Two-Minute Drill: Disabled performance counters and Exctrlst.exe

Hi folks! Satyajit here with a brief discussion of a very useful tool. You may have had the need to run a Performance Monitor log at one time or another, but noticed that a needed counter was missing from the list. This can occur if the counter has been disabled intentionally, or if the counter has been disabled by the operating system itself due to it faulting 3 times. When a counter is disabled, a simple registry value is set that tells the OS to ignore it. This value is set under the Performance key of the service in question. If the Disable Performance Counters entry is set to 1 then the counter is disabled, like so:



Now, you can always reenable a performance counter manually by editing the registry, but they are not always easy to find depending on the service name they are listed under. We have a tool that can come in handy in these situations, the Extensible Counter List tool, or Exctrlst.exe. This tool shows a list of all installed performance counters, sorted either by DLL name, service or Counter ID. With this, you can easily see if a counter is enabled or disabled, and set them however you wish. This utility is part of the Windows 2000 resource kit, and can also be downloaded from here:


Once downloaded, start the installation and follow the installation wizard. The default install location for this will be:


C:\Program Files\Resource Kit


To launch the utility, just double click the executable – Exctrlst.exe.


NOTE: On Windows Vista and above, this must be run elevated, so right-click and select the Run As Administrator option.


When it opens, you should see a window very similar to this:




Now look through the list for the performance counter which you are missing. For example, if the disk counters are missing, search for PerfDisk. Once you click the performance counter you are interested in, verify if the Performance Counters Enabled box is checked or not. If the box is not checked, then the performance counter is disabled. To reenable it, all you have to do is place a check mark in the box. The registry change happens immediately, so all you have to do is close the tool when you are done.

This tool can be run on any operating system version from Windows 2000 to Windows Server 2008 R2.

I would also suggest that you have a look at the below articles as well.

That’s all for now. Hope to see you soon with some more interesting articles.


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