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Poolmon Examples

Updated: March 28, 2003

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Poolmon Examples

Before running any of these examples on Windows XP and earlier systems, use Gflags.exe to enable pool tagging and then restart the system to make the change effective.

Example 1: Display and Sort Poolmon Output

This example describes various ways to configure the Poolmon display. By default, Poolmon displays all kernel memory allocations in alphabetical order by tag value. You can modify the sort order of the display at the command line or while Poolmon is running.

The following command starts Poolmon.

poolmon

The following command starts poolmon and sorts the display by number of frees.

poolmon /f

While poolmon is running, you can use the parameters in the running syntax to change the display. For example, to sort the display by number of bytes used, press b or u. To sort by bytes per allocation, press m.

The following command starts Poolmon and displays only allocations from the non-paged pool.

poolmon /p

While Poolmon is running, you can use press p to toggle between allocations from the paged pool, the non-paged pool, or both.

To display data for allocations with a particular tag, use the /i parameter. The following command displays allocations with the AfdB tag (the tag used by Afd.sys for data buffers).

poolmon /iAfdB

To exclude allocations with a particular tag, use the /x parameter. The following command displays all allocations that do not have the AfdB tag.

poolmon /xAfdB

You can use the wildcard character (*) and question mark (?) to specify groups of tags. The following command lists all allocations with tags beginning with Afd, the tag used by Afd.sys.

poolmon /iAfd*

You can also sort the Poolmon display by the change in a value between updates. The /( parameter places Poolmon in "sort-by-change" mode.

The following command displays allocations with tags beginning with Afd, and sorts by the change (/)) in allocations (/a).

poolmon /iAfd* /( /a

The /( parameter is a toggle. When Poolmon is in sort-by-change mode, it continues to interpret all sort commands as commands to sort by the change in the value, until you press ( again. If, for example, after using the previous command to start Poolmon, you then pressed f, Poolmon would sort the display by the change in the number of frees. To revert to sorting by the primary value while Poolmon is running, press ( again.

Example 2: Display Driver Names

You can use the /g parameter when starting Poolmon to display the names of Windows components and commonly used drivers that assign each tag. If you find a problem in allocations with a particular tag, this feature helps you identify the offending component or driver. The components and drivers are listed in the Mapped_Driver column, on the right-most side of the display. The data for the Mapped_Driver column comes from Pooltag.txt, a file installed with Poolmon.

The following command displays memory allocated with tags that begin with NtF. (It uses the question mark character (?) as a wildcard.) Using the /g parameter adds the Mapped_Driver column.

poolmon /iNtF? /g

The resulting display lists allocations with tags beginning in NtF. The right-most column in the display, Mapped_Driver, shows that the memory was allocated by Ntfs.sys, the driver for the NTFS file system. In this case, the display is even more specific, because Pooltag.txt includes the source files for Ntfs allocations.


 Memory:  260620K Avail:   65152K  PageFlts:    85   InRam Krnl: 2116K P:19560K
 Commit: 237688K Limit: 640916K Peak: 260632K            Pool N: 8500K P:33024K
 System pool information
 Tag  Type     Allocs            Frees            Diff   Bytes      Per Alloc  Mapped_Driver

 NtFA Nonp       9112 (   0)      9112 (   0)     0       0 (     0)      0 [ntfs.sys  -  AttrSup.c]
 NtFB Paged      3996 (   0)      3986 (   0)    10  252088 (     0)  25208 [ntfs.sys  -  BitmpSup.c]
 NtFC Paged   1579279 (   0)   1579269 (   0)    10     640 (     0)     64 [ntfs.sys  -  Create.c]
 NtFD Nonp         13 (   0)        13 (   0)     0       0 (     0)      0 [ntfs.sys  -  DevioSup.c]
 NtFF Paged      1128 (   0)      1128 (   0)     0       0 (     0)      0 [ntfs.sys  -  FileInfo.c]
 NtFI Nonp        152 (   0)       152 (   0)     0       0 (     0)      0 [ntfs.sys  -  IndexSup.c]
 NtFL Nonp      68398 (   0)     68390 (   0)     8   27280 (     0)   3410 [ntfs.sys  -  LogSup.c]
 NtFS Paged      2915 (   0)      2614 (   0)   301   80192 (     0)    266 [ntfs.sys  -  SecurSup.c]
 NtFa Paged       838 (   0)       829 (   0)     9     288 (     0)     32 [ntfs.sys  -  AllocSup.c]
 NtFd Paged    137696 (   0)    137688 (   0)     8     720 (     0)     90 [ntfs.sys  -  DirCtrl.c]
 NtFf Nonp          2 (   0)         1 (   0)     1      40 (     0)     40 [ntfs.sys  -  FsCtrl.c]
 NtFs Nonp      48825 (   0)     47226 (   0)  1599   64536 (     0)     40 [ntfs.sys  -  StrucSup.c]
 NtFv Paged       551 (   0)       551 (   0)     0       0 (     0)      0 [ntfs.sys  -  ViewSup.c]

