Dedicated server monitoring tools have largely replaced the need to manually parse log files except for the most esoteric of issues. This however raises another issue — selecting one that has the right combination of features, usability and performance. Fortunately, many free options exist if you're willing to learn their ins and outs.
Tagged With system monitoring
Mark Russinovich's "Sysinternals Suite", which includes the likes of Process Explorer, Process Monitor, Autoruns and TCPView, is one of the most invaluable collections of free tools ever assembled for Windows. Russinovich has just added a new weapon to this already comprehensive arsenal — Sysmon, a command-line program that watches for system events, particularly those associated with malicious behaviour.
I've adopted the habit of periodically firing up Task Manager and checking the memory usage of my running programs. Most of the time, everything is as it should be, but occasionally, I'll notice bizarre situations where an application has decided to misbehave. If you're particularly protective of system resources, Process Piglet can give you some warning before things get out of control.
We've featured programs that close down non-essential Windows apps before, as well as ways to kill those regularly problematic apps. If you'd rather not install extra software, though, here's a way to create your own desktop shortcut to kill all running apps.