Performance Series | EP1, The Basics: How IT Pros Troubleshoot Slow PC’s and Servers (or, how they SHOULD)

Episode 1, The Basics. Performance Series.

Why is your computer/PC/server slow? Well… I feel like computer and server performance troubleshooting still remains a mystery to not only the average Joe who is good at computers, but also IT professionals with years of field experience.

There are a ton of misunderstood concepts. There are also a ton of unknown or underutilized free tools available. Many of which are built into the OS. And sadly when it comes to learning how to use them, you’ll find misinformation and bad advice at every corner of the internet. (Oh, and a slew of shady companies promising to “fix” your issues for you magically using only your credit card.)

In this series I will cover the basics of determining why your system is slow. It all starts with understanding what part of the computer is giving you trouble (processor, memory, disk, network) and then moving on to pinpointing what application or service is the culprit.

We start with some really basic tools like Task Manager and Resource Monitor. But then we get into the meat of it with Perfmon (Performance Monitor). Perfmon is a terrific tool and anybody that’s “good at computers” will have no issue using… The tool is very powerful and intimidating, but easily conquerable.

Finally, this series will tell you about what counters to use, when to use them, what their thresholds are, and why they are important. The troubleshooting flow is easy. We first cover the key indicators of a problem that will point you to disk, memory, processor, or network. Once you know that, we’ll cover what counters to use to figure out which process is causing it.

This is a multi-part series I have been wanting to do for a long time. I hope you enjoy it!

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