Wednesday, September 7, 2016

What Is Windows Up To Right Now?

Years ago one relied on the hard drive light for reassurance during some particularly unresponsive episode on the PC. The reassuring hum of those spindles spinning formed a kind of non-deterministic progress indicator.

Spin drives gave way to Solid State Drives (SSDs) which afford no reassuring hum. For a while the activity light remained but nowadays it seems that even that has entered the dustbin of PC history. Sort of loses its usefulness if it's always on...

So, like pretty much every commercial concern, I turned to software. Windows has shipped with Resource Monitor (resmon) for several versions. It augments Task Manager's Performance tab (so much so that a button to open it was added to that tab in windows 7).

For answering the general question "What is Windows doing right now?" I maximize the Overview tab on the right monitor. So far the Disk activity grid seems to yield the greatest insight into what's going on at any given instant.

For example, just watching the Disk activity grid while loading a web app revealed excessive logging settings leftover from previous debugging efforts. You can directly see iisexpress.exe writing to the trace logs.

Here are a few tips for getting the most out of resmon's Overview tab:

  1. Increase the height of the Disk grid. It should be, at least, double the height of grids.
  2. Widen the Disk grid's image and file columns. The file column should take up most of the space to account for very long pathnames.
  3. Sort the Disk grid's by Total (B/sec) column in descending order. This brings the files with the most disk activity to the top.
  4. Sort the CPU grid by Average CPU descending.
  5. Sort the Network grid by Total (B/sec) descending.
  6. Sort the Memory grid by Working Set (KB)

No comments :

Post a Comment