Delivering the Best IT to Your Business

Telephone01992 466877

Troubleshooting Computer Performance Using Task Manager


Windows 8 (and to a lesser extent Windows 7) is superb at troubleshooting performance issues - Task Manager has been revamped to show much more useful information. The processes tab in particular, out of the box, can pinpoint a rogue process hogging resource - CPU, Memory, Disk and Network having their own column with an overall percentage of resource used.

How To

Anything hitting CPU and Disk in particular is very easy to spot.

Windows 8 Task Manager

What if you're running older systems still though? It's not common knowledge, but with a little bit of tweaking, you can still access similar information in Task Manager on Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 and Server 2008 too.

The trick is to add columns to the Processes tab. From the View menu, choose Select Columns:

Windows XP, 2003, 2008 - Task Manager, Select Columns

Now, from the Select Columns dialog box, select IO Read Bytes, IO Write Bytes and IO Other Bytes:

Windows XP, 2003, 2008 - Task Manager, Select Columns dialog

When you return to Task Manager, Processes tab, you'll see the extra columns are shown. You can click on the column headings to sort by any column and now you have a much fuller picture of what processes are using the most resource.

In the example below, the SQL Server process is writing most to the disk. In this instance, if this server were running slow, then SQL Server could be the most likely cause.

Windows XP, 2003, 2008 - Task Manager, processes tab with additional columns shown

Microsoft certified Small Business Specialist since 2008 Dell registered partner - business servers, desktops, laptops and tablets at a discount Member of the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce and local business community since 2000 Microsoft Partner since 2000

Follow us on Twitter