Before call stack information is viewable, it is necessary to establish the symbol path. Thus the call stack always accurately records the position of the program counter at the end of each profiling interval. Since the Vista release, Windows has been compiled with FPO disabled. Understanding these columns is… Expand Computation -> CPU Usage (Sampled) -> DPC and ISR Usage by Module, Stack, right-click and add graph to analysis view This pointed right to the driver in question. Using the butterfly view on ntdll.dll!RtlAllocateHeap helps to aggregate split stacks in a more meaningful manner since the aggregation is done starting at the leaf node and not at the missing call stack root. The main issue with managed code and Windows 7 x64 is that the call stacks stop at the first dynamically generated stack frame. Windows Performance Analyzer (WPA) is a tool that creates graphs and data tables of Event Tracing for Windows (ETW) events that are recorded by Windows Performance Recorder (WPR) or Xperf. It captures detailed system and application behavior, and resource usage. When stacks are combined with symbol decoding, Performance Analyzer displays … However, WPA can consolidate the cost ofall of the functions called by that function if you define a hint tag and a hint operator. The example below is sorted by the Size column. (Note that it's not the first version number in the About window; that's the Windows version.) If a call stack is in the form of A -> B -> C, then there are three frames: A, B, and C. Stack columns (frame tags) map each and every call stack frame to a tag or defaults to module!method if no tag is present. The butterfly view of a summary table flips the call stack so that function will be used as a base function. By changing the sorting order to count, as illustrated in the following screen shot, the outermost caller and the expanded the call stacks are displayed. Enabling stack walking for kernel events will provide you with a powerful feature. This issue should not be manifested in binaries produced by Microsoft. With Windows 8.1 a new version of the Windows Performance Toolkit has been released. You can use this tool to profile and diagnose different kinds of symptoms that a machine or user is experiencing during boot or logon.

This tool is built on top off the Event Tracing for Windows (ETW) infrastructure. Windows Performance Analyzer (WPA) is a tool that creates graphs and data tables of Event Tracing for Windows (ETW) events that are recorded by Windows Performance Recorder (WPR) or Xperf. Hint tags and hint operators are defined in XML in the following syntax with the attributes and values described in the following table. Stack walking can only be enabled for kernel events. Let the application run. However starting in fall 2011 the Windows Performance Toolkit started including wpa.exe as an alternative. You can load multiple stack tags by pressing and holding down the Shift key and left-clicking each stack tags definition. The same techniques described above to navigate the stacks can be used. To remove a stack tag definition from the Stack Tags Definition file, do the following: In the Stack Tags Definition area, select the stack tag definitions you want to remove then click Remove. The question mark where the function name would typcially appear indicates that sysmbols for this module are not available. Right-click an area of the CPU Sampling chart, and click Summary Table. OnlyShowModule attribute is true by default. For example, the bottom most mapped frame tag is typically made the stack tag unless there is priority specified for tags. Open the trace in Windows Performance Analyzer (part of Windows Performance Toolkit); some places mention using xperfview instead. Holding down the arrow key does recursive expansion down the path determined by the sorting order specified by the column selection. The symbol path tells Xperf to reference Microsoft’s symbol server on the internet so the tool can lookup module and function names. In order for tracing to work on 64-bit Windows you need to set the DisablePagingExecutive registry key. This page applies to xperf version 4.8.7701 or newer.To see your xperf version, either run 'xperf' on a command line with no arguments, or start 'xperfview' and look at Help -> About Performance Analyzer. -Brian In WbemCore.dll, NTLMLogin is the top RPC function in the hierarchy of called functions. The summary table shows that the IE process has a large number of heaps that contribute to outstanding size, with the first three being the most significant. That works pretty good. I want the kernel API call stack to display on the MFC based GUI. The binaries to be used for the data collection must be compiled with Frame Pointer Omission optimization (FPO) disabled. In the Stack Tags Definition area, click Add to the desired location. The Performance Analyzer uses the Perf tool bundled with the Linux kernel to take periodic snapshots of the call chain of an application and visualizes them in a timeline view or as a flame graph. My platform is Vista 64b. Microsoft has brought the Windows Performance Analyzer to the Microsoft Store. You also might want to define a hint tag, for example, to show the lock holders or the