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Monitor just about any PC activity with DiskLED

31 August 2011, Mike Williams

At first glance, DiskLED doesn’t exactly appear to be the most interesting of programs. Flashing a system tray icon to indicate hard drive activity can be useful, but it’s nothing new and there are plenty of other tools which do the same thing.

What makes DiskLED a little different, though, is that it’s not tied to highlighting hard drive accesses alone. The program can also able to monitor any Windows performance counter in the current PC, enabling you to keep a close eye on whatever activity you like.

To see how this works, right-click the DiskLED system tray icon, select Configure, and browse the Object list. This shows everything you can monitor, and there’s plenty to choose from – processes, threads, RAM, hard drives, network activity and much more.

Select the Processor object as an example, then choose the CPU attribute you’d like to monitor in the Counter list; “% Processor Time” is the simplest option if you’re unsure.

And then the Instance list will include the precise item you’d like to check. As you’ve selected the Processor object, you’ll be able to monitor the activity of individual CPU cores, or overall CPU use if you prefer (just choose “_Total”).

Click the “Build path from selection” button, choose the bar-type icon (the black/ yellow indicator), click Apply, and that’s it: DiskLED’s system tray icon will now highlight the activity of your chosen processor icon.

Once you know how it’s done, DiskLED then becomes an easy way to track any aspect of your PC’s performance. Network use, USB activity, page faults, whatever you like – just select the relevant details and it’s ready to go.

And better still, DiskLED is also portable and doesn’t require admin rights, so you can use it almost anywhere.

The one small issue we noticed is that DiskLED grabs more RAM than many more specialist monitoring tools, using around 7MB on our test PC. Of course that doesn’t exactly make it a memory hog, though, and on balance the program is still very useful, as it makes it very easy to keep an eye on any system activity without having to run the Windows Performance Monitor.

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