I have several separate Microsoft Windows Domains that I support. Most are individual Small Business Server networks (2003 and 2008) with fewer than 20 users each. None are being overtaxed or overutilized that I can see on the surface. But I constantly get complaints of intermittant slowdowns on the workstations. Office files taking over a minute to open. Slow Internet. Outlook not responding. Various complaints that don't seem to have any rhyme or reason. Typically the problem is not taking place when I'm at the workstation. Users are somewhat vague about what's happening and I'm at a loss as to how to troubleshoot something like this.
I have tried Foglight NMS, Process Explorer from Sysinternals and a few other tools, but they tend to tell me my network utilization is low and that my Event Log is clean.
Is there software that monitors the workstation and provides a pop-up when a process temporarily hogs resources? Norton Internet Security has a feature that provides a pop-up when a process exceeds a threshold. It's very user friendly - you don't have to be a rocket scientist to understand what it's saying. Is there a stand alone utility that does this? This way a user could write down the error or at least get a feel for what's going on behind the scenes?
I certianly know that users can be demanding. Maybe this is not a technical problem. Maybe this is just user expectations?
Thanks for your thoughts.
The tool "Resource monitor" which is included in Windows 7 is really useful when a machine is running slow. It will show you detailed performance details for CPU, memory, disk and network giving you an instant look at what is hogging the system. Only letdown is that it is realtime monitoring.
You mention a lot of different problems which might not be related. Slow opening of Office files can be caused by other factors (http://www.theexperienceblog.com/2009/10/20/troubleshooting-a-mysterious-problem-with-word-opening-documents-extremely-slow/), slow internet can be caused by many or single users maximizing the use of the internet connection. Outlook tend to hang if network connection to the mail servers are down or slow so that might be another factor to look into.
Blogging about Windows for IT pros at www.theexperienceblog.com
On Windows XP (not sure about 7) you can set up alerts that will log resrouce hogs in the event log
See here for info about how to do it.
you might want to combine this with have process monitor running and then see what was going on on the PC when te alert was logged.