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Monitoring Disk Performance

The Windows XP performance monitoring tool is composed of two parts: System Monitor and Performance Logs and Alerts. The MMC snap-in is simply named Performance. With System Monitor, you can collect and view real-time data about disk performance and activity in graph, histogram or report form.

Performance Logs and Alerts enables you to configure logs to record performance data and to set system alerts to notify you when a specified counter's value is above or below a defined threshold.

You can open Performance as follows:

  1. Click Start|Control Panel.
  1. In the Control Panel, double-click Administrative Tools, and then double-click Performance. You can use System Monitor within Performance to monitor disk activity.

In earlier versions of Windows, the Diskperf.exe command-line tool was used to control the types of physical and logical disk counters that you could enable for monitoring system performance. Under Windows XP, disk performance counters are permanently enabled and the LogicalDisk object counters have been removed.

Instead of using the LogicalDisk object counters for measuring disk performance, Windows XP maps physical drives to logical drives by applying the same instance name. For example, if a computer contains a dynamic volume that is comprised of two physical hard disks, the logical drives might appear as Disk 0 C: and Disk 1 C:, which denotes that drive C spans physical disks 0 and 1. For a PC that has three logical volumes on one physical disk, the instance would appear as 0 C: D: E:.

Next: Detecting and Repairing Disk Errors