Pooltag.txt is extensive, but it is not a complete list of all tags that can be used on the system. When a tag used in the system is not included in Pooltag.txt, Poolmon displays "Unknown driver" in the Mapped_Driver column for the tag. When this occurs, you can use the /c parameter to search the drivers on the local system and determine whether they use assign the tag.

The following examples demonstrate this method.

The following command uses the /i tag to list allocations with tags that end in MEM. The /g parameter adds the driver name to the display from the Pooltag.txt file.

poolmon /i?MEM /g

The resulting display lists the allocations with tags ending in MEM. However, because the MEM tags are not included in Pooltag.txt, "Unknown Driver" appears in the Mapped_Driver column in place of the driver name.


 Tag  Type        Allocs          Frees      Diff   Bytes      Per Alloc    Mapped_Driver

 1MEM Nonp       1 (   0)         0 (   0)     1    3344 (     0)   3344   Unknown Driver
 2MEM Nonp       1 (   0)         0 (   0)     1    3944 (     0)   3944   Unknown Driver
 3MEM Nonp       3 (   0)         0 (   0)     3     248 (     0)     82   Unknown Driver

In this case, you can use the /c parameter to compile a list of local drivers and the tags they assign and then display the names of local drivers in the Mapped_Driver column.

The following command starts Poolmon. It uses the /i parameter to list allocations with tags ending in MEM, and the /c parameter to display the local drivers that assign the tags.

poolmon /i?MEM /c

If you do not specify a local tag file and Poolmon cannot find a Localtag.txt file on a 32-bit system, it creates one, as shown in the following screen messages. (Poolmon cannot generate a local tag file on 64-bit systems.)


d:\tools\Poolmon>poolmon /?MEM /c
Poolmon: No localtag.txt in current directory
Poolmon: Creating localtag.txt in current directory......

The resulting display, which uses the content from the newly created localtag.txt file, shows the local driver names in the Mapped_Driver column.


 Memory:  260620K Avail:   57840K  PageFlts:   162   InRam Krnl: 2116K P:19448K
 Commit: 244580K Limit: 640916K Peak: 265416K            Pool N: 8496K P:32904K
 System pool information
 Tag  Type     Allocs            Frees            Diff   Bytes      Per Alloc  Mapped_Driver

 1MEM Nonp          1 (   0)         0 (   0)        1    3344 (     0)   3344 [el90xbc5]
 2MEM Nonp          1 (   0)         0 (   0)        1    3944 (     0)   3944 [el90xbc5]
 3MEM Nonp          3 (   0)         0 (   0)        3     248 (     0)     82 [el90xbc5]

For a comprehensive driver name display, you can combine the /c and /g parameters in a command. (The order of parameters does not change the output.) The following command lists allocations for tags beginning with Ip. It uses the /c parameter, which adds contents of the Localtag.txt file to the Mapped_Driver column, and the /g parameter, which adds the contents of the Pooltag.txt to the Mapped_Driver column.

poolmon /iIp** /c /g

In the resulting display, the Mapped_Driver column contains data from both the localtag.txt and pooltag.txt files.


