How do I monitor system resources in Windows?

Question

How do I monitor system resources in Windows?

Answer

This question was answered on June 23, 2000. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

Windows has a utility called "Resource Meter" that is part of the system It may already be installed on your system in Start/Programs/Accessories/System Tools (If it's not there, you can install it by clicking Start/Settings/Control Panel and then clicking on the Add/Remove Programs icon Next, click on the Windows Setup tab, then click on System Tools, then click on Details Place a checkmark in the box in front of System Resource Meter and click on OK Depending on how your system is set up, you may need to insert your Windows CD; if so, you'll be prompted at the right time.)

The Resource Meter uses green, yellow and red bars to display system resources Think of it as the "gas gauge" for your computer If you minimize the Resource Meter, it installs itself in your System Tray, by the clock and becomes a tiny bar graph that shows you available System Resources If you want more detail, you can hover your mouse over the tiny bar-chart icon, or double-click on the icon to open the full-sized chart display.

Over time, you'll learn what constitutes acceptable resources for your particular system and apps (When your resources get low enough, you'll sometimes get a warning from Windows suggesting that you close some apps in order to recover resources.)

Using the Resource Meter, you may be able to determine if any of your programs has a "resource leak" because if does not give back what it takes After a fresh reboot, check your resources and write down your starting percentage Open a program and see what it takes, then close it and see if it gives it all back If a program takes 10% o your resources to run and only gives back 8% wen you close it, you just lost 2% o your resources Over time, this can reduce your base resources to the point that you must reboot your system in order to replenish the resources If you determine a program has a resource leak, visit the vendor's website to see if there's a fix (type "resource leak" into the sites search enging for possible links.)

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Posted by Ken of Data Doctors on June 23, 2000