Part One of Two: What are these tools?
Since Vista (but read on: seems some of the features do work on XP), the
Windows OS supports internal instrumentation targeted at measuring and
troubleshooting boot/shutdown/hibernation/standby performance issue. The
tools used to collect traces and analyze them are called the "Windows
Performance Tools Kit."
For more information on these tools, please refer to
Windows Performance Analysis Tools
Windows Performance Tools are designed for analysis of a wide range of
performance problems including application start times, boot issues,
deferred procedure calls and interrupt activity (DPCs and ISRs), system
responsiveness issues, application resource usage, and interrupt storms.
Introduction to Performance Analysis using Windows Performance Toolkit -
Thanks for attending PDC! We've had both a session and a hands-on lab this
year to introduce attendees to the Windows Performance Analysis using the
Windows Performance Toolkit. If you missed it, here it is.
WinHEC 2008 (Los Angeles, CA, November 5-7, 2008)
The slide deck from the "Introduction to Performance Analysis using Windows
Performance Toolkit" is now available for download here. You can also browse
through other exciting content from WinHEC at
On/Off Transition Performance Analysis of Windows Vista
This document discusses the importance of on/off transition performance,
methodologies for measuring this performance, and how to analyze the
results. The information in this paper is intended to help OEMs and system
analysts improve system response times. This information applies to the
Windows Vista operating system.
and/or the following blog post
Windows Performance Tools Kit
If you like delving into the depths of how a Windows system is performing
(or not performing) then a recently released toolset may be of interest to
you. Released initially as part of the Windows SDK for Windows Server 2008
and .NET Framework 3.5 but since updated, the Windows Performance Tools Kit
can be downloaded on its own here.
Built on top of the Event Tracing for Windows (ETW) infrastructure which has
been steadily expanding in scope over the last few years, the new toolset
makes both gathering and analysing traces considerably easier.
I won't profess to know much about these tools yet but I found a a very
useful series of blog posts introducing the tools here:
Xperf, a new tool in the Windows SDK
Using Xperf to take a Trace (updated)
Xperf support for XP [and Windows Server 2003]
Using the Windows Sample Profiler with Xperf
Also, the SDK documentation is online here.
When you install the tools a quick start document is included (called
Performance.Analyzer.QuickStart.xps - if you want to read that on a
non-Vista or Windows Server 2008 machine you will need to have .NET 3.0
installed. Alternatively you can download an XPS viewer from here). The fact
that it is a "quick" start guide and yet it runs to around 65 pages will
give you some idea of how substantial these tools are.
I'm off to experiment...
Part Two of Two: How to get the tools installed?
Now for the trick: getting the tools installed takes a little bit of black
magic. Took me quite some time googling around and putting all pieces
together, so I thought it was worth sharing with you all ;-)
The Windows 7 RTM SDK installer DOES NOT install the tools, even for a
All you get are .MSI files you have to install manually.
And Microsoft made it harder than it has to be: the .MSI files were renamed
between the RC and RTM versions of the SDK.
The files are now called: wpt_x86.msi, wpt_x64.msi and wpt_ia64.msi and are
located under c:/Program Files/Microsoft SDKs/Windows/v7.0/Bin once you have
installed the Windows 7 RTM SDK (available at:
with the "Win32 Development Tools" subpackage selected (obvious, isn't it?
You'd have thought this would be mentioned in the Release Note, right? Well,
So that's one solution if you have a need for installing the SDK first.
If all you need is the WPT tools, there's a shorter path:
- mount the SDK ISO file (for instance, using VirtualCloneDrive, available
- navigate to the \Setup\WinSDKTools directory (that's right, NOT the
WinSDKWin32Tools. No comment.)
- open the cab1.cab file
- pick the FL_xperf_<cpu>_<some more garbage here> file and extract it e.g.
to the desktop
- rename the file so that it has the .MSI extension
- launch the .MSI file
At the end of the process, you'll end up with a "Microsoft Windows
Performance Toolkit" program group containing the following entries:
Microsoft Windows Performance Toolkit Help
WPF Performance Suite Help
WPF Performance Suite
The tools themselves are installed under C:/Program Files/Microsoft Windows
Here's a complete list of the files:
C:/Program Files/Microsoft Windows Performance Toolkit
WPF Performance Suite
EventsForStackTrace.txt GPUview.chm log.cmd
GPUView.docx README.txt plugins
GPUView.exe SymbolSearchPath.txt tplugins
AEplugin.dll DxPlugin.dll FWplugin.dll MFplugin.dll
DWMplugin.dll Dxgkplugin.dll KMFDplugin.dll NTplugin.dll
../WPF Performance Suite:
../WPF Performance Suite/Demo Applications:
Hope this helps!!!
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