functions that are allocating heaps. However, third party drivers, applications, and plug-ins often are compiled with FPO enabled leading to fragmented or split stacks. This it is not unexpected since atiumdag.dll is the ATI video driver for which there are no publicly available symbols. When you enable stack walking for a kernel event, the kernel captures the call stack when the event is generated and saves it with the event. In this example, there are 4 RPC functions called in WbemCore.dll: Being able to consolidate the cost of calling these functions is useful for determining the cost of RPC server-side functions, because WPA displays the total expense as RPC in the Stack Tag column. We would expect all of the data in any of the stack views to start with the thread start function ntdll.dll!_RtlUserThreadStart at the base and expand outward, branching being dependent on calling patterns. Your summary table should look similar to the following screen shot: This example shows that most of the time was spent in the main thread reading lines from the file. Try the following, from here: Disable Paging Executive. 164 allocations using 916,929 bytes have been made by GdiPlus.dll. Fragmented stacks make the data analysis more challenging because the complete call stack cannot be determined directly from the data. Performance Analyzer loads the symbols for the binaries that are referenced in the trace. Windows Performance Analyzer. The image is compiled using Frame Pointer Omission (FPO) optimization. Although the name of the tool implies that it is only for performance, it also provides useful information that can be used for power analysis: CPU utilization (% processor time), Interrupt Rate, Context Switching rate, and System Call … Profile builds produce optimized binaries with separate debug symbols and should generally be used for profiling. The Windows Client Performance Team recommends that all binaries, including … In this post I’m going to attempt to explain the meaning of the extremely subtle and non-obvious columns in the CPU Usage (Precise) Tables, which display every context switch recorded in the trace. Windows Performance Analyzer. Click the Selector tab to open the Column Chooser. The module of C is dynamically created as a new stack tag. The mouse can also be used to expand and contract individual rows by clinking on the [+] or [-]. Note the sort is now by the count of allocations. This is the first article of two about ETW events. In this example, the symbol server path is Navigate to the area that contains the stack tags file, select it, and then click Open. Default value is true. An event refers to a sample point on the time line (or any usage chart). I am on Windows 7 using WPT at this path C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\10\Windows Performance Toolkit. This allows Xperf to summarize all the call stack information to show which functions are being executed by which threads. The call stack displays for the selected event. WPA can open any event trace log (ETL) file for analysis. The following screen shot shows the Load Symbols command on the Trace menu. For example, call stack A -> B -> C-> D, in Stack (Frame Tags) view can become A -> FrameTagB -> FrameTagC -> D. Each of the frame tags can have a hierarchy based on the hierarchy of definition of the tags in the *.stacktags file (for example, FrameTagB's actual value can be "HTML\Script\OM"). One of the most powerful features of the ETW and the Windows Performance Analyzer is the ability to enablestack walking for the kernel events. In the Windows® Performance Analyzer (WPA), stack tags is a feature that lets you create labels (tags) to help you better identify which parts of the call stack (s) are affected. When you enable stack walking for a kernel event, the kernel captures the call stack when the event is generated and saves it with the event. Normally, the Stack Tag column identifies the cost of a single function in a single module. The hint tag RPC is defined by the following XML. When stacks are combined with symbol decoding, you can then display the call stack summary information for the events that had stack walking enabled. You can workaround this by NGenning the assemblies to get call stacks under x64 or you switch to Windows 8. In this step, we’re recording the performance characteristics of activity across the system to identify potential culprits inside and outside of the browser. Except it is very empirical. You can get the ISO image here: This package also includes WPAExporter & XPerf. When a program is loaded into memory to begin execution, a contextis established for it that includes the initial address to be executed, aninitial register set, and a stack (a region of memory used for scratchdata and for keeping track of how functions call each other). To do this, you first need to set the correct symbol paths. Check with the debugger how much of that stack pattern has been overwritten. The call stack A -> B -> C -> D in Stack (FrameTags) view can become A -> FrameTagB -> ModuleOfC -> D and its StackTag view is FrameTagB -> ModuleOfC. WPT includes two tools: the Windows Performance Recorder (WPR) which collects data, and the Windows Performance Analyzer (WPA) which analyzes