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 meters
 
system uptime
volume space
cpu usage
disk activity
network activity
physical memory use
page file use
handle count
memory paging
file cache space
process count
running processes
network ping
 

Introduction

FreeMeter contains 10 different meters. FreeMeter Professional adds 6 more. You determine which ones you want to see, the order in which they appear, and their size.

You can hide the FreeMeter window by double-clicking the title bar. To unhide it, double-click any FreeMeter system tray icon or use the hotkey combination you specified (Pro version only). While hidden, all the meters continue to gather data.

Right-click the title bar or any meter for more options.

Each meter has a button on the far right that will reduce the meter to a single line. Meters in this state continue to gather data, they just do not display it.

Meter Timers

FreeMeter has three timers that control how often meter data is updated. You control these timers and assign them to meters in the Preferences dialog. One timer is only for the Volume Space meter. The other two are for all the other meters. Typically you set one of the timers to update frequently and assign it to meters monitoring data that changes often, like CPU, disk, and network. You can set this timer to update multiple times a second. The other timer you set to update less frequently and use it on meters where the data does not change often, like the memory meters, process meter, and ping meter.

In FreeMeter Professional, if you have the first timer set to update multiple times a second, you can have that automatically reduced to once a second if a Remote Desktop connection is detected. This reduces FreeMeter's use of Remote Desktop bandwidth since meters will be redrawn less often. Once the Demote Desktop connection terminates, it will switch back to multiple times a second.

Bar Graph Meters

In all bar graph meters, a red bar indicates high utilization; yellow, warning; green, normal. Each graph can also have a blue moving average line. In FreeMeter Professional, you can change the red/yellow/green limits.

In FreeMeter Professional, you have control over all the colors in the graphs, including the background color.

Uptime

Uptime Meter

The Uptime meter displays the amount of time that system has been running since it was last booted.

Volume Space

Volume Space Meter

The Volume Space meter shows the status of the storage volumes being monitored. You choose which columns to display and the order in which they appear. You can display GB or TB and set the number of decimal places.

Double click a volume to open an Explorer window on that volume. Right click a volume and select “Show Folder Usage” to view the individual folder usage on the volume (FreeMeter supports one folder usage window at a time, FreeMeter Professional supports multiple).

In this example, the “Backups” volume is red because its free space has dropped below the set warning level. Drives P:\ and Q:\ are crossed out because they are currently unavailable. FreeMeter can monitor local drives and network shares.

CPU Usage

CPU Meter

The CPU meter shows the percentage of time that all your computer's CPU cores are busy. It can be a bar graph or line graph and can be drawn with or without the blue moving average line.

The top example is from FreeMeter. The bottom example is from FreeMeter Professional.

CPU Meter

In FreeMeter Professional, this meter can graph user and kernel CPU use separately. Kernel CPU time is drawn in the darker color. The CPU is in user mode when it is running application code, like Notepad or Microsoft Excel. It is in kernel mode when executing operating system code.

Disk Activity

Disk Meter

The Disk Graph meter shows your disk performance. It displays the rate at which your computer is reading from and writing to all of your disks.

There are separate lines for read (red), write (white), and moving average (blue). The moving average is based on whichever is higher, read or write. In FreeMeter Professional, you have control over all the colors in the graph.

The number in the upper right corner is the graph's upper limit. The graph will continuously rescale to show all the recorded data. In FreeMeter Professional you can sync the disk and network meters so that they are both showing the same scale.

Network Activity

Network Meter

The Network Graph meter shows the network traffic on your computer. It displays the rate at which your computer is receiving and transmitting data on one of your network connections. In FreeMeter Professional, you can have two network meters running. On a notebook, this allows you to have one meter for your wired connection and another for your wireless connection. On a server, you can have one meter for your primary network and another for your storage area network (SAN).

There are separate lines for read (red), write (white), and moving average (blue). The moving average is based on whichever is higher, read or write. In FreeMeter Professional, you have control over all the colors in the graph.

The number in the upper right corner is the graph's upper limit. The graph will continuously rescale to show all the recorded data. In FreeMeter Professional you can sync the disk and network meters so that they are both showing the same scale.

Physical Memory Usage

Memory Meter

These two, separate meters show your physical memory usage. One shows it as text, and the other as a graph.

The text meter shows current memory usage. You control what data appears in the meter. It contains a horizontal graph of the current usage, available memory on the left, consumed on the right. The two chevrons under the graph track how far over each side of the graph has gone.

The graph meter shows memory usage over time. It can be a line or bar graph.

In FreeMeter Professional, you have control over all the colors in both meters, and in the text meter you can choose between the small font shown in the example, or a larger font.

Page File Usage

Page File Meter

These two, separate meters show your page file usage. One shows it as text, and the other as a graph. If the OS increases or decreases the size of a page file to meet memory demands, the change will be reflected in both of these meters.

It shows the amount of memory currently committed by the system and the total amount available. The total is the amount of memory that can be committed by the system without extending the page file. This number can change if page files have grown, shrunk, or been added.

In the text meter, you control what text data appears. It also contains a horizontal graph of the current usage, available space on the left, consumed on the right. The two chevrons under the graph track how far over each side of the graph has gone.

The graph meter shows page file usage over time. It can be a line or bar graph.

In FreeMeter Professional, you have control over all the colors in both meters, and in the text meter you can choose between the small font shown in the example, or a larger font.

Handle Count

Process Meter

The Handle Count meter graphs the total number of open handles over time. A handle is a token that represents a resource that is being managed by the Windows kernel. A handle can be to a window, a file, a block of memory, etc.

Memory Paging
only available in FreeMeter Professional

Memory Paging Meter

The Memory Pages/sec meter graphs the rate at which pages are read from or written to the paging file on disk to resolve hard page faults.

This meter is a primary indicator of the kinds of faults that cause system-wide delays. If this meter shows a lot of activity when your computer is being sluggish, you may need more physical memory. If your system has lots of memory, this graph may show little to no activity because your system rarely has a page fault.

File Cache
only available in FreeMeter Professional

File Cache Meter

This meter graphs the size of the file system cache. This is the total size of all files currently in the cache. It is not a graph of available file cache space. All unused memory can potentially be used to cache files.

This is a really boring graph. It rarely changes.

Process Count
only available in FreeMeter Professional

Process Meter

The Process Count meter graphs the total number of running processes over time.

Running Processes
only available in FreeMeter Professional

Process Meter

The Process meter shows a list of running processes. If the FreeMeter windows is wide enough, it will show the total CPU time consumed by the process, the amount of memory it is using (its “Working Set”), and its current CPU usage. If the FreeMeter window is not wide enough, not all of this information will be displayed.

You control how many process show in the meter and their sorting order. You can have it tag which processes are 64-bit processes, and which are 32-bit processes.

FreeMeter can only monitor processes that your user account has permission to read.

Network Ping
only available in FreeMeter Professional

Ping Meter

The Network Ping meter pings a list of local or remote hosts to determine which are up and which are down. It displays each host's response time. The longer the time, the slower the network connection to that host.

If a host does not respond within your time limit, it will turn yellow. If it is not responding at all, it will be red. As with all meters, you can change the colors that are used.

You can specify the timeout, the maximum number of attempts to ping each host, and the minimum number of responses that must be received for the host to be considered up.