Windows Server Troubleshooting - Counters

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Lies, damn lies, and statistics - Benjamin Disraeli

There are literally thousands of counters available in Windows. Counters are specified based on four criteria.

  • Computer - Specify that the data will come from the local computer or a remote computer
  • Object - An object such as a processor or disk drive can be monitored.
    • Every computer will have a number of core objects such as memory and processes.
    • Extended objects represent additional software such as the Internet Information Server.
  • Counter - For each object, there are many counters. For example, the memory object has counters; pages/sec, cache bytes, available bytes, etc.  Use the Explain button to get a description of each counter.
  • Instance - Some objects have multiple instances.
    • Individual processors can be monitored in multi-processor systems
    • If you have multiple volumes such as the C: drive and the D: drive, each can be selected as a separate instance.
    • Each network interface can be monitored.
    •  Individual processes and threads can be monitored.

By default, Logical Disk counters are disabled.  They can be enabled with the DISKPERF command.


Starts and stops system disk performance counters.

Used without the command switches, DISKPERF reports what disk
performance counters are enabled on the specified Windows 2000 computer.

Disk performance counters can be specified to report the
performance of the individual physical drives, or the individual
logical drives or storage volumes. Note that these two sets of
performance counters are measured independently. The user
has the option of enabling and disabling them independently
using the command line switches.
NOTE: This command can only be used to control remote
Windows 2000 systems. In newer systems, these performance counters
are automatically enabled.

DISKPERF [-Y[D|V] | -N[D|V]] [\\computername]

-Y Sets the system to start all disk performance counters
when the system is restarted.

-YD Enables the disk performance counters for physical drives.
when the system is restarted.
-YV Enables the disk performance counters for logical drives
or storage volumes when the system is restarted.
-N Sets the system to disable all disk performance counters
when the system is restarted.

-ND Disables the disk performance counters for physical drives.
-NV Disables the disk performance counters for logical drives.
\\computername Is the name of the computer you want to
see or set disk performance counter use.
The computer must be a Windows 2000 system.
NOTE: Disk performance counters are permanently enabled on
systems beyond Windows 2000.