How to Monitor System Memory in Windows XP


If you want to monitor your system memory in Windows XP, you can do so by adding counters to the System Monitor program to analyze the usage of the memory, processor and disk subsystems. In Windows Server 2003, the system uses a page file to monitor all the activity with just a couple clicks and/or keystrokes. The page file uses line commands to designate any counter to monitor certain activity. You just need to set up the counters you want, and the system will do the rest.

Things You'll Need

  • A computer with Windows XP Home/Professinal installed and properly configured, network access, basic understanding of system features, for east to follow along instructions, and patience.
  • Click "Start" and then "Run" to open the Run dialog box.

  • Type "perfmon.msc" into the Open field and press "Enter."

  • Right-click the right side of the new window and click "Add Counters."

  • Click "Select counters from computer." The name of your computer will be selected by default.

  • Click "Memory" from the Performance object drop-down list, select "Available Mbytes" in the counter list box and click the "Add" button.

  • Click "Paging File" from the Performance object drop-down list, select "%Usage" in the counter list box and click the "Add" button.

  • Click the "Close" button. You should see a graph showing how your computer's memory is being used.

  • Generate some activity. Click "Start," "Help and Support." Close Help and Support. Open and close Help and Support again. You should see a spike in your Memory> Pages/ Sec counter. The second time you accessed Help probably resulted in a lower spike. This is because the computer had to retrieve the information from the hard disk the first time; the second time, the information was already in memory.

  • Note the Paging> %Usage counter. If this counter is below 99%, you are not using excessive paging.

  • Note the Memory> Available Mbytes counter. If this counter is above 4 MB, you should have sufficient RAM.

Tips & Warnings

  • Leave System Monitor open so you can also use it for processor and sub-disk systems monitoring.

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