Defrag Tools: #12 - TaskMgr and ResMon

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In this episode of Defrag Tools, Chad Beeder and Larry Larsen walk you through Task Manager and Resource Monitor. Sometimes you can't download Sysinternals or other troubleshooting tools, at these time, you can turn to these in-box applications that allow you to investigate the computer.

Pushing the Limits of Windows: USER and GDI Objects – Part 1 (Mark Russinovich)
Pushing the Limits of Windows: USER and GDI Objects – Part 2 (Mark Russinovich)
Why does holding the Ctrl key when selecting New Task from Task Manager open a command prompt? (Raymond Chen)

[00:00] - Intro
[00:50] - Task Manager tips and tricks
[02:03] - Show processes from all users
[02:55] - Tiny footprint mode
[03:27] - Hidden feature - launch admin command prompt
[04:20] - Additional columns on Processes tab (USER and GDI objects)
[07:20] - Create Dump File
[07:48] - Set Priority/Set Affinity
[08:55] - Resource Monitor
[09:54] - Finding open handle (example: can't eject USB flash drive)
[11:56] - Hung apps in Resource Monitor
[13:54] - Memory tab and Disk tab (demo - SQLIOSim)
[16:26] - Analyze Wait Chain
[16:50] - Mutexes/synchronization objects
[19:04] - Process Explorer - "Find Window's Process" targeting tool



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The Discussion

  • User profile image

    I've been reading that the regular tools for measure DPC latency don't give useful results in Win8 anymore because of changes in the OS. Getting low DPC latency is EXTREMELY important for all music making applications which always use ASIO and extremely small buffer sizes.

    Are there any tools for doing this in Win8 and how can they be used to determine the cause of any bad DPC latency?

    For example, I have 2 ethernet adapters on my motherboard. If I use one I get very bad performance in professional audio applications but if I use the other one everything settles down and works fine. I would have never been able to troubleshoot this if it wasn't for Dpclat.
    I see that something named LatencyMon claims to support Win8 now but I'm not sure how useful it is.

  • User profile image

    @dentaku: Windows Performance Toolkit is the answer. It records the function and duration of every DPC. You can get the win8 version in the ADK - it now has a UI application for the capture. Capture the box and then view the ETL file in wpa.exe.

    If you need help, email We are not covering xperf in the next 5wks at least.

  • User profile image

    @dentaku: Andrew beat me to it. There's some good detail here on using Windows Performance Analyzer to view ISRs/DPCs.

  • User profile image

    dentaku wrote

    Are there any tools for doing this in Win8 and how can they be used to determine the cause of any bad DPC latency?

    I've explained on how to use xperf to trace the DPC issues

  • User profile image

    I guess when I actually install Win8 on something I'll have to come back to this post and test it all out.

    I'm sure that when Win8 officially shows up even more people are going to be using the old tools they're used to and just assume that Win8 is worse for music apps than Win7 was.

  • User profile image

    1 author of an old DPC tool states that the tool no loner works correctly:

    Windows 8 Compatibility: The DPC latency utility runs on Windows 8 but does not show correct values. The output suggests that the Windows 8 kernel performs badly and introduces a constant latency of one millisecond which is not the case in practice. DPCs in the Windows 8 kernel behave identical to Windows 7. The utility produces incorrect results because the implementation of kernel timers has changed in Windows 8 which causes a side effect with the measuring algorithm used by the utility. Thesycon is working on a new version of the DPC latency utility and will make it available on this site as soon as it is finished.


    DPC Latency Checker for Windows 7, Windows 7 x64, Windows Vista, Windows Vista x64, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 x64, Windows XP, Windows XP x64, Windows 2000

    LatencyMon is fine because it also uses ETW like xperf.


    for the GDI / USer object issue, there is a hotfix for Win7:

    Number of UI and GDI objects increases when an application displays new animated controls in an Aero theme in Windows 7 or in Windows Server 2008 R2


  • User profile image

    @MagicAndre1981: Good catch on the KB 2719248 hotfix. I hadn't seen that one yet. That fix addresses one case where an application can hit the 10,000 GDI object limit by creating buffered animations too quickly. There are still other ways an application could hit the limit even with that fix in place, though.

  • User profile image

    Hello from france ;-)
    Is it possible to copy the "command line" in TaskMgr.

  • User profile image

    @Kaz: That's a really good question. I don't think you can via any menu. And you can't select the text in the added column. I think Process Monitor is the answer (using the properties dialog).

  • User profile image

    yes, it is possible whith process explorer and process monitor.

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