Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Windows Performance Analyzer (WPA) & Recorder (WPR)

Recently I got a mail from someone who is complaining about bad logon performance on RDS hosts. To diagnose something like this and many other performance related issues it's great to make use of the Microsoft Performance Toolkit which is part of the Windows ADK.

It contains 2 important tools:

Windows Performance Recorder (WPR),
which is used to record the performance in a binary ETW file. (Event Trace for Windows).

Windows Performance Analyzer (WPA),
which is used to examine the ETW file generated by the WPR.

These tools are extremely helpful to nail down the root cause for performance issues. Nevertheless they are not really designed for newbies and you need a solid understanding of the Windows architecture to deal with them.

See it more likely as a combined super ProMon & Process Explorer on steroids. 

This Build Conference video here is explaining the toolset with demos.

Here is a good tutorial to start with. 

Other cool side effect the WPA can open any ETL file. So if you do some other tracing with built-in tools creating ETL files you can open them with WPA either.

Also checkout the rest of the comprehensive WPA/WPR resources on

Actually the learning curve is very steep. Especially if you try to catch up with a series of videos. There was a pretty good one in the old & retired Microsoft virtual academy with 8 hours of content (Chell Sterioff & Milad Aslaner). There is paid copy available via: Windows Performance Jump Start (

But a book might be better to dig deeper into this matter. Fortunately Michael Milirud and Alex Kirshenbaum wrote a new book about it. Actually Michael you already met in the build 2011 video above. ;-)

So checkout their new book here:  
Fundamentals of… by Alex Kirshenbaum et al. [PDF/iPad/Kindle] (