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Offline Shane

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Drive Speedometer v1.0
« on: April 08, 2011, 01:26:14 PM »
Drive Speedometer v1.0.0
http://www.pcwintech.com/drive-speedometer

Drive Speedometer is a program I made to help monitor the current read and writes speeds of you hard drives.

Benefits include:
1. When your system is running slow yet your CPU usage and memory usage are fine, it is normally the hard drive being maxed out. Now you will be able to keep an eye on the hard drive performance.
2. When a drive is slowly dying it will run slower and slower. Being aware of what your normal drive speeds are and seeing those speed drop over time is a great indicator it is time to replace the drive.
3. Being a performance nut myself I like knowing what my system is doing. When I have a program doing some work and appears to be hung up I can see if it is still reading or writing to the drive. This way I know the program isn't hung up and is still working.

The program uses the Windows performance counters to pull the information. If you have disabled your performance counters I have included a reg file in the setup to enable them again. Run the reg file and reboot. Your performance counters will be working again.

I have also included some pre made bar fill graphics. Including some to use when running the monitor in compact mode. You can of course make your own as well.

Shane
« Last Edit: April 09, 2011, 07:23:35 PM by Shane »
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Drive Speedometer v1.0
« on: April 08, 2011, 01:26:14 PM »

Offline Davey126

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Re: Drive Speedometer v1.0
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2011, 07:26:47 PM »
Hum - quick response then off to a kid sporting event:

- frequent refreshes are a visual distraction (a graphic similar to CPU utilization on TM may be better)
- a green/yellow/red icon would be helpful to quickly identify high I/O conditions
- need to know what process is generating reads/writes to take meaningful action
- reduce vertical height (single line) so monitor can sit right above task bar with minimal icon overlap
- hovering over tray icon yields limited useful info given update frequency
- make reset icon position compatible with CM (perhaps different default location)

I know the above seems a bit critical but I don't see myself using this tool on a regular basis in its current form  :sad:

Offline Shane

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Re: Drive Speedometer v1.0
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2011, 07:28:55 PM »
When you get a chance Davey I would like to move the Drive Speedometer stuff to the right spot :-)

Quote
- frequent refreshes are a visual distraction (a graphic similar to CPU utilization on TM may be better)

This one can be dealt with by setting the bar fill color to the same color as the background, thus a in way turning off the progress bar. Blend to desktop also works.

Quote
- a green/yellow/red icon would be helpful to quickly identify high I/O conditions

I thought about this at first but there is a problem. Unlike Cleanmem where it is monitoring on thing. This one is monitor 2. Both read and write. So not sure how I would get the tray icon to show easily both stats. I know I could split it with 2 colors, but text wont work. So for now I left it a standard icon till I find a way to deal with it. :wink:

Quote
- need to know what process is generating reads/writes to take meaningful action

The program connects to the performance monitor in windows. And that only gives me the read and write stats, not the programs doing the read and writing. Newer version of windows might, havent looked yet.

Quote
- reduce vertical height (single line) so monitor can sit right above task bar with minimal icon overlap
Again its 2 monitors, read and write, so need 2 bars. Still smaller than the default cleanmem monitor lol

Quote
- hovering over tray icon yields limited useful info given update frequency
- make reset icon position compatible with CM (perhaps different default location)

Just updated the setup.
Made a change to the text in the monitor. People are getting confused that it is showing the current read and write speed, not the actual speed of the drive. Hopefully new text will help with that.
Default location is now to the left of where cleanmem default would be. :wink:

Quote
I know the above seems a bit critical but I don't see myself using this tool on a regular basis in its current form

Lets keep this going and fine tune it till you would use it :artist:

Shane
(My weekends belong to my wife and kids, I will try my best to answer all posts daily during the work week)

(About Shane)
Site Owner, Top Admin, Lead Programmer, Wife & 5 kids, Needs a lot more coffee.

When people ask "Why fix what isn't broken?" I reply "To make it better."
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Offline Davey126

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Re: Drive Speedometer v1.0
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2011, 07:30:43 PM »
Of course missing from my earlier post (do'h!) was any reference to the stability/functionality of the tool which was perfect. Something you rarely see on a first release. Kudos!

