Determining the Hard Drive Speed in Windows NT 4.0

Determining If Your Hard Disk Is Fast Enough

Unlike Windows 95 and Windows 98, Windows NT has a Performance Monitor Counter that can be used to let you know whether or not your hard drive is too slow.

To take advantage of this feature of the Performance Monitor:

  • Log on as a member of the Administrators Group.
  • Go to a Command Prompt.
  • Type “diskperf” (without the quotes) and touch the enter key. This will enable you to view a Help document about how to turn diskperf on and off.
  • Types “diskperf -y” (without the quotes) and touch the enter key. This will start the Disk Performance Monitor Counters, or it will show you if the counters have already been started.
  • Now restart the system.


  1. Open Performance Monitor (Click Start, Programs, Administrative Tools, Performance Monitor)
  2. Choose Physical Disk from the Object drop down menu.
  3. Choose Avg Disk Bytes/Transfer from the counter.

Now let the counter run for several days. A value greater than 20KB indicates that the disk drive is performing well, generally. Values lower than 20KB will indicate to you that an application is accessing a disk inefficiently and the drive should be replaced with a faster one.

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