Windows Resource Monitor

The Resource Monitor is a Windows system tool that allows you to view information about the use of hardware (CPU, memory, disk, and network) and software (file handles and modules) resources in real time. As for the basic functionality it is quite similar to Windows Task Manager but Windows Resource Monitor can help you track down the cause of application hangs.

Software crashes do happen but how many times we manage to get a clue of the root problem! And such crashes can be really annoying if they happen too frequently. Windows 7 Resource Monitor includes a feature that may help you with the troubleshooting of software problems. To start Resource Monitor (resmon):

Click Start, click in the Start Search box, type resmon.exe, and then press enter.

You can filter the results according to specific processes or services that you want to monitor. In addition, you can use Resource Monitor to start, stop, suspend, and resume processes and services, and to troubleshoot when an application does not respond as expected. From the Resource Monitor GUI, you can right click the process of an application that is stalled and select Analyze Wait Chain. This option will give you some insight into what the process is waiting on and is keeping it from functioning properly!

To analyze a process using Resource Monitor you can run a test scenario, for example Disable the Fax service and try to run the Windows application Windows Fax and Scan:

  1. From the Services snap-in (type services.msc in the Start Search text box and then press enter) change the Startup Type of the Fax service from Manual to Disabled.
  2. Start Resource Monitor by typing resmon.exe in the Start Search text box, and then press enter.
  3. From Start\All Programs\ click Windows Fax and Scan, click the menu item New fax and from the Fax Setup window click Connect to a fax modem – the application should stop responding (in our test setup and remember to revert all changes to their default settings once testing is done).
  4. Go to Resource Monitor and under CPU you should be able to find the process WFS.exe (Windows Fax and Scan executable) as not responding, also you can right-click the executable name of the process you want to analyze (wfs.exe), and then click Analyze Wait Chain.
  5. If the process is running normally and is not waiting for any other processes, no wait chain information will be displayed.
    If the process is waiting for another process, a tree organized by dependency on other processes will be displayed.
  6. If a wait chain tree is displayed, you can end one or more of the processes in the tree by selecting the check boxes next to the process names and clicking End process.

Note: Many system processes depend on other processes and services for normal operation. Resource Monitor will display wait chain information for any process. If a process entry in the table is not red, if the process status is Running, and if the program is operating normally, no user action should be required.