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Maintaining Desktop Health : Monitoring Reliability and Performance (part 5)

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Comparing Performance Monitor Logs

You can use System Monitor’s new Compare feature to overlay multiple log files for comparison. This feature is most useful for comparing multiple log files that have been configured to log the same data points for the same amount of time. To access the Compare feature, you must start Performance Monitor with the /sys parameter (perfmon /sys) from Run or from a command prompt. Once Performance Monitor is open, you can view and compare log files as illustrated by the following steps:

1.
To open the first log file, click the cylinder on the toolbar to open the System Monitor Properties dialog box.

2.
Click the Log files radio button and then click Add to open the Select Log File window.

3.
Locate the log file that you want to open and then click Open. The log file will be added to the System Monitor instance but no counters will be added by default.

4.
To add the desired counters, click the plus sign on the toolbar to open the Add Counters window. The counter data will be displayed in the main System Monitor window.

5.
Repeat steps 1 through 3 to open the second log, by opening another Performance Monitor instance with the perfmon /sys command, and add the desired counters.

6.
After you open the logs for comparison, two opaque Performance Monitor windows will open on the desktop. Position and size the anchor window—which may be any of the Performance Monitor logs being compared—in the desired location. This will be the Performance Monitor window upon which you overly the other windows.

7.
Select the second Performance Monitor window—which will be overlaid on top of the first window—to bring it into focus, click the Compare menu, point to Set Transparency, and then select the desired transparency level. Note that transparency here is not related to the Windows Vista Aero Glass feature and works on systems that are not capable of supporting Aero Glass.

The Set Transparency option sets the transparency of the window to be overlaid on the anchor window. The transparency options are: No Transparency, 40% Transparency, and 70% Transparency. When you set the transparency to 40%, the desktop background remains visible through the second window.

8.
Select the Compare menu item and then click the Snap To Compare option.

The second window is resized to the same size as the anchor window and is overlaid on top of the anchor window.

Note

You can still interact with both Performance Monitor windows individually to change properties; select menu items; and minimize, maximize, or close the windows.


Performance Monitor User Rights

Performance Monitor user rights are specified as follows:

  • Administrator Local and remote full control

  • Performance Log Users Can access and log performance counter data locally and remotely (create, manipulate, and view logs)

  • Performance Monitor Users Can access performance counter data locally and remotely (view logs)

Note

On earlier versions of Windows, Performance Monitor can be used to monitor Windows Vista computers with options previously available on earlier versions of Windows but without support for new Windows Vista features. The user of the earlier version of Windows must also be in the local administrator group on the Windows Vista computer.


Managing Performance Logs and Event Trace Sessions with Logman

Logman.exe creates and manages Event Trace Session and Performance logs and supports many functions of Performance Monitor from the command line. Logman has been enhanced in Windows Vista and uses the following syntax from an elevated command prompt:

logman [create | query | start | stop | delete| update | import | export | /?] [options]

Logman commands include the following:

  • logman create Creates a counter, trace, configuration data collector, or API

  • logman query Queries data collector properties

  • logman start | stop Starts or stops data collection

  • logman delete Deletes an existing data collector

  • logman update Updates the properties of an existing data collector

  • logman import | export Imports a data collector set from an XML file or exports a data collector set to an XML file

  • logman /? Displays help for logman

The following usage examples illustrate logman syntax.

logman create counter perf_log -c "\Processor(_Total)\% Processor Time"
									
									
									logman create trace trace_log -nb 16 256 -bs 64 -o c:\logfile          
									
									
									logman start perf_log                                                  
									
									
									logman update perf_log -si 10 -f csv -v mmddhhmm                       
									
									
									logman update trace_log -p "Windows Kernel Trace" (disk,net)           
								

					 
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