Windows 7 / Getting Started

How to Identify USB Problems Using Performance Monitor

If you are concerned that you may have a USB bandwidth or performance problem, you can identify the problem by using the Performance snap-in:

  1. If the problem you need to identify occurs when you are actively using a USB device, connect the USB device that you want to troubleshoot and turn it on. If the problem occurs when you first connect the USB device, do not connect the device until after you have begun logging.
  2. Click Start, right-click Computer, and then select Manage.
  3. Expand System Tools, Performance, Monitoring Tools, and then click Performance Monitor.
  4. On the Performance Monitor toolbar, click the green Add button.
  5. In the Add Counters dialog box, in the Available Counters group, expand USB. If you are troubleshooting the failure of a USB device, add the following counters for the <All Instances> instance:
    • Iso Packet Errors/Sec
    • Transfer Errors/Sec
    If you are troubleshooting a USB performance problem, add the following counters for the <All Instances> instance:
    • Bulk Bytes/Sec
    • Avg. Bytes/Transfer
  6. Click OK to add the counters to Performance Monitor.

Performance Monitor begins collecting data about your USB devices and connections. Attempt to reproduce the problem (for example, by copying a file to a USB hard disk or connecting a video camera). If you are troubleshooting performance problems, right-click the Performance Monitor display and click Clear immediately after you begin using the device to ensure the counters include only data created during your test. The longer you allow the test to run, the more accurate it will be. You should stop Performance Monitor before your test ends.

After reproducing the problem, pause Performance Monitor by clicking the Freeze Display button on the toolbar or by pressing Ctrl+F. Because you added performance counters for all instances, you probably have a large number of counters. To browse individual counters to identify the specific source of your problems, press Ctrl+H to enable highlighting.

Click the first counter in the list. After you select a counter, the graph related to that counter will be shown in bold. Examine the values for that particular counter. If the counter shows an error, make note of the USB controller and device causing the problem. Press the down arrow on your keyboard to select the next counter and continue analyzing USB performance values.

USB errors should not occur under normal circumstances; however, Windows can automatically recover from many USB errors without affecting the user. After you identify the source of the USB problems, follow the steps in the section titled "How to Solve USB Driver and Hardware Problems" earlier in this tutorial.

If you are troubleshooting USB performance problems, examine the Bulk Bytes/Sec counter to identify the instance that relates to the device you are using. Then select the counter and make note of the Average value. Theoretically, USB 2.0 can transfer a maximum of 60,000,000 bytes/sec. However, this theoretical maximum will never be realized. More realistically, you might be able to achieve half that value. USB storage devices are often much slower, and performance will vary depending on the performance of the device itself. USB hard disks typically average less than 10,000,000 bytes/sec but can peak over 20,000,000 bytes/sec. Performance of hard disks will also vary depending on the portion of the disk being written to or read from, the size of the files being accessed, and the disk fragmentation.

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In this tutorial:

  1. Troubleshooting Hardware, Driver, and Disk Issues
  2. Windows 7 Improvements for Hardware and Driver Troubleshooting
  3. Windows Troubleshooting Platform
  4. Built-in Troubleshooting Packs
  5. Windows Troubleshooting Platform Components
  6. Creating Custom Troubleshooting Packs
  7. Running Troubleshooting Packs Remotely
  8. Windows 7 Reliability Monitor
  9. Windows 7 Resource Monitor
  10. Windows Memory Diagnostics
  11. Disk Failure Diagnostics
  12. Self-Healing NTFS
  13. Improved Driver Reliability
  14. Improved Error Reporting
  15. The Process of Troubleshooting Hardware Issues
  16. How to Troubleshoot Problems That Prevent Windows from Starting
  17. How to Troubleshoot Problems Installing New Hardware
  18. How to Troubleshoot Problems with Existing Hardware
  19. How to Troubleshoot Unpredictable Symptoms
  20. How to Diagnose Hardware Problems
  21. How to Use Device Manager to Identify Failed Devices
  22. How to Check the Physical Setup of Your Computer
  23. How to Check the Configuration of Your Hardware
  24. How to Verify That System Firmware and Peripheral Firmware Are Up to Date
  25. How to Test Your Hardware by Running Diagnostic Tools
  26. How to Simplify Your Hardware Configuration
  27. How to Diagnose Disk-Related Problems
  28. How to Use Built-In Diagnostics
  29. How to Use Reliability Monitor
  30. How to Use Event Viewer
  31. How to Use Data Collector Sets
  32. How to Use Windows Memory Diagnostics
  33. Memory Failures
  34. How Windows Automatically Detects Memory Problems
  35. How to Schedule Windows Memory Diagnostics
  36. How to Start Windows Memory Diagnostics When Windows Is Installed
  37. How to Start Windows Memory Diagnostics from the Windows DVD
  38. How to Configure Windows Memory Diagnostics
  39. How to Troubleshoot Disk Problems
  40. How to Prepare for Disk Failures
  41. How to Use ChkDsk
  42. ChkDsk Examples
  43. ChkDsk Syntax
  44. How to Use the Graphical ChkDsk Interface
  45. How to Determine Whether ChkDsk Is Scheduled to Run
  46. ChkDsk Process on NTFS Volumes
  47. How to Use the Disk Cleanup Wizard
  48. How to Disable Nonvolatile Caching
  49. How to Troubleshoot Driver Problems
  50. How to Find Updated Drivers
  51. How to Roll Back Drivers in Windows 7
  52. How to Use Driver Verifier
  53. How to Use the File Signature Verification
  54. How to Use Device Manager to View and Change Resource Usage
  55. How to Use Windows 7 System Restore
  56. How to Troubleshoot USB Problems
  57. How to Solve USB Driver and Hardware Problems
  58. Understanding USB Limitations
  59. How to Identify USB Problems Using Performance Monitor
  60. How to Examine USB Hubs
  61. How to Troubleshoot Bluetooth Problems
  62. Troubleshooting Tools
  63. DiskView
  64. Handle
  65. Process Monitor