System Monitor

Definition of System Monitor in The Network Encyclopedia.

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What is System Monitor?

A system tool in Microsoft Windows 95 and Windows 98 for monitoring the real-time performance of the Windows 95 or Windows 98 processor, memory, disk, and networking subsystems. System Monitor (sysmon.exe) can display information as a graph, a bar chart, or numeric values and can update information using a range of time intervals.

The categories of information that you can monitor depend on which networking services are installed on your system, but they always include File System, Kernel, and Memory Manager.

Other possible categories include Microsoft Network Client, Microsoft Network Server, and protocol categories. The following table shows some common troubleshooting uses for System Monitor.

Troubleshooting with System Monitor

Symptom or Problem Category to Check
Memory leaks by applications
Kernel: Threads will increase steadily.
Excessive disk access
Memory Manager: Page Faults is large. This usually means that you should add more RAM.
Slow response
Kernel: Processor Usage (%) is high, which might indicate that a runaway application needs to be terminated with Ctrl+Alt+Delete.


Microsoft Windows NT and Windows 2000 have a similar but more powerful tool. This is called System Monitor in Windows 2000 and Performance Monitor in Windows NT. For a fuller description, see the Performance Monitor entry elsewhere in this work.


You can use System Monitor to connect to and monitor a remote computer running Windows 95 or Windows 98 if the remote computer has the remote registry service installed, which itself requires that user-level security be enabled on the machine. This also means that a security provider such as a Windows NT domain controller must be available. Choose Connect from the File menu and type the name of the remote computer you want to monitor.

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