 Memory:  130616K Avail:   23692K  PageFlts:   146   InRam Krnl: 2108K P: 9532K
 Commit: 187940K Limit: 318628K Peak: 192000K            Pool N: 8372K P:13384K
 System pool information
 Tag  Type     Allocs            Frees            Diff   Bytes      Per Alloc  Mapped_Driver

 IpEQ Nonp          1 (   0)         0 (   0)        1    1808 (     0)   1808 [ipsec][ipsec.sys    -  event queue]
 IpFI Nonp         26 (   0)         0 (   0)       26    7408 (     0)    284 [ipsec][ipsec.sys    -  Filter blocks]
 IpHP Nonp          1 (   0)         1 (   0)        0       0 (     0)      0 [ipsec.sys    - IP Security]
 IpIO Nonp          1 (   0)         1 (   0)        0       0 (     0)      0 [ipsec]
 IpLA Nonp          1 (   0)         0 (   0)        1     248 (     0)    248 [ipsec][ipsec.sys    -  lookaside lists]
 IpSH Nonp          1 (   0)         1 (   0)        0       0 (     0)      0 [ipsec.sys    - IP Security]
 IpSI Nonp       1027 (   0)         0 (   0)     1027   53272 (     0)     51 [ipsec][ipsec.sys    - initial allocations]
IpTI Nonp          3 (   0)         0 (   0)        3    5400 (     0)   1800 [ipsec][ipsec.sys    -  timers]

Example 3: Detect Memory Leakage

This example outlines a procedure for using Poolmon to detect a memory leak.

  1. Start Poolmon in default mode (no additional parameters).

  2. Press P twice to display allocations from only the paged pool. (The P key toggles the display between paged, non-paged, and both.)

  3. Press B to sort the Bytes column in descending order.

  4. Let Poolmon run for a few hours. Because starting Poolmon changes the data, you must let it run until it reaches a steady state before the data is reliable.

  5. Save the information generated by Poolmon, either as a screenshot, or by copying it from the command window and pasting it into Notepad.

  6. Returning to Poolmon, press P twice again, this time to display only allocations from the non-paged pool.

Repeat steps 3, 5 and 6 approximately every half-hour for at least two hours.

When data collection is complete, examine the Diff (allocations minus frees) and Bytes (number of bytes allocated minus number of bytes freed) values for each tag, and note any that continually increase. Next, stop Poolmon, wait for a few hours, and then restart Poolmon. Examine the allocations that were increasing, and determine whether the bytes are now freed. Allocations that have still not been freed, or have continued to increase in size are the likely culprits.

Example 4: Examine a Pool Memory Leak

The following example demonstrates using Poolmon to investigate a pool memory leak from a suspected printer driver. In the example, Poolmon displays data that the system collects about memory allocations with the Dsrd tag, the tag that the printer drivers assign.

The Drsd tag is assigned to pool memory allocated by the Drvalloc() function in the Rasdd.dll and Hprasdd.dll files. Printer drivers use this function when allocating Graphical Device Interface (GDI) objects and associated memory. If a printer driver has an object leak, the memory allocated with the Drsd tag will also leak.

Note

  • Before running the steps in this example, ensure that the printer you are using will not be interrupted (if, for example, it is a network printer), until you are finished, otherwise the results may be invalid.

  1. At the command line, type the following:

    poolmon /iDrsd

    This command directs Poolmon to display information for allocations with the Dsrd tag. (Pool tags are case-sensitive, so be sure to type the command exactly as shown.)

  2. Record the values in the Diff and Bytes columns. In the following sample display, the value of Diff is 21 and the number of bytes is 17472.

    
    Memory:  130480K Avail:   91856K  PageFlts:  1220   InRam Krnl: 2484K P: 7988K
    Commit:  30104K Limit: 248432K Peak:  34028K            Pool N: 2224K P: 8004K
    Tag  Type        Allocs           Frees           Diff  Bytes           Per Alloc
    
    Drsd Paged       560 ( 177)       539 ( 171)       21   17472 (  4992)    832 
    
    
  3. Send a job to the printer, wait briefly for the system to return to normal, and then record the values for the Diff and Bytes columns.

    
    Memory:  130480K Avail:   91808K  PageFlts:  1240   InRam Krnl: 2488K P: 7996K
    Commit:  30152K Limit: 248432K Peak:  34052K            Pool N: 2224K P: 8012K
    Tag  Type        Allocs           Frees           Diff  Bytes          Per Alloc
    
    Drsd Paged       737 (   0)       710 (   0)       27   22464 (     0)    832  
    
    

When the memory management for the printer driver is working properly, the value of Diff should return to its original value of 21 after printing. However, as the preceding output illustrates, the value of Diff rose to 27, and the number of bytes rose to 22464. The difference between the initial and subsequent output means that six Drsd blocks, with a total of 4992 bytes, leaked during printing.

For More Information

If you believe you have identified a leaking driver, you may be able to find more information by visiting the Product Support Services Web site and searching the Knowledge Base for relevant articles.

