Alerts, Server Performance Advisor, Performance Monitor, and System Monitor. It provides a graphical interface for the customization of Data Collector Sets and Event Trace Sessions.

It also includes Reliability Monitor, a snap-in for MMC that tracks changes to the system and compares them to changes in system stability, providing a graphical view of the relationship.

What is Performance and Reliability Monitoring?

Even though the IT professional must manage the behavior of entire deployments, the individual user is most directly affected by the performance and reliability characteristics of the computer on their desktop. In most cases, the IT professional will have to diagnose and remedy problems on each user's computer using the performance and reliability tools provided by the client operating system.

Performance

In general terms, performance is the measure of how quickly a computer completes application and system tasks. Overall system performance might be limited by the access speed of the physical hard disks, the amount of memory available to all running processes, the top speed of the processor, or the maximum throughput of the network interfaces.

After hardware performance limitations are identified, individual applications and processes can be monitored to assess how much of the available resources they use. A comprehensive analysis of performance regarding both application impact and overall capacity helps IT professionals plan for deployment and grow with increasing demands.

Windows Performance Diagnostic Console includes a suite of tools that enable you to track the performance impact of applications and services, and to generate alerts or take action when user-defined thresholds for optimum performance are exceeded.

Reliability

The reliability of a system is the measure of how often it deviates from configured, expected behavior. Reductions in reliability might be the result of applications crashing, services freezing and restarting, drivers failing to initialize, or in the worst case, operating system failures.

The Reliability Monitor MMC snap-in provides you with a quick, visual view of the average stability of your system. In addition, it tracks events that will help you identify what causes reductions in reliability. By recording not only failures, including memory, hard disk, driver, application, and operating system failures, but also key events regarding the configuration of your system, including the installation of new applications, operating system patches, and drivers, you can see a timeline of changes in both the system and reliability and pinpoint how to get your system back to optimal reliability when it does not behave as expected.

What's new in Performance and Reliability Monitoring?

Key new features for monitoring Performance and Reliability in Windows Vista include:

Resource View, which enables IT Professionals to monitor the usage of CPU, Disk, Network and Memory resources in real time, and to identify which processes use which resources.

The Reliability Monitor report, which tracks changes to the system (including application installation, operating system updates, and driver updates) against an overall stability index that recognizes operating system crashes, application crashes, driver failures, and hardware failures as reductions in reliability.

The Data Collector Set, which groups data collectors into reusable elements for use with different performance monitoring scenarios.

Unified property configuration for all data collection, including scheduling.

Performance Logs and Alerts features, including scheduling of log collection, with improvements to security and reusability of configurations.

Server Performance Advisor features including diagnosis reports.

The ability to create logs using wizards and templates.

Who should use Windows Performance Diagnostic Console

This guide targets the following audiences:

IT planners and analysts who are evaluating the product

Enterprise IT planners and designers

Early adopters

Benefits of Windows Performance Diagnostic Console

The most significant advantage of Windows Performance Diagnostic Console over previous individual tools like System Monitor, Performance Logging and Alerts, and Server Performance Advisor is that it combines the functionality of those tools in a single interface with common methods for defining the data to be collected. The Data Collector Set makes a group of counters portable.

In This Guide

Key scenarios for monitoring performance and reliability

Scenario 1: Monitor general system activity using Resource View

Scenario 2: Monitor specific system activity using Performance Monitor

Scenario 3: Create a Data Collector Set from Performance Monitor

Scenario 4: Create logs from a Data Collector Set

Scenario 5: View and interpret logs in Performance Monitor

Scenario 6: View system stability with Reliability Monitor

Key Scenarios for Monitoring Performance and Reliability

This guide discusses six scenarios for using the Windows Performance Diagnostic Console and Reliability Monitor snap-ins for MMC. Completing the scenarios will help you understand how the new tools interoperate, and how they can improve your understanding of your system's operations.

Scenario 1: Monitor general system activity using Resource View

Overview: Monitoring general system activity using Resource View

The home page of Windows Performance Diagnostic Console is the Resource View screen. When you run the console as a user with administrator credentials, you can monitor the usage and performance of CPU, Disk, Network and Memory in real time. More detail, including information about which processes are using which resources, is available by expanding the four resources.