data. Performance Monitor (PerfMon): is a Windows tool used to view performance data. In particular i'm seeing a double delete in the performance analyzer DLL that corrupts the heap. The following screen shot shows how a butterfly view is opened using ntdll.dll!RtlAllocateHeap function as the outermost caller in the 0x01de 000 heap. In many cases knowledge of the code base for the scenario being analyzed and its calling patterns can help resolve the ambiguity caused by split stacks. The typical use case is to automatically attribute RPC server functions. While the early versions had some significant rough edges, the latest version (10.0.10240.16384, released in tandem with Windows 10) is now superior to xperfview in basically all… In this article I present an approach with GNU tools plus Perl script to report the stack usage in the application. Monitoring the kernel of the Windows operating system to diagnose performance issues can be a very challenging endeavor. This pointed right to the driver in question. If you need help with how to enable stack walking or if you need a list of the kernel for which stack walking can be enabled, use the following command: First, drill into outstanding allocations in the tree view sorted by size because those allocations are responsible for persistent heap usage. Stack walking is also called stack tracing. To generate debug symbols also for applications compiled in release mode, select Projects, and then select Details next to Build Stepsto view the build steps. It took a while to figure out the idea and flow of process call / process stack, since I don’t have a solid CS background. Instead, GDI+ interacts with device drivers on behalf of applications. If the selected function is ntdll.dll!RtlAllocateHeap, it will flip the call stacks such that this function will be used as the base function for the stack displays as shown below. Care should be taken to account for those allocations made from calls to different allocating functions in ntdll.dll. The Windows Client Performance Team recommends that all binaries, including release images, be compiled with FPO disabled. The hint tag is a label for the common function and the group of functions that it calls, and the hint operator identifies the common function as either the calling function, the caller, or the called function, the callee. This feature provides the following: A hierarchical view of function execution allowing the user to view a function in a recursive manner. Open the Trace menu and click on Configure Symbol Paths: The first path in the list points to the Microsoft Symbol Servers. Besides normal Tag for exactly matching module and method, you can also define HintTag with HintOperator as Callee or Caller. Note the size and lifetime data for the allocations will be more separated from the allocating function in the summary table which makes some data interpretation more difficult. The initialaddress is always at the beginning of the function _start(), which is built intoevery executable. At this point, no events have been selected so the call stack is empty. The first article is about how to use them, the second looks at how an EtwDataViewer can display the events in a hierarchal tree and analyze them to reveal context and support searchability.When we have a problem with an application, we always wish we had more logs, or even logs at all. Notice that stack walking support requires that symbol decoding be correctly configured. 2. The first step to analysis using WPT is gathering a performance trace. CPU sampling call stacks: When this is checked (which it normally should be) then every sampling interrupt will record a call stack on every CPU. Once open, you can also drag it out to a separate window or dock it at the top or side. For many years xperfview.exe has been the main tool for analyzing xperf/ETW traces. 2. Value is "Caller" or "Callee" for the calling or called function, respectively. A stack tag summarizes an entire call stack by using a single tag name. In the Visual Studio CPU Tool, we use Event Tracing for Windows (ETW) to collect call stacks and a variety of other information. To add a stack tag definition to the Stack Tags Definition file, do the following: In the menu, choose Trace, then select Trace Properties. Why would "Load Symbols" be grayed out in Windows Performance Analyzer? Closing the first heap handle and opening the second heap handle presents the data displayed in the summary table below. This post was… Some of this difficulty comes from intrinsic complexity – in order to fully investigate thread scheduling issues, for instance, you need to fully understand the Windows thread scheduler. Using the same A -> B -> C -> D example, where frame tag view is A -> FrameTagB -> FrameTagC -> D, the stack tag view is just: FrameTagC. Disabling FPO allows Windows Performance Analyzer to collect complete sets of call stack data. This view contains several issues that must be explained. To reload a stack tag definition to the Stack Tags Definition file, do the following: In the Stack Tags Definition area, click Reload. Understanding differences between stack tags and stack frame tags You can configure a stack column to be viewed as a stack tag or stack