Monitoring Windows Resources
There probably aren't many users of Windows operating systems
that have not experienced unexpected crashes from time to time. The good news is that
there is an easy way to avoid at least some of these crashes.
Obviously it is more desirable to initiate a controlled shutdown
than experience a system crash that could result in data (and hair)
loss. One way to achieve this goal is to use resource-monitoring
tools that can inform you of impending trouble before it strikes.
Windows 98/Me users:
The Windows Resource Meter is a tiny program that runs in the
background and lets you know the amount of resources your system
is using at a given time. It displays as an icon in the System
Tray and is colour coded. If the icon dips down to yellow, it
might be a good time to close a few programs to see if you can
reclaim some memory. If it goes down to red, and closing programs
doesn't improve things much, it's probably a good time to reboot
your system. Clicking the icon will open a window with more
detailed resource information.
To locate and enable the Windows Resource Meter:
1. Click "Start", "Programs", "Accessories" and then
"System Tools". Hopefully the Resource Meter will be present.
If not, you may need to install it from your operating system
installation disk. Alternatively, you can download a slightly
. The enhanced version
has some extra right-click menu items.
2. If you want the Resource Meter to load when you start your
computer you can drag its shortcut from "System Tools" and drop
it in the "Startup" folder.
Windows XP Users:
Thankfully, Windows XP tends to be more stable than Windows 9x and
has better memory management. Never the less, it's still helpful
to keep an eye on your CPU usage.
You can keep the CPU meter from Windows Task Manager running in
your system tray all the time. To do this:
1: Key Control/Alt/Delete to open the Windows Task Manager.
2. Click "Options" and then check "Minimize on Use" and "Hide when
3. Click the "minimize" button rather than the "close" button and
the little resource meter will stay in your system tray and let
you see how hard your processor is working.
Hold your mouse over the icon to see the actual percentage of
resources being used. Click the icon for quick access to the
Tip by Brett M.Christensen