Prerequisites for monitoring general system activity using Resource View

To complete this task, ensure that you meet the following requirements:

Windows Vista Beta 2 is installed.

You are logged on with administrative credentials.

The requirement for administrative credentials is related to a known issue in Windows Vista Beta 2. See the 'Known Issues' section for more information.

Known issues for monitoring general system activity using Resource View

Resource View displays information from the Windows Kernel Trace provider session. In order to use this provider, you must be logged on as the local administrator or have started Windows Performance Diagnostic Console with elevated privileges.

If you run the console with insufficient permissions, the Resource View screen will not show current system information. If you click the Start button (the green arrow in the toolbar), you will be prompted with the following message:

The Windows Kernel Trace provider is already in use by another trace session. Taking control of it may cause the current owner to stop functioning properly.

If you select Take control of the session, access will be denied. You must log on as the local administrator or follow the instructions in the procedure below to run the console with elevated privileges.

Steps for monitoring general system activity using Resource View

To begin exploring Resource View, start Windows Performance Diagnostic Console.

Start Windows Performance Diagnostic Console

1. Log on to the computer using an account that is a member of the Administrators group.

2. Click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, right-click Command Prompt, and click 'Run Elevated…' in the context menu.

3. At the command prompt, type perfmon.exe and press ENTER. The console will start in the Resource View screen.

Four scrolling graphs in the Resource Overview pane display the real-time usage of CPU, Disk, Network, and Memory resources on the local computer. Beneath these scrolling graphs are four expandable sections that provide more detail about each resource. By clicking the down arrow on the right side of each bar, more information is displayed.

CPU

The CPU label displays the total percentage of CPU capacity currently in use. The CPU detail includes the following information:

Image: The application using CPU resources.

PID: The process ID of the application instance.

Threads: The number of threads currently active from the application instance.

CPU: The CPU cycles currently active from the application instance.

Average CPU: The average CPU load resulting from the application instance expressed as a percentage of the total capacity of the CPU.

Disk

The Disk label displays the total current I/O. The Disk detail includes the following information:

Image: The application using Disk resources.

PID: The process ID of the application instance.

File: The file being read and/or written by the application instance.

Read: The current speed (in Bytes/min) at which data is being read from the file by the application instance.

Write: The current speed (in Bytes/min) at which data is being written to the file by the application instance.

Total: The current disk I/O (in Bytes/min) in use by the application instance.

Network

The Network label displays the current total network traffic (in Kbps). The Network detail includes the following information:

Image: The application using Network resources.

PID: The process ID of the application instance.

Address: The network address with which the local computer is exchanging information. This may be expressed as a computer name when referring to other computers on the same local area network, as an IP address, or as a fully qualified domain name.

Send: The amount of data (in Kbps) the application instance is currently sending from the local computer to the address.

Receive: The amount of data (in Kbps) the application instance is currently receiving from the address.

Total: The total bandwidth (in Kbps) currently being sent and received by the application instance.

Memory

The Memory label displays the current hard faults per second and the percentage of physical memory currently in use.

Note

A hard fault (also known as a page fault) occurs when the page of the referenced address is no longer in physical memory and has been swapped out or is available from a backing file. It is not an error.

The Memory detail includes the following information:

Image: The application using memory resources.

PID: The process ID of the application instance.

Hard Faults: The number of hard faults currently resulting from the application instance.

Working Set: The number of pages currently resident in memory for the application instance.

Scenario 2: Monitor specific system activity using Performance Monitor

Overview: Monitoring specific system activity using Performance Monitor

Performance Monitor provides a visual display of built-in Windows performance counters, either in real time or as a way to review historical data. You can add performance counters to Performance Monitor by dragging and dropping, or by creating custom Data Collector Sets. It features multiple graph views to allow you to visually review performance log data, as well as custom views that can be exported as Data Collector Sets for use with performance and logging features.



In this task, you will add performance counters to the Performance Monitor display, observe them in real time, and learn how to pause the Performance Monitor display to examine current system status.