Offline Davey126

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Re: Drive Speedometer v1.0
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2011, 07:56:20 PM »
It is really the shifting text that I find distracting. A graphic with a mild smoothing function may be more effective. I don't care so much about the actual values - just whether disk IO is low, moderate or high. So far I have not found the progress bar nearly as distracting as the numbers.

Numbers are not required on the tray icon. The square could be divided into two (one side read, other write) with independent green/yellow/red colors indicating relative disk activity. The tool tip could display actual values if so desired. A similar division could be made on the progress bar: left side read, right for write. That would reduce its hight by half (see snip for how I normally display CleanMem - very unobtrusive).

That's all for now - I will try the latest setup on Saturday and provide additional feedback.

BTW - My personal views are based on the idea of a continuously displayed unobtrusive monitor and may not mirror program objectives or the desires of others (including the author!) - especially for a 'free' tool. Maybe it is best to just stick with the tool as currently written  :wink:


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Offline Shane

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Re: Drive Speedometer v1.0
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2011, 11:25:28 PM »
OK bud I think you will be happy with this new update.

Added 9 icons that load in the tray icon to show green yellow and red for the 2 bars.
I also added a compact mode option that will make the bars 50% and then put them next to each other. Thus making it one bar :wink:

Also added options to change the 2nd bar color and bar fill instead of one setting for both.

See what you think of this update :-)

Shane
(My weekends belong to my wife and kids, I will try my best to answer all posts daily during the work week)

(About Shane)
Site Owner, Top Admin, Lead Programmer, Wife & 5 kids, Needs a lot more coffee.

When people ask "Why fix what isn't broken?" I reply "To make it better."
"Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile"
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Offline Davey126

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Re: Drive Speedometer v1.0
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2011, 08:49:28 AM »
Wow - I like it! Could see this puppy becoming part of my standard system build. Feedback primarily focused on improvement opportunities. Tool was stable throughout testing. Very small resource/memory footprint. :smiley:

- sometimes text exceeded length of compact bar, typically when displaying larger numbers in KB (perhaps convert to MB or always display in MB)
- option to use 'bar fill graphic' always reset to 'bar fill color' whenever compact mode selected (bug)
- what are the thresholds for green/yellow/red (presumably <50/50-74/>74); might want to show that somewhere
- might consider option to show peek value in bar; hold for 3-5 sec (dot or other graphic different from bar)
- might consider setup option to test max drive speeds and set values accordingly (but still permit user to override)
- need to properly annotate max read/write speed in monitor (eg: MBps); would be tougher to do on bar due to space considerations
- might consider toggling show/hide text when monitor bar double clicked
- add option to suppress drive icon in task bar while retaining split bars (low priority - cosmetic only)

$1K question: should this tool be integrated into CleanMem, perhaps as another tab on the Pro version (a standalone free version could still be offered)?

Offline Davey126

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Re: Drive Speedometer v1.0
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2011, 09:03:08 AM »
Two additional thoughts (low priority cosmetic refinements):

- one button to automatically orient CleanMem and Speedometer compact bars with 'stack horizontally' and 'stack vertically' sub-options. Extension of Reset Window Positions button.
- you may be able to show 0-99 percentage numbers on tray icon if written vertically in small font. Would want an option to toggle this on/off to avoid visual distraction as values change frequently.

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Re: Drive Speedometer v1.0
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2011, 09:23:10 AM »
Quote
- sometimes text exceeded length of compact bar, typically when displaying larger numbers in KB (perhaps convert to MB or always display in MB)

In normal mode it also has /s at the end. I removed it to try and save space as you can tell. When in compact mode I could just have it show MB only.

Quote
- option to use 'bar fill graphic' always reset to 'bar fill color' whenever compact mode selected (bug)

Not a bug, I did this on purpose. The bar graphic doesn't get shrunk, so it does fill properly. So when using the compact mode you have to use the bar fill color instead.
Try it and see what I mean, when compact mode is on go put it back on bar fill graphic. You will see it only goes to the yellow as max. This is because the graphic is just a picture meat to be a certain size.

Quote
- what are the thresholds for green/yellow/red (presumably <50/50-74/>74); might want to show that somewhere

Same thresholds as cleanmem. 0 to 49, 50 to 74, 75 to 100

Quote
- might consider option to show peek value in bar; hold for 3-5 sec (dot or other graphic different from bar)

Not sure if this is needed as the goal is to see the current read and write speed, not its peak.
Perhaps a tab in the settings window with more detailed information int he future?

