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Logical and Physical disk performance counters are disabled

[This topic is intended to address a specific issue called out by the Exchange Server Analyzer Tool. You should apply it only to systems that have had the Exchange Server Analyzer Tool run against them and are experiencing that specific issue. The Exchange Server Analyzer Tool, available as a free download, remotely collects configuration data from each server in the topology and automatically analyzes the data. The resulting report details important configuration issues, potential problems, and nondefault product settings. By following these recommendations, you can achieve better performance, scalability, reliability, and uptime. For more information about the tool or to download the latest versions, see "Microsoft Exchange Analyzers" at]  

Topic Last Modified: 2005-11-18

The Microsoft® Exchange Server Analyzer Tool reads the following registry entry to determine whether the logical and physical disk performance counters are disabled:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Perfdisk\Performance\Disable Performance Counters

If the Exchange Server Analyzer finds the value for Disable Performance Counters present and configured with a value of 1, a warning is displayed.

There are two types of disk-related performance counters that are published on a server computer running a Microsoft Windows® operating system:

  • Those used by the Microsoft Win32® performance subsystem and Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI).

  • Those used by legacy applications that call the IOCTL_DISK_PERFORMANCE API to retrieve raw counter information.

  • The performance counters used by Win32 and WMI are enabled by default on Microsoft Windows Server™ 2003 and Windows 2000 Server. The raw counters are disabled by default on both operating systems. If the Disable Performance Counters registry value, which is not present by default on either operating system, is added and configured with a value of 1, the Win32/WMI performance counters are disabled, and performance data collection of those counters cannot be accomplished.

The most common way to disable Win32/WMI counters is by using the Extensible Counter List tool (ExCtrLst.exe). This graphical tool, which is available with both the Windows 2000 Server and Windows Server 2003 Resource Kits, enables an administrator to selectively enable or disable the publishing of performance objects. When ExCtrLst.exe is used to disable a performance object, it adds the Disable Performance Counters entry to the registry and configures it with a value of 1. If ExCtrLst.exe is then used to re-enable a disabled counter, it changes the value for Disable Performance Counters to 0. (Note that it does not delete the Disable Performance Counters entry.)


This article contains information about editing the registry. Before you edit the registry, make sure you understand how to restore the registry if a problem occurs. For information about how to restore the registry, view the "Restore the Registry" Help topic in Regedit.exe or Regedt32.exe.

To correct this warning

  1. Open a registry editor, such as Regedit.exe or Regedt32.exe.

  2. Navigate to: HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Perfdisk\Performance

  3. In the right pane, double-click Disable Performance Counters and set it to a value of 0. Alternatively, you can delete the Disable Performance Counters entry to re-enable the counters.

  4. Exit the registry editor and restart any application that collects performance data for the change to take effect.

For more information about ExCtrLst.exe, see "Exctrlst.exe: Extensible Performance Counter List" (