column (frame tag) in the View Editor. The Trace Properties tab opens. WPA reviews performance aspects on Windows. For example, a HintTag with HintOperator as Callee is defined for B. I have installed Xperf performance analyzer from Windows SDK and captured a trace as described in the documentation using following command: xperf -on SysProf -stackwalk profile Still, the stack trace does not contain any callstack data. Windows binaries from Vista onward are compiled with FPO disabled. The Diagnostic Console lists information about exceptions that occur during analysis workflow. This will pause execution of the program so you take a look at the current call stack: Congrats! This occurs when the maximum number of stack frames that WPA can collect is exceeded causing fragmented or split stacks. This includes also a new version of the (at least for me) long awaited Windows Performance Analyzer. WPR is a performance recording tool based on Event Tracing for Windows (ETW). What I need is some numbers from the compiler to have a better view. This view presents functions that have the most allocations based on count. ETW supports stack walking for up to 16 events at a time. We’ve captured our first sample. Select the Process name, Process, Stack, Weight and %Weight check boxes. This package also includes WPAExporter & XPerf. Windows Performance Analyzer can open any event trace log (ETL) file for analysis. A call stack consists of a list of frames. You can enable stack walking by using the -stackwalk Xperf command. All are talking about Windows 10 but what about the developer Tools? If the Solaris LWP is not in user mode at the end of the profiling interval, the call stack cannot change until the LWP or thread enters user mode again. This post was… Conversely, holding down the left arrow collapses the visible portion of the stack. The typical use case is to define a hint tag so that WPA automatically attributes RPC server functions. WPA can open any event trace log (ETL) file for analysis. To add the hint tags that you have defined in an XML file, use the procedure in Adding stack tags to the Stack Tags Definition File, later in this topic. Their direct caller function is rpcrt4.dll!Invoke_epilog1_start. Call stacks that exceed the maximum depth of WPA data collection capability is a common issue. These columns are most helpful when you need to view stacks from the sample profile event. By using the following command, you can trace a find string utility that had stack walking enabled on the sample profile event: After you have a trace with stack information, often called a stack trace, you can view the stack information in Performance Analyzer by using the following steps: Make sure Symbol Support is correctly configured. Boolean, optional. It is interesting to check what has changed in xperf as well. One approach I have used for a very long time is: 1. Fill the memory of the stack with a defined pattern. This allows Xperf to summarize all the call stack information to show which functions are being executed by which threads. One of the most powerful features of the ETW and the Windows Performance Analyzer is the ability to enable stack walking for the kernel events. Warning  Make sure you want to remove the selected stack tag definition(s), as you will not have the option to cancel once you click Remove. Are there any special settings or tricks needed to capture callstacks on 64b Windows? A call stack for investigation can be selected by clicking on the corresponding row and then using the right arrow on the keyboard to expand the visible portion of the stack. Open the trace in Windows Performance Analyzer (part of Windows Performance Toolkit); some places mention using xperfview instead. You only need to do this one time, Performance Analyzer will remember your column settings. Tip  You can also access the Diagnostic Console in the lower left corner of WPA by clicking Diagnostic Console. Writing a lot of log data to files using printfs or some other technology, slows performance and fills the disk. Expand Computation-> CPU Usage (Sampled)-> DPC and ISR Usage by Module, Stack, right-click and add graph to analysis view. Windows Performance Analyzer knows how to download symbol files for OS DLLs from it. Applications based on the Microsoft Win32 API do not access graphics hardware directly. Stack Tree data viewer shows the summary breakdown of all call stacks over a selected time [24:45] Using the Video Glitches and DMA Operations datasets to … However, it should be noted not all heap allocations will be made during calls to ntdll.dll!RtlAllocateHeap. The following screen shot shows the Summary table command on a shortcut menu. Know what settings to have and what loading symbols means, how to load symbols both from the Microsoft server and from a custom file. The command I use is the same as the tutorials: xperf -on PROC_THREAD+LOADER xperf -start heapsession -heap -pids 1234 -stackwalk HeapAlloc+HeapRealloc Then To investigate issues within your stack tags file in WPA, do the following: In the menu, click Window, then select Diagnostic Console. Xperf (Windows Performance Toolkit, also known as ETW) is a powerful tool for investigating performance issues, however it is a challenging