Quote
- might consider setup option to test max drive speeds and set values accordingly (but still permit user to override)

Though about doing this. Wouldn't be hard, make the program write a large file. The read it getting the speeds, then delete the file. Or I thought about a auto option that will remember the highest read and write it sees and sets it as the max.

Quote
- need to properly annotate max read/write speed in monitor (eg: MBps); would be tougher to do on bar due to space considerations

In normal mode it does. Bytes/s, KB/s, MB/s, GB/s, and TB/s (Yes my program can handle those large numbers lol)

Quote
- might consider toggling show/hide text when monitor bar double clicked

Not sure if needed, most people are either going to have it on or off and not switch between the 2 very much.

Quote
- add option to suppress drive icon in task bar while retaining split bars (low priority - cosmetic only)

Instead of having the program draw the icon, to save resources I loaded up 9 custom made icons and the program chooses which to use based on current usage.

I could make 9 more with the drive and let the user choose which to use.

Quote
$1K question: should this tool be integrated into CleanMem, perhaps as another tab on the Pro version (a standalone free version could still be offered)?

Cleanmem if for memory and I have it running perfect right now. I do not want to keep adding to much to it so it doesnt get bloated. Having this as another program i think is better :-)

In the future I plan on making some pretty deep monitor tools like my cs fire monitor again. :wink:

Quote
- one button to automatically orient CleanMem and Speedometer compact bars with 'stack horizontally' and 'stack vertically' sub-options. Extension of Reset Window Positions button.

I have to treat the program as it is by itself. i can't count on a user having cleanmem on the system.

Quote
- you may be able to show 0-99 percentage numbers on tray icon if written vertically in small font. Would want an option to toggle this on/off to avoid visual distraction as values change frequently.

I tried, I am dealing with a 16x16 pixels space for the icon. Text that small is dang hard to read :wink:

Shane
(My weekends belong to my wife and kids, I will try my best to answer all posts daily during the work week)

(About Shane)
Site Owner, Top Admin, Lead Programmer, Wife & 5 kids, Needs a lot more coffee.

When people ask "Why fix what isn't broken?" I reply "To make it better."
"Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile"
Honor & Respect is all that matters.

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Offline Davey126

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Re: Drive Speedometer v1.0
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2011, 09:59:54 AM »
Responses (sequential - not sure how to quote these):

- Always use MB when in compact mode; allow units to fluctuate in normal mode (should satisfy everyone!).
- Understand. Assume there is not an way to modify graphic. Disable graphic option when in compact mode.
- Suggest showing thresholds on monitor settings screen or in help file (reference material only).
- Another option is to show peaks when hovering over icon vs snapshot of last realtime values.
- Either an explicit speed test or auto option, maybe both where test is done via menu option (overrides auto).
- Suggestion is to properly annotate max speed units in settings window (currently shows MB); bars are ok.
- I happen to like toggle action as I will keep values suppressed most of the time but want see on high activity.
- various tray icon tweaks: leave as-is as not worth the effort (adds unnecessary complexity IMHO).
- integration w/Cleanmem: understand especially if other tools will cover a broader set of functions.
- bar position: you may want to test if CM is running and position monitor accordingly (far right or to left of CM)

Offline Shane

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Re: Drive Speedometer v1.0
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2011, 01:40:59 PM »
OK updated the setup, install to get the new update.

Also to do a quote, when posting there is a button up top that looks like a message box :wink:

I have changed the text in compact mode.
I have the graphic bar options disabled when compact mode is enabled so a user can know they cant be used with it.
Added a right click menu option to show/hide bar text.

On the auto max speed or speed test. I am conflicted if it is needed. I see to many people having something going in the back ground when they do it.
And as for the auto read max part. There are times the performance monitor will report a large number jumped. Over 100mb/s. Not sure why it does this but those spikes can cause a bad reading. This also makes me not want to do the max speed readings. Thats why you do averages i guess lol

I may leave it as is and let users adjust as they see there speed under a heavy load more.

As for the CleanMem default monitor positions, I already changed it so the default for this app is to the left of it, even if cleanmem isnt installed.