Example 5: Monitor a Terminal Services Session

This example shows several ways to display allocations from the Terminal Services session pools on the system. It demonstrates the use of the /s command-line parameter, and the s, TSSessionID, and i running parameters.

The following command displays allocations from all of the Terminal Services session pools. In this example, the local computer, which is configured as a Terminal Server, is hosting the sessions, and client computers are using the Remote Desktop feature to connect to the host.

poolmon /s

In response, Poolmon displays allocations from all session pools. Note the All sessions pool information title in the header.


Memory:  523572K Avail:  233036K  PageFlts:   344   InRam Krnl: 1828K P:18380K
Commit: 193632K Limit:1279764K Peak: 987356K            Pool N:14332K P:18644K
All sessions pool information
 Tag  Type     Allocs            Frees            Diff   Bytes       Per Alloc

 Bmfd Paged       361 (   0)       336 (   0)       25   57832 (     0)   2313
 DDfb Paged        34 (   0)        22 (   0)       12     720 (     0)     60
 Dddp Paged         8 (   0)         6 (   0)        2     272 (     0)    136
 Dh 1 Paged        24 (   0)        24 (   0)        0       0 (     0)      0
 Dh 2 Paged       344 (   0)       344 (   0)        0       0 (     0)      0
 Dvgr Paged         2 (   0)         2 (   0)        0       0 (     0)      0
 GDev Paged       108 (   0)       102 (   0)        6   20272 (     0)   3378
 GFil Paged        29 (   0)        27 (   0)        2     160 (     0)     80
 GPal Paged        11 (   0)         8 (   0)        3     816 (     0)    272
 GTmp Paged     88876 (   1)     88876 (   1)        0       0 (     0)      0
 GUma Paged         2 (   0)         2 (   0)        0       0 (     0)      0
 Galp Paged      3250 (   0)      3250 (   0)        0       0 (     0)      0
 Gbaf Paged      9829 (   0)      9801 (   0)       28   19712 (     0)    704
 Gcac Paged      3761 (   0)      3706 (   0)       55  288968 (     0)   5253
 Gcsl Paged         1 (   0)         0 (   0)        1     488 (     0)    488
 Gdbr Paged      6277 (   0)      6271 (   0)        6    1872 (     0)    312
 ...

To see allocations from a particular session pool, type the session ID immediately after the /s parameter, as shown in the following command. This command displays session pool allocations for Terminal Services session 0.

poolmon /s0

In response, Poolmon displays allocations from the session pool for Terminal Services session 0. Note the Session 0 pool information title in the header.

 
Memory:  523572K Avail:  233024K  PageFlts:   525   InRam Krnl: 1828K P:18384K
 Commit: 193760K Limit:1279764K Peak: 987356K            Pool N:14340K P:18644K
 Session 0 pool information
 Tag  Type     Allocs            Frees            Diff   Bytes       Per Alloc

 Bmfd Paged       361 (   0)       336 (   0)       25   57832 (     0)   2313
 DDfb Paged        34 (   0)        22 (   0)       12     720 (     0)     60
 Dddp Paged         8 (   0)         6 (   0)        2     272 (     0)    136
 Dh 1 Paged        24 (   0)        24 (   0)        0       0 (     0)      0
 Dh 2 Paged       344 (   0)       344 (   0)        0       0 (     0)      0
 Dvgr Paged         2 (   0)         2 (   0)        0       0 (     0)      0
 GDev Paged       108 (   0)       102 (   0)        6   20272 (     0)   3378
 GFil Paged        29 (   0)        27 (   0)        2     160 (     0)     80
 GPal Paged        11 (   0)         8 (   0)        3     816 (     0)    272
 GTmp Paged     89079 (  99)     89079 (  99)        0       0 (     0)      0
 GUma Paged         2 (   0)         2 (   0)        0       0 (     0)      0
 Galp Paged      3250 (   0)      3250 (   0)        0       0 (     0)      0
 Gbaf Paged      9830 (   0)      9802 (   0)       28   19712 (     0)    704
 Gcac Paged      3762 (   0)      3707 (   0)       55  283632 (     0)   5156
 Gcsl Paged         1 (   0)         0 (   0)        1     488 (     0)    488
 Gdbr Paged      6280 (   0)      6274 (   0)        6    1872 (     0)    312
 ...

