Last week we showed you how to analyse your Linux system’s boot performance using Boot Chart. Windows users need to feel left out because Microsoft provides a little known free utility for doing the same (and more). Microsoft Windows Performance Toolkit (WPT) consists of several utilities – one of which is xbootmgr. Xbootmgr is an On/Off Transition Trace Capture tool that collects information during bootup, shutdown, hibernate etc.
Once you have installed WPT creating a trace and analysing it is very simple. To create a boot trace type in the following command in the Command Prompt (or Start Menu Search box) :
xbootmgr trace rebootCycle noPrepReboot
The above command will automatically reboot the computer and run a Boot time trace. -noPrepReboot prevents any additional prepatory reboots before the trace and is ideally suited for running a quick single trace. By default the Event Trace Logs are saved in the current directory (by default c:\Windows\System32). If you wish to specify the directory use
xbootmgr trace rebootCycle noPrepReboot -resultPath C:\mydir
Xbootmgr supports multiple command line arguments. If you wish to learn more about them check out this guide by Microsoft. The MSDN Quick Start Guide is also a good place to start off if you want to explore the options offered by xbootmgr in greater details.
Once you have created an Event Trace Log (.etl) you need to open it using the Windows Performance Analyser GUI. Type xperfview in the Command Prompt (or Start Menu Search Box) and open the *.etl file using it. Windows Performance Analyser is an advanced tool that displays among other things CPU Utilisation, Disc I/O and Services loaded during Windows boot process. This allows you to quickly find and eliminate bottlenecks.
Windows Performance Toolkit offers a wealth of information which advanced users would appreciate. If correctly used Windows Performance Toolkit can help in diagnosing hard to detect system problems and reduce bottlenecks.