Examining and Tuning Disk Performance

Use this quick guide to view the topics and tasks related to monitoring disk performance in Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional.

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 Tune registry settings and work with disk alignment tools to achieve better disk I/O performance.

To improve the systems performance, users of Windows 2000 Professional who choose to deploy the NTFS file system might want to reconfigure some default settings when using this file system.

In addition, developers using Windows 2000 Professional can experiment with Diskpar.exe, a sample program on the Windows 2000 Resource Kit companion CD, for insight into Windows 2000 APIs that can be used to reduce performance loss due to disk misalignment on disks with large track sizes and alignment optimizations.

  • See Configuring the Disk and File System for Performance later in this chapter.

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 Review installed disk counters and activate LogicalDisk counters as needed.

Getting familiar with the PhysicalDisk counters that monitor the activity of physical disks including removable media drives is important for collecting the type of disk performance data that you want. You can use these counters to monitor disk space and efficiency, and to observe disk operations in detail. PhysicalDisk object counters are enabled on the operating system by default and appear in the Performance console user interface. If you want to obtain performance data on your logical volumes, use the diskperf command to enable the LogicalDisk performance counters. The LogicalDisk object counters do not appear in the user interface until enabled.

  • See Working with Disk Counters later in this chapter.

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 Establish a baseline for disk performance.

A performance baseline is the level of performance you can reliably expect during typical usage and workloads. When you have a baseline established, it becomes easier to identify when your system is experiencing performance problems, because counter levels are out of the baseline range.

  • See Establishing a Baseline for Disk Usage later in this chapter.

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 Analyze disk counter data that might suggest a disk bottleneck.

Specific disk counters provide data about disk paging activity, disk utilization, queuing of disk requests, and rates of throughput. Observing these counters helps you determine when a disk bottleneck is developing.

  • See Investigating Disk Performance Problems later in this chapter.

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 Tune or upgrade disk resources as needed to improve disk performance.

When you have determined the cause of a disk bottleneck, you can undertake steps to correct the problem by changing disk-system configuration, defragmenting disks, upgrading hardware, or other tuning methods.

  • See Resolving Disk Bottlenecks later in this chapter.