To help determine which drivers and components are allocating memory from the session pool, add the /g parameter, as shown in the following command. The /g parameter adds a Mapped_Driver column listing the Windows components and drivers that assign each tag.

poolmon /s0 /g


Memory:  523572K Avail:  235876K  PageFlts:    43   InRam Krnl: 1900K P:18860K
Commit: 185040K Limit:1279764K Peak: 987356K            Pool N:14684K P:19124K
Session 0 pool information
Tag  Type     Allocs            Frees            Diff   Bytes      Per Alloc  Mapped_Driver

Bmfd Paged       421 (   0)       396 (   0)       25   57832 (     0)   2313 [Font related stuff]
DDfb Paged        34 (   0)        22 (   0)       12     720 (     0)     60 Unknown Driver
Dddp Paged        11 (   0)         6 (   0)        5     392 (     0)     78 Unknown Driver
Dh 1 Paged        37 (   0)        35 (   0)        2     224 (     0)    112 Unknown Driver
Dh 2 Paged       367 (   0)       364 (   0)        3     912 (     0)    304 Unknown Driver
Dvgr Paged         2 (   0)         2 (   0)        0       0 (     0)      0 [vga for risc video driver]
GDev Paged       119 (   0)       113 (   0)        6   20272 (     0)   3378 [Gdi pdev]
GFil Paged        29 (   0)        27 (   0)        2     160 (     0)     80 [Gdi engine descriptor list]
GPal Paged        11 (   0)         8 (   0)        3     816 (     0)    272 [Gdi Objects]
GTmp Paged     98626 (   1)     98626 (   1)        0       0 (     0)      0 [Gdi Objects]
GUma Paged         2 (   0)         2 (   0)        0       0 (     0)      0 [Gdi Objects]
Galp Paged      3250 (   0)      3250 (   0)        0       0 (     0)      0 [Gdi Objects]
Gbaf Paged     10331 (   0)     10305 (   0)       26   18304 (     0)    704 [Gdi Objects]
Gcac Paged      4722 (   0)      4666 (   0)       56  305400 (     0)   5453 [Gdi glyph cache]
Gcsl Paged         1 (   0)         0 (   0)        1     488 (     0)    488 [Gdi string resource script names]
Gdbr Paged      6972 (   0)      6965 (   0)        7    2184 (     0)    312 [Gdi driver brush realization]

You can also configure the Terminal Services session pool display while Poolmon is running. The following table shows a series of running commands, in the order in which they are typed, and the resulting Poolmon display.

The series begins with a command to start Poolmon. All other parameters are typed while Poolmon is running.

poolmon

 

Key Result Description

s

Displays all session pools.

 

s

Displays the system pools.

The s parameter toggles the display between the system pools and the Terminal Services session pools.

0

Displays session 0 pool.

You can type a session ID while displaying the system pools.

7

Displays session 7 pool.

 

a

Displays pool allocations for session 7, sorted by number of allocations

All standard running parameters are valid for session pool displays.

0

Displays allocations for session 0, sorted by number of allocations.

Session and sorting options are retained until changed.

s

Displays the system pools.

 

s

Displays allocations for session 0, sorted by number of allocations.

Session option is retained.

10

Displays Session 1 allocations, and then displays Session 0 allocations.

Without i, you can enter only session IDs 0 - 9.

i

Prompts for a Terminal Services session ID.

 

10

Displays Session 10 allocations.

 

i

Prompts for a Terminal Services session ID.

To display all session pools, press i and then press Enter.

Enter

Displays all session pools.

 

Only systems configured as a Terminal Server allocate memory from the session pool. If you use Poolmon to display the session pool on a computer that is not a Terminal Server, or if you type a session ID that does not exist on the system, Poolmon does not display any allocations. Instead, it displays only the headings with general memory data.

The following command displays allocations from all Terminal Services session pools.

poolmon /s

The following figure shows the Poolmon display that would result, if the /s command were submitted to a computer running Windows XP Professional, that could not be configured as a Terminal Server.


 Memory:  260620K Avail:   44956K  PageFlts:   308   InRam Krnl: 2744K P:20444K
 Commit: 185452K Limit: 640872K Peak: 192472K            Pool N: 8112K P:20648K
 All sessions pool information
 Tag  Type     Allocs            Frees            Diff   Bytes       Per Alloc
 

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