Prerequisites for monitoring specific system activity using Performance Monitor

To complete this task, ensure that you meet the following requirements:

Windows Vista Beta 2 is installed.

You are logged on with administrative credentials.

The requirement for administrative credentials is related to a known issue in Windows Vista Beta 2. See the 'Known Issues' section for more information.

Known issues for monitoring specific system activity using Performance Monitor

Some data collectors used by Performance Monitor display information from the Windows Kernel Trace provider session. In order to use this provider, you must be logged on as the local administrator, or have started Windows Performance Diagnostic Console with elevated privileges.

Steps for monitoring specific system activity using Performance Monitor

To begin using Performance Monitor, start Windows Performance Diagnostic Console.

Start Performance Monitor from Windows Performance Diagnostic Console

1. Log on to the computer using an account that is a member of the Administrators group.

2. Click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, right-click Command Prompt, and click 'Run Elevated…' in the context menu.

3. At the command prompt, type perfmon.exe and press ENTER. The console will start in the Resource View screen.

4. In the navigation tree, expand Diagnostic Console and click Performance Monitor.

Performance Monitor enables you to add specific data collectors or Data Collector Sets to the current view.

Add counters to the current Performance Monitor view

1. In the menu bar above the Performance Monitor graph display, either click the Add button ( ) or right-click anywhere in the graph and select Add counters… from the context menu. The Add Counters dialog box opens.

2. Select the local computer from the Select counters from computer: drop-down list.

3. In the Available Counters section, select counters to view in the Performance Monitor display. The following counters are suggested for this example:

Memory: % Committed Bytes in Use

Memory: Page Faults/sec

PhysicalDisk: Disk Read Bytes/sec

PhysicalDisk: Disk Reads/sec

PhysicalDisk: Disk Write Bytes/sec

PhysicalDisk: Disk Writes/sec

Processor: % Idle Time

Processor: Interrupts/sec

System: Threads

See Navigating the Add Counters dialog box for more information.

4. When you are finished selecting counters, click OK.

Navigating the Add Counters dialog

To display a description of the counter group currently selected in the list, check the Show description box in the lower left corner of the screen. The description will update as you select other groups.

To view available counters in a group, click the down arrow to the right of the group name.

To add a group of counters, highlight the group name and click Add >>.

Note

After highlighting a group name, you can click the down arrow to view included counters. If you highlight one counter from the list before clicking Add >>, only that counter will be added.

To add individual counters, expand the group name by clicking the down arrow, highlight the counter, and click Add >>.

Note

You can select multiple counters from a group by holding down the CTRL key and clicking the names in the list. When you have selected all of the counters you want to add from that group, click Add >>.

To add only certain instances of a counter, highlight a group name from the list, select the process you want from the list that appears in the Instances of selected object box, and click Add >>. Multiple processes can create the same counter, but choosing an instance will record only those counters produced by the selected process.

Note

Unless you select a specific instance, all instances of a counter are recorded.

To search for instances of a counter, highlight the counter group or expand the group and highlight the counter you want to add, and then enter the process name in the drop-down below the Instances of the selected object box and click Search. The process name you enter will be available in the drop-down to search with again. If no results are returned and you want to clear your search, you must highlight another group. If there are not multiple instances of a particular counter group or counter, the search function will not be available.

Observe counter data in Performance Monitor

The default display for Performance Monitor is the Line graph. In this display, two minutes of data appear in a rolling format from left to right, labeled along the X axis. This allows you to observe changes in each counter's activity compared with previous behavior over a short period of time. To see details for a particular counter in the Line graph, hover the mouse pointer over the counter line in the graph.

Change the display for the current set of data collectors using the drop down menu in the toolbar. The Histogram bar displays information in real time, allowing you to observe changes in each counter's activity.

The Report display shows current values for each selected counter in text format.

Below the display, each counter is listed in a legend with the color of the graph line, its Scale, the Counter, the Instance (in this example, all instances are selected), the Parent (not applicable when all instances are selected), the Object, and the Computer.

The check box in each row can be selected or cleared to toggle whether the counter appears in the current display without removing the counter from the list.

