You can create a custom Data Collector Set containing performance counters and configure alert activities based on the performance counters exceeding or dropping below limits you define.

After creating the Data Collector Set, you must configure the actions the system will take when the alert criteria are met.

Membership in the local Performance Log Users or Administrators group, or equivalent, is the minimum required to complete these procedures.


The Performance Log Users group must be assigned the Log on as a batch user user right, as described in Enable Logging for Performance Log Users Group Members.

To create a Data Collector Set to monitor Performance counters
  1. In the Windows Performance Monitor navigation pane, expand Data Collector Sets, right-click User Defined, point to New, and click Data Collector Set. The Create new Data Collector Set Wizard starts.

  2. Enter a name for your Data Collector Set.

  3. Select the Create manually option and click Next.

  4. Select the Performance Counter Alert option and click Next.

  5. Click Add to open the Add Counters dialog box. When you are finished adding counters, click OK to return to the wizard.

  6. Define alerts based on the values of performance counters you have selected.

    1. From the list of Performance counters, select the counter to monitor and trigger an alert.

    2. From the Alert when drop-down, choose whether to alert when the performance counter value is above or below the limit.

    3. In the Limit box, enter the threshold value.

  7. When you are finished defining alerts, click Next to continue configuration or Finish to exit and save the current configuration.

  8. After clicking Next, you can configure the Data Collector Set to run as a particular user. Click the Change button to enter the user name and password for a different user than the default listed.


    If you are a member of the Performance Log Users group, you must configure Data Collector Sets you create to run under your own credentials.

  9. Click Finish to return to Windows Performance Monitor.

    • To view the properties of the Data Collector Set or make additional changes, select Open properties for this data collector set. For more information about the properties of the Data Collector Set, see Data Collector Set Properties.

    • To start the Data Collector Set immediately (and begin saving data to the location specified in Step 8), select Start this data collector set now.

    • To save the Data Collector Set without starting collection, select Save and close.

Additional considerations

  • To open Windows Performance Monitor, click Start, click in the Start Search box, type perfmon, and then press ENTER.

  • Data Collector Sets run as the System user by default. As a security best practice, you should accept this default value unless you have a compelling reason to change it.

Additional references

To configure alert actions
  1. Expand Reliability and Performance in the navigation pane.

  2. Expand Data Collector Sets, expand User Defined, and click the name of the Data Collector Set with performance counter alerts.

  3. In the console pane, right-click the name of a Data Collector whose type is Alert and click Properties.

  4. On the Data Collector Properties page, click the Alerts tab. The data collectors and alerts already configured should appear.

  5. Click the Alert Action tab to choose whether to write an entry to the event log Applications and Services Logs/Microsoft/Windows/Diagnosis-PLA/Operational when the alert criteria are met. You can also start a Data Collector Set when the alert criteria are met.

  6. Click the Alert Task tab to choose a Windows Management Interface (WMI) task and arguments to run when the alert criteria are met.

Additional considerations

  • To open Windows Performance Monitor, click Start, click in the Start Search box, type perfmon, and then press ENTER.

Additional references