While all the performance tools are available individually throughout the system,
Windows 7 introduces a nice list of available tools if you can find it. To unearth the listing,
first type performance info into Start Menu Search and press Enter. In the Performance
Information and Tools view, click Advanced Tools in the left-hand pane. You will now
see a listing, of all available performance-related tools within
Windows, each of which is described in the following Table.
- Clear all Windows Experience Index scores and re-rate the system: Re-assesses system performance and generates a new Windows Experience Index (WEI) score. You would typically run this after installing newer, faster hardware components (for example, a video card).
- View performance details in Event Log: Provides insight into any performance-related warnings or errors. Unfortunately, clicking this link does not open the Event Viewer with the Performance Information upfront. You need to navigate to Applications and Services Logs ➪ Microsoft ➪ Windows ➪ Diagnostics- Performance, and then click Operational.
- Open Performance Monitor: Enables you to view and gather performance data, either in real-time or from a log file, and generate reports.
- Open Resource Monitor: Enables you to view information about hardware (for example, CPU, memory, and so on) and software (for example, handles) resources in real-time.
- Open Task Manager: Infamous tool that enables you to display (and, more important, kill) running programs, processes, and services. It also provides network status and basic performance information.
- View advanced system details in System Information: Enables you to view details about your computer’s hardware configuration, computer components, and software, including drivers. Very handy and can even be run via the Command Prompt.
- Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows: Enables you to tweak visual effects, processor and memory usage, and virtual memory settings.
- Open Disk Defragmenter: Rearranges bits of files and folders on your disk (defragments) for faster, more efficient hard disk access. With solid-state drives on the rise, the usefulness of this tool is declining.
- Generate a system health report: Analyses your system from top to bottom and provides a very thorough report on various performance warnings and problems detected. If you suspect performance issues, run this tool first.