Selecting a row in the legend will display specific information about the counter in the area above the legend.

While a row is selected in the legend, click the Highlight button on the toolbar to highlight that counter in the graph. To return to normal display, click the Highlight button again.

To change the properties of how the counter is displayed, right click the row in the legend and select Properties from the context menu. The Performance Monitor Properties page will open in the Data tab. Use the drop-down menus to choose your preferences.

To freeze the display in order to examine current activity, click the Stop button in the toolbar. To resume observation from the point at which the display was stopped, click the Play button in the toolbar. To move through the data in collection time increments, click the Forward button in the toolbar.

Freezing the display in the Line graph will change the amount of time included in the X axis when observation is resumed.

Note

When finished with this task, do not close the console. The data collectors in the Performance Monitor view will be used in the next scenario.

Scenario 3: Create a Data Collector Set from Performance Monitor

Overview: Creating a Data Collector Set from Performance Monitor

Real-time viewing of data collectors is just one way to use Performance Monitor. Once you have created a combination of data collectors that show you useful information about your system in real time, you can save them as a Data Collector Set—the building block of performance monitoring and reporting in Windows Performance Diagnostic Console. It organizes multiple data collection points into a single component that can be used to review or log performance.

In this task you will create a Data Collector Set from counters selected in the real-time Performance Monitor view.

Prerequisites for creating a Data Collector Set from Performance Monitor

To complete this task, ensure that you meet the following requirements:

Windows Vista Beta 2 is installed.

You are logged on with administrative credentials.

The requirement for administrative credentials is related to a known issue in Windows Vista Beta 2. See the 'Known Issues' section for more information.

Windows Performance Diagnostic Console is running.

At least one data collector selected for display in Performance Monitor.

Known issues for creating a Data Collector Set from Performance Monitor

Some data collectors display information from the Windows Kernel Trace provider session. In order to use this provider, you must be logged on as the local administrator, or have started Windows Performance Diagnostic Console with elevated privileges.

Steps for creating a Data Collector Set from Performance Monitor

Create a Data Collector Set from the Performance Monitor

1. Begin with the display of counters from the previous procedure. If you no longer have these settings, start Performance Monitor and add counters to create a custom view you want to save as a Data Collector Set.

2. In the console, expand the scope tree, right-click Performance Monitor, point to New, and click Data Collector Set. The Create New Data Collector Set wizard starts. The Data Collector Set created will contain all of the information selected in the current Performance Monitor view.

3. Enter a name for your Data Collector Set and click Next.

4. The Root Directory will contain data collected by the Data Collector Set. Change this setting if you want to store your Data Collector Set data in a different location than the default. Click Next to define a user for the Data Collector Set to run as, or click Finish to save the current settings and exit.

5. After clicking Next, you can configure the Data Collector Set to run as a specific user. Click the Change… button to enter the user name and password for a different user than the default listed.

The Data Collector Set must run as a user with administrative credentials.

6. Click Finish to return to the console.

To view the properties of the Data Collector Set or to make additional changes, click the Open properties for this data collector set box.

To start the Data Collector Set immediately (and begin saving data to the location specified in Step 4), click the Start this data collector set now box.

Scenario 4: Create logs from a Data Collector Set

Overview: Create logs from a Data Collector Set

Once you have chosen data collectors that provide you with meaningful information about your system's performance, you can store the data as logs for later review.

Note

Log files created from Data Collector Sets in Windows Vista Beta 2 are not backward-compatible with earlier versions of Windows. However, logs created in earlier versions of Windows can be viewed in Windows Vista Beta 2.

Prerequisites for creating logs from a Data Collector Set

To complete this task, ensure that you meet the following requirements:

Windows Vista Beta 2 is installed.

You are logged on with administrative credentials.

The requirement for administrative credentials is related to a known issue in Windows Vista Beta 2. See the 'Known Issues' section for more information.

Windows Performance Diagnostic Console running.

At least one Data Collector Set has been created and saved (you can use the Data Collector Set you created in Scenario 3)

Steps for creating logs from a Data Collector Set

By default, a Data Collector Set generates a log file. You can configure the storage options for each Data Collector Set to include data about the log in the file name, choose to overwrite or append data, and limit the file size of individual logs.

