How to configure Perfmon using Perfwiz utility

What is Perfwiz

Performance Monitor Wizard or Perfwiz is a tool to configure perfmon easily and efficiently. [more]

This wizard simplifies creating and managing performance monitor logs. For those who already know how perfmon works and why we need it. It’s going to be easy and interesting to see how things can be done with this wonderful wizard. Perfwiz.exe can be download from the Microsoft website.
The Windows Performance Monitor has many different performance objects to choose from, and each performance object has a number of different counters. If you have Exchange installed, it also gives you a complete list of Exchange objects to choose from.

 

NOTE: Before you run the Performance Optimizer, please make sure to save any customized registry settings to the Microsoft Exchange Services because Perfwiz.exe will replace these settings.

It is recommended to run Perfwiz remotely for monitoring purpose. To explain further, If the problem is on CompA, it would be wise to configure Perfwiz on CompB to monitor CompA remotely.  What Perfwiz does is to configure perfmon. It is not an alternative to Perfmon.exe but a complement. When we run Performance Monitor Wizard and configure it, Perfwiz actually configure Perfmon to collect data. It is a just a wizard to ease the monitoring process!

Let’s see how to configure Perfwiz.exe now…

 

 

Ok! So now we will configure Perwiz to monitor a machine. Let’s say we have a server CompA and it’s running very slow. We want to monitor its performance to see what’s going on. We download the PerfWiz utility and save it on another machine CompB. Now this CompB can be either Windows 2003 or Windows XP.

Now if these two machines are in domain, what we need to do first is to configure the service ‘Performance Logs and Alert’ run under administrator’s account on BOTH the machines. By default this service run under the account ‘NT Authority\Network Service’. It may work fine even if you don’t change the log on account but since we are monitoring the remotely, let’s use the account that is authenticated and has privilege across the network. You can go to Service control manager and in the properties dialog box of this particular service, change the log on account.

Second thing we need to check is that the service ‘Remote registry’ is not disabled on BOTH the machines. If it’s disabled, we may encounter problem running PerfWiz. You might be thinking that there are lot of things to do before setting up PerfWiz but let us remind you that these are the basic needs for Perfmon to be configured remotely and not PerfWiz.

Anyways, now that we have check the services let’s run PerfWiz on CompB. It will give you a wizard that says ‘Welcome to Performance Wizard’. Click Next and we have next window:

On this screen, it asks for the computer that is monitoring the problem machine. In our case it would be CompB is monitoring and collecting logs.

NOTE: If you’re running PerfWiz on the same machine then type the name of the problem machine as it is also collecting the logs.

Click NEXT and we have next screen asking you to create a new log. If you have any other logs configured already, they would be shown here. It is recommended to create fresh logs. So choose the option ‘-Create new logs-‘ and click NEXT.

Next screen is for selecting the Performance Monitor log profile. It gives you three options: Standard Perfmon, High CPU Usage and Advanced Configuration. Advanced Configuration lets you choose the objects that you want to include/exclude. Rest two are self explanatory and don’t give you the option to choose the objects.

Click to view the screenshot

Click NEXT and we have another screen for Target computer. This is the computer that is showing the symptoms or problem. So we will type the name of CompA here to tell Perfmon that we need to monitor CompA. Note that we also have two options asking for the role of the machine. Options are Terminal Server and Exchange server. Please choose the appropriate option if any. This is because, both these servers have some additional objects that we may want to monitor. Here is the screenshot:

 Click to view the screenshot

Yes! click NEXT one more time… and we have the configuration screen. It asks for four things. They are:that the log file can expand upto. If we have given 200 MB, then the file will NOT grow more than 200 MB. If in case it reaches the limit of 200 MB size, the logging will start from the begining of the file again, overwriting the initial data. It is the binary circular file.

Continue logging in next file: It is the optional box. IF selected then a new file be created when the first file reaches the maximum size limit. For example, we specified log file size to be 200 MB and during logging it reaches 200 MB. Then, if this option is selected, a new file be created for logging continuous data instead of overwriting the initial one in the same file.

File location: Location of the log file where you want to save it. Obviously, on the machine that is monitoring, that is, CompB.

 Click to view the screenshot.

Note: If you get error message, ‘Log name already exist”, Give a different log name. It must be already there in perfmon with that name.

Click NEXT again,  Now we have screen to configure file’s sample interval. This is the time interval at which Perfmon will take snapshots. The screen has two options:

Average time to issue: Set the time average time the issue generally takes to occur. For example my system hangs up every two hours. So I will set 2 Hours there. Note this option is not mandatory. We have this option so that Perfwiz can calculate the time interval at which perfmon should take the snapshot ideally. This is just to ease your work so you don’t have to scratch your heads thinking what would be the best time interval to capture the activities.

Try setting the time here and you will notice that the second option ‘Sample Interval’ keeps changing according to that.

Sample Interval: This is the important option. If you have selected the first option, then no need to change it. IF not, then set the time interval that you thing is good and perfmon will capture snapshots accordingly.

 Click to view the screenshot

Next screen has the list of counters. Select the appropriate counters that you want to monitor and click next. Click here for screenshot.

 Click to view the screenshot