tool to use. However, i've been unable to get further because of bugs in the Microsoft Windows Performance Analyzer. While the early versions had some significant rough edges, the latest version (10.0.10240.16384, released in tandem with Windows 10) is now superior to xperfview in basically all… Disabling FPO allows Windows Performance Analyzer to collect complete sets of call stack data. When the program runs, inst… Select Call Stack View from the Views menu on the Performance Analyzer Main Window. When you enable stack walking for a kernel event, the kernel captures the call stack when the event is generated and saves it with the event. So, in the Stack Tag column, WPA displays the cost of wbemcore.dll!CWbemLevel1Login::NTLMLogin, the RPC server-side function, as 31.855774ms. However starting in fall 2011 the Windows Performance Toolkit started including wpa.exe as an alternative. As … Be aware that this can take tens of seconds. The Performance Analyzer usually needs to be able to locate debug symbols for the binaries involved. The symbol path tells Xperf to reference Microsoft’s symbol server on the internet so the tool can lookup module and function names. There are many improvements in the WPA gui which were mostly shown during the Build Conference 2013. The simplest case of program execution is that of a single-threaded program callingfunctions within its own load object. The call stack is recorded at the same time as the data. Windows Performance Analyzer. You can diagnose symbol decoding issues from this console, Adding stack tags to the Stack Tags Definition File. For the purposes of this tutorial, we built a simple demo page with some artificial performance problems. Xperf (Windows Performance Toolkit, also known as ETW) is a powerful tool for investigating performance issues, however it is a challenging tool to use. I simply did call xperf –help for all command line options and write this to one text file. However, you could use the Windows Performance Recorder (WPR) to capture a trace, and then display the data with the Windows Performance Analyzer (WPA). Question Windows Performance Analyzer is a very interesting profiling tool that gives very detailed information. One of the most powerful features of the ETW and the Windows Performance Analyzer is the ability to enable stack walking for the kernel events. 1) Turn On and run System Restore in Windows 10: Make sure System Restore is always turned on for C drive and has plenty of disk space apportioned (5-15%) as this will be your first line of defense and allow you to roll back any undesired changes that affect performance. You can define a HintTag for this common caller function to achieve this. Learn more Windows Performance Analyzer cannot load symbols The Windows Performance Analyzer is the tool that you will use to inspect a trace file collected with the Windows Performance Recorder. Since 4/20/2015 you can also download the beta of the upcoming Visual Studio 2015 and Windows / Phone SDKs. I've been doing boot time performance analysis to find places for optimization in the bootup sequence of the product we're creating. Sure Perfmon, PAL and Xperf can show that the OS is spending x amount of time executing in kernel mode, but how can one determine what portions of the kernel (function calls) are consuming significant amounts of time?. Windows binaries from Vista onward are compiled with FPO disabled. Monitoring the kernel of the Windows operating system to diagnose performance issues can be a very challenging endeavor. The WPA display splits into two - with the Graph Explorer and Analysis in the top half of the screen and the Diagnostic Console on the bottom half of the screen. Stack walking is also calledstack tracing. For many years xperfview.exe has been the main tool for analyzing xperf/ETW traces. Select the Generate separ… The networking stack is a set of networking components that process and move networking traffic. Some of this difficulty comes from intrinsic complexity – in order to fully investigate thread scheduling issues, for instance, you need to fully understand the Windows thread scheduler. To manually set up a build configuration to provide separate debug symbols, edit the project build settings: 1. The call stack below shows that the atiumdag.dll is responsible for the bulk of the allocation size in the first call stack. Load the stack trace into Performance Analyzer by using the following command. In traditional scenarios, the networking stack is small, and all the packet routing and switching happens in external devices. When stacks are combined with symbol decoding, Performance Analyzer displays … Sure Perfmon, PAL and Xperf can show that the OS is spending x amount of time executing in kernel mode, but how can one determine what portions of the kernel (function calls) are consuming significant amounts of time?. Stack walking is also called stack tracing. Windows Performance Analyzer is a tool that creates graphs and data tables of Event Tracing for Windows (ETW) events that are recorded by Windows Performance Recorder (WPR) or Xperf. Before call stack information is viewable, it is necessary to establish the symbol path. 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