Configure properties of the Data Collector Set for logging

1. In Windows Performance Diagnostic Console, expand the scope tree and highlight Data Collector Sets.



2. In the list in the snap-in window, right-click the name of the Data Collector Set you want to configure for logging and select Properties from the context menu.

3. On the General tab you can add a description or keywords for this Data Collector Set.

4. On the Directory tab, the Root directory is the base directory in which all log files for this Data Collector Set will be stored.

You can use the Subdirectory option to define a subdirectory for different log file storage.

Click the arrow to the right of Subdirectory name format to customize the directory name according to the date, time, and serial number of the log file.

Any changes you make to the directory configuration will be displayed in Example directory at the bottom of the property page.

5. On the Schedule tab, click Add to create a new schedule.

The Active Range defines when collection begins and, if the Expiration date box is selected, defines when collection will stop.

The Launch options define when a new log is created. You can configure a start time and choose which days of the week the collection restarts.

6. On the Stop Condition tab, define which criteria (if any) will be used to halt collection of the Data Collector Set.

Select the first Overall duration box and define quantity and units to set a limit on how long data will be collected. Clear the Overall duration check box to collect data indefinitely.

In the Limits section, select the check box to restart the Data Collector Set when a limit is reached if you want logs segmented. Clear the check box to stop collection without restarting when one of the limits is reached.

Define how to segment logs or stop collection based on limits by setting values and selecting the appropriate check boxes for Duration and/or Maximum size.

If you defined an expiration date in the Schedule tab that falls after a duration setting in the Stop Condition tab, the stop condition will take precedence.

Scenario 5: View and interpret logs in Performance Monitor

Overview: View and interpret logs in Performance Monitor

You can use Performance Monitor to examine previously collected logs based on Data Collector Sets. All of the display options included in real-time monitoring with Performance Monitor are available for log viewing.

In this task you will learn how to load log data in Performance Monitor and navigate the display.

Prerequisites for viewing and interpreting logs in Performance Monitor

To complete this task, ensure that you meet the following requirements:

Windows Vista Beta 2 is installed

You are logged on with administrative credentials.

The requirement for administrative credentials is related to a known issue in Windows Vista Beta 2.

Windows Performance Diagnostic Console running.

At least one log file available from a previously created Data Collector Set.

Steps for viewing and interpreting logs in Performance Monitor

Load log data in Performance Monitor

1. Log on to the computer using an account that is a member of the Administrators group.

2. Click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, right-click Command Prompt, and click Run Elevated… in the context menu.

3. At the command prompt, type perfmon.exe and press ENTER. The console will start in the Resource View screen.

4. In the navigation tree, expand Diagnostic Console and click Performance Monitor.

Important

If only one Data Collector Set is running, stop it by right-clicking the name of the DCS in the navigation tree and selecting Stop from the context menu before proceeding with the next step.

5. In the Performance Monitor console pane, click the database button in the toolbar or press CTRL+L to load log data. The Performance Monitor Properties dialog opens in the Source tab.

6. Select the Log files radio button and click Add….

7. Browse to the root directory you defined in Scenario 4 and select the Data Collector Set log.

8. Click Apply, and then click OK.

Navigating the log view in Performance Monitor

Log data opens in the Line graph view by default. While in this view, the X-axis of the graph represents the total time included in the log.

To view only a specific time frame in the display, click and drag in the display until a section is highlighted, and then click the Zoom button or press CTRL+Z.

To play the log data back like a Performance Monitor real-time view, click the Play button in the toolbar.

For other viewing options, see the description for viewing system activity in real time in Scenario 2.

Scenario 6: View system stability with Reliability Monitor

Overview: View system stability with Reliability Monitor

Reliability Monitor is a snap-in for the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) that provides a system stability overview and trend analysis with detailed information about individual events that may affect the overall stability of the system. It will begin to collect data at the time of system installation.

In this task you will review the System Stability Chart and become familiar with the detailed event information Reliability Monitor uses to calculate the stability index.

