Monthly Archives: February 2016

The case of the missing ‘Process’ Performance counter

I recently had the need to do some monitoring of the Explorer.exe process (like one of the Windows 10 Insider Preview bugs) that every so often went bananas (Minions would like it…) for no reason at all. This is a pain if you have other processes on the same machine that is sensitive to things like running in ‘low’ priority (Like Boinc workloads). This effectively block other processes to run or just plain make the whole machine feel slow and sluggish.

Then I discovered the problem that perfmon could not ‘see’ the ‘Process’ category. This is weird since I  thought this would be one of the most basic performance counters that Windows always had and probably still have. Somehow the ‘Process’ category disappeared or became corrupted or something – I thought.

Anyway, after some digging around (aka Google) I found an old article about similar issues people had with older versions of Windows (even server versions). The culprit (at least in this case) was that for some reason the registry key to enable the ‘Process’ category was disabled. I have no idea how that happen (no I deny any involvement whatsoever… 🙂 ).

To fix do this: (standard registry editing disclaimer: do it at your own risk).

  1. Open Regedit
  2. Find the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\PerfProc\Performance
  3. Check the value of ‘Disable Performance Counters’. If it is anything but 0 it means it is disabled.
  4. Change the value to 0 and save.
  5. Restart whatever performance counter monitoring tool you are using since it will not be aware of the change until that process restart.
  6. Jump up and down for joy! (just because you can).