Give this new version a try and see what you think. If we can I would like to release this today.
So far your reports back have made it better. So let me know of anything else. :wink:

Shane


(My weekends belong to my wife and kids, I will try my best to answer all posts daily during the work week)

(About Shane)
Site Owner, Top Admin, Lead Programmer, Wife & 5 kids, Needs a lot more coffee.

When people ask "Why fix what isn't broken?" I reply "To make it better."
"Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile"
Honor & Respect is all that matters.

Owner & Programmer of: www.pcwintech.com & www.tweaking.com

Offline Davey126

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Re: Drive Speedometer v1.0
« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2011, 02:09:18 PM »
Looks very good. I think what you have done strikes a nice balance. Just a small bug and tweak and then it's ready to go IMO.

- bug: monitor fails to hold default position (following Reset Window Positions) on restart when in compact mode
- tweak: when in compact mode add a third position to the right of decimal when activity <100 MBps (provides more granularity on low activity as units locked to MB in compact mode)

As for determining max values I believe a menu driven option to secure max read/write adds value. Users can run it a few times if necessary to hone in on actual max. I then adjust down to 10-20% of the max because that is when it starts getting interesting. But, I had to use another tool to determine what max throughput was.

I assume throughput is primarily against the system disk. All of my disks are approximately the same speed but this may not be the case for everyone.

Offline Shane

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Re: Drive Speedometer v1.0
« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2011, 02:23:44 PM »
I will work on the position bug now.

On the compact mode value 00.00 MB I found that I would run out of space if I went to 00.000 MB
Thats why I removed the /s. I tried to put it back but the s still went off.

Right now, if you open the performance monitor in windows, choose the physical disk count I am using the _Total option.

SO lets say my main drive is split into 2 C: & D: that would show up as one drive.
Lets say I have 2 drives C: D: as one drive and My USB drive as the 2nd.
The _Total option grabs all the physical drives and gives the totals for all of them.

Most drive controllers on the motherboard also has a max speed it can do the data.

So when when moving data from one drive to the next the total will be reported. This also lets me cover every drive possible. Thought about letting the user choosing, but then I could see people wanting a monitor for each drive. Wanted to avoid that.

Towards getting the max read and write speeds, I could make a different exe to go with the monitor that would be a tool to do a heavy read and write, while you see how the monitor reads it. Thing is there is multiple ways to read and write data to a drive that can affect speed.

http://blogs.technet.com/b/askperf/archive/2007/05/08/slow-large-file-copy-issues.aspx
Basically if a program takes advantage of Buffering the data. UN buffered (Like running your hard drive in PIO mode) is dog slow.

My only worry, if a user uses my test app to test the read and write speed. I would do buffering and would report faster speeds. Then they use another program that doesn't buffer and the speeds are far less.

Shane
(My weekends belong to my wife and kids, I will try my best to answer all posts daily during the work week)

(About Shane)
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When people ask "Why fix what isn't broken?" I reply "To make it better."
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Offline Davey126

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Re: Drive Speedometer v1.0
« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2011, 02:42:00 PM »
I can appreciate both dilemmas so in the end it may be best to stay the course at least for the initial release.

Observation: Not sure the initial defaults (50 MB/s) are the best as on my system I had to really push hard to get a decent meter read. A possible third alternative is to start with a very low value (say 5-10 MB/s) and automatically adjust upward based on observation. Maybe title it 'max observed value' with a tick box that lets you lock and/or override the observed max. This approach has the advantage of minimizing advance configuration to make the monitor graphics useful. Adds a bit of artifical intelligence w/o taking anything away from the more technical user. :wink:

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Re: Drive Speedometer v1.0
« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2011, 03:08:29 PM »
I have the test code with buffering for the files.

Used it on my system. When writing only I am hitting 70 mb/s avg.
But when I have it reading and writing a file at the same time the speed is around 25mb for both read and write at the same time.

Max speed of this drive appears to be around 70mb. When your doing both read and write the speed is split in half, plus the slow down of doing the 2 operations at once.

I think it would be far better to just have the default changed from 50 mb each to 20 or 25. And just leave it there.

Thoughts?

Shane
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When people ask "Why fix what isn't broken?" I reply "To make it better."
"Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile"
Honor & Respect is all that matters.

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Re: Drive Speedometer v1.0
« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2011, 03:08:29 PM »

 

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