Prerequisites for viewing system stability with Reliability Monitor

To complete this task, ensure that you meet the following requirements:

Windows Vista Beta 2 is installed.

There has been a minimum system running time of 24 hours since installation.

If you perform this task on a new system, you may see only minimal data regarding reliability events. Repeat the task after installing applications and adding hardware to learn more.

You are logged on with administrative credentials.

The requirement for administrative credentials is related to a known issue in Windows Vista Beta 2. See the 'Known Issues' section for more information.

Known issues for viewing system stability with Reliability Monitor

The following known issues may affect your ability to complete this task:

Data used by Reliability Monitor is only accessible to accounts with administrative credentials. In order to see the System Stability Chart, you must be logged on as the local administrator, or have launched MMC with elevated privileges.

Your Windows installation must run for at least 24 hours before data will be displayed in the System Stability Chart.

Until Reliability Monitor has 28 days of data, the stability index will be displayed as a dotted line on the graph, indicating it has not yet established a valid baseline for the measurement.

Steps for viewing system stability with Reliability Monitor

Start Reliability Monitor from Windows Performance Diagnostic Console

1. Log on to the computer using an account that is a member of the Administrators group.

2. Click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, right-click Command Prompt, and click 'Run Elevated…' in the context menu.

3. At the command prompt, type mmc.exe and press ENTER. MMC will start.

4. In the File menu, click Add/Remove Snap-in…, select Reliability Monitor from the list of available snap-ins, click Add, and then click OK.

5. In the navigation tree, click Reliability Monitor.

If your system has been running for less than 24 hours, you will see this error message:

Reliability Monitor cannot provide data because the Reliability Analysis Component (RAC) task has been disabled or because RAC has not calculated a session yet. Either enable the RAC task, or if the RAC task is running, please wait 24 hours and check for data again.

The top half of the Reliability Monitor window contains the System Stability Chart and a calendar for selecting a single date or a range of dates to display. To view a graph of all available data, click Select All Dates. To view data for a single date, click that date on the calendar.

Reliability monitor maintains a year of history for system stability and reliability events. The System Stability Chart displays a rolling stability index for the operating system. In Windows Vista, it shows one month of data.

At the bottom of the System Stability Chart, five bands track Reliability Events that contribute to the stability measurement for the system. Below the System Stability Chart, you can expand each Reliability Event category by clicking the plus sign ( ) to view events for the date or range of dates selected. The data for each event type is as follows:

Software (Un)Installs

This category tracks software installations and removals including the operating system, Windows updates, drivers, and applications.

Software: Operating system, name of application, Windows update name, or driver name.

Version: Version of the operating system, application, or driver (this field is not available for Windows updates).

Activity: Indicates whether the event is an install or uninstall.

Activity Status: Indicates success or failure for the action.

Date: The date of the action.

Application Failures

This category tracks application hangs (including the termination of a non-responding application) and crashes.

Application: Executable program name of the application that hung or crashed.

Version: Version number of the application.

Failure Type: Indicates whether the application failed due to hang or crash.

Date: The date of the application failure.

Driver Failures

Drivers that failed to load or unload correctly are tracked in this category.

Driver Name: File name of the driver that failed to load or unload.

Version: Version number of the driver.

Failure Type: Indicates whether the driver failed to load or unload.

Date: The date of the driver failure.

Hardware Failures

Disk (DFD) and Memory (WMD) failures are tracked in this category.

Component Type: Indicates whether the failure occurred in hard drive or memory.

Device: Identifies the device that is failing.

Failure Type: Indicates whether a hard drive failure resulted from a bad disk or a bad block, or indicates that a memory failure resulted from bad memory.

Date: The date of the hardware failure.

Windows Failures

Operating system crashes, boot failures, and sleep failures are tracked in this category.

Failure: Indicates whether the event is a Boot Failure, OS Crash, or Sleep Failure.

Version: Versions of the operating system and service pack.

Failure Type:

OS Crash: Indicates the Stop code.

Boot Failure: Indicates the detected problem.

Sleep Failure: Indicates the component veto or failure to enter hibernation.

Date: The date of the Windows failure.






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