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Using The Performance Monitor Log

Creating the Performance Monitor log:

  1. On the View menu, select Log.
  2. On the Edit menu, select Add To Log
  3. In the Add To Log dialog box you will see Computer and Objects. In Computer, specify the name of the local computer or a remote computer you want to get a log of. In Objects, add the counters that you want Performance Monitor to log. These counters will change depending on the problem that you are troubleshooting.
  4. Highlight the objects that you wish to monitor and select Add.
  5. Under Options select Log.
  6. Under File Name, name the log.
  7. At the bottom of this window you will see Update Time. It is important to set this update time. If you are going to be running the Performance Monitor log for an extended period of time, you will want to set this update time to an interval much higher than 15 seconds or the log will be very large. If you are only going to be running the log for an hour then 15 seconds will be fine.
  8. Now you are ready to start the log. Press the Start Log button located in the same window as the above. This will start the log and this icon will change to a Stop Log icon once the log is started.

When you are ready to stop monitoring the selected objects and examine your log file perform the following steps:

  1. Under Options select Log and Stop Log.
  2. Under the Options menu select "Data from" and "Log File". Now select the radio button beside the perfmon.log field and locate your log file. Choosing File and Open cannot open a log file.
  3. After opening the log file, add the objects and counters that were monitored. Do this for each view needed otherwise the log file's data will not be available.

If you are troubleshooting a performance issue or an issue that looks like a memory leak, the objects that Performance Monitor should log include but are not limited to the following items.

Memory resource issues:

  1. Memory
  2. Objects
  3. Cache
  4. Network interface
  5. Paging file
  6. Physical disk
  7. Process
  8. Processor
  9. Server
  10. System
  11. Terminal Services (if Terminal Server)

For all other resource issues, add additional counters:

  1. Logical disk
  2. Redirector
  3. Server work queues
  4. Thread
  5. All job counters (if ADV server or datacenter)
  6. All Terminal Server counters (if a Terminal Server)
  7. All Protocol counters bound to network adapters


If the computer that is running Perfmon is restarted or goes down while the log is going, you can start a new log, or if you specify the name of an existing log file the new data is appended to the end of the log file. It is important to let the engineer know the log was restarted. However, if you are monitoring remotely and the target computer goes down, this does not apply.

If there are processes that start after the log was started they will not show up in the beginning of the log. You will need to go to Edit and select Time Window. There is a sliding scale that you can use to view different periods in the log.

If the user logs off, the performance monitor log will stop. Performance logging can be setup as a service but running Performance Monitor remotely from another Windows NT system is the easiest way to collect a performance log.

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