How to Easily Monitor System Performance with the new DiskLED 1.1

DiskLED is a small tool that displays performance counter data using an animated system tray icon. The new version 1.1 comes with a graphical configuration dialog that lets you choose from all performance counters available on the local system – you can monitor network throughput just as easily as hard disk activity or memory usage. In this article I am going to show you how to do that.

Guide to using DiskLED

Download the program.

Unzip it to a folder of your liking. Use any folder, but preferably use one where you have write access with your regular user account, or DiskLED will be unable to save its configuration file (yep, it stores it in the location of the EXE file).

Run DiskLED. If you are on a non-English system, it will show an error message. Ignore that for now (just click on OK as you always do ;-)

Double-click the new icon in the system tray (next to the clock). If you do not see a new icon and are on Windows 7 or Server 2008 R2, configure Explorer to show DiskLED’s icon.

A configuration dialog should pop up that looks like the following:

To select a different data source:

  1. Select a performance object. The default is: PhysicalDisk.
  2. Select a performance counter. The default is: % Disk Time.
  3. Select an instance (if the object is a disk, the instance specifies which disk to monitor). The default is: _Total (sum of all disks).
  4. Click on “Build path from selection”. This validates the selection and writes the resulting performance counter path into the dialog box below.
  5. Configure other settings, such as the icon to display.
  6. It might also be a good idea to tell DiskLED how to interpret the values from the selected performance counter. Let us say you chose the counter “Current Disk Queue Length”. That counter returns the number of requests for disk activity currently on hold because the disk is busy. DiskLED has no way of knowing which queue length value is low, and which value is high. You tell it by entering the appropriate maximum value corresponding to 100% utilization. In case of “Current Disk Queue Length” that would be 2 (on systems with one hard disk, no RAID etc.).
  7. If you just want to play around with performance counters, do not check “Update the INI file” but click on apply instead. The new settings take effect immediately.
  8. Once you are satisfied with the configuration, check “Update the INI file” and then click on apply or OK. You are done.
  9. It might be a good idea to have DiskLED start up automatically when logging on to Windows.

Requirements, Gotchas and Notes

  • DiskLED does not require admin rights.
  • No installation necessary. DiskLED runs from whatever location you put it in.
  • DiskLED is much more accurate than typical hardware LEDs.
  • DiskLED looks for its configuration (INI) file in the folder where you put the executable. If it cannot find the INI file there, it uses built-in default settings. Those settings are localized (they depend on the OS language). So, if you get the following error message when starting DiskLED “InitPDH: PdhAddCounter failed with: 0xc0000bb8” and the tool only displays a red exclamation mark in the system tray: double-click that exclamation mark and select a performance counter in your system’s language.
  • If you do not see any icon (nothing happens) after starting DiskLED: if you are running Windows 7 or Server 2008 R2 make sure that you have configured Explorer to show all icons in the system tray, or configure Explorer to show DiskLED’s icon.
  • DiskLED should run on any Windows client or server operating system beginning with Windows XP.


DiskLED, version 1.1.1, x86.

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12 Responses to How to Easily Monitor System Performance with the new DiskLED 1.1

  1. Hank Wojtkiewicz March 16, 2014 at 17:24 #

    I get the error InitPDH: PdhAddCounter failed with 0xc0000bb8. When I go to select the Data Source Object, Physical Disk is not in the list. Any ideas?

    Dell OptiPlex790, Windows 7 Pro SP1 64bit, 8 Gig ram.

  2. Don June 14, 2014 at 20:42 #

    I’m also get the error InitPDH: PdhAddCounter failed with 0xc0000bb8. And in Data Source Object there is no Phsical Disk is not in the list.
    I’m using winodws 7 x64. It was working for a while then it started to get this error for some reason.


  3. Patrick August 6, 2014 at 15:28 #

    Using ­Windows 7 64-bit and getting error InitPDH: PdhAddCounter failed with 0xc0000bb8. And in Data Source Object there is no Phsical Disk is not in the list. In the same boat as the other two people above, what to do?

    • Scott September 24, 2014 at 22:46 #

      Using ­Windows 7 64-bit and getting error InitPDH: PdhAddCounter failed with 0xc0000bb8 , same her rite after a AMD /ATI catalyst control center update .

      it seems ot have changed my AMD sata driver , and i can’t seem to revert with any success.

  4. Michael September 23, 2014 at 14:14 #

    Can’t get it to work. :(

    Gives the error, “OnTimer: PdhCollectQueryData failed with : 0x800007d5 PDG_No_DATA – No data is available for this performance counter.

    Tried to reconfigure but no counters show up in the drop-down.

  5. Eugen September 29, 2014 at 08:43 #

    You guys should rebuild the Windows performance counter. It worked for me on W7 Professional 64-Bit SP1 and solved the ” PdhAddCounter failed with 0xc0000bb8″ issue.

    Rebuild performance counter with these steps:

    1. Click Start, and then type cmd in the Start Search box.
    2. Right-click cmd in the Programs list, and then click Run as administrator.
    If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation,
    type your password or click Continue
    3. At the command prompt, type the following line, and then press ENTER: Lodctr /r
    4. You will receive the following message:
    “Info: Successfully rebuilt performance counter setting from system backup store”
    5. Exit Command Prompt

    • Eze Uba July 24, 2017 at 06:46 #

      If you try this and get an error Error: Unable to rebuild performance counter setting from system backup store, error code is 2

      Try this:

      C:\Windows\system32>cd ..

      C:\Windows>cd syswow64

      C:\Windows\SysWOW64>Lodctr /r

      Info: Successfully rebuilt performance counter setting from system backup store

      • Geordie May 1, 2018 at 00:12 #

        I looked at the params which seemed to be in caps. After getting error code is 2 I ran Lodctr /R and it worked. Maybe just luck.

  6. Johann Roitner October 22, 2014 at 22:12 #

    Folgendes Problem:
    DiskLED braucht bei einem einzigen Rechner (eigentlich nur bei einer Windows 8-64 Installation auf einer Partition) rund 5MB Arbeitsspeicher. Auf allen anderen Installationen (auch am selben Rechner) ist der Arbeitsspeicherbedarf wesentlich geringer (startet zwar auch bei etwa 5MB sinkt jedoch danach recht rasch ab). Was mache ich falsch?

  7. Christopher January 23, 2015 at 05:25 #

    Hello all, thank you Eugen, I did what you typed and it fixed it works nice too!

  8. satiropan May 15, 2015 at 05:35 #

    Eugen you are great! why didn’t they put a clear explanation as yousr in the first place?
    but now, I can I get it to start at boot? I don’t remember :(

  9. John D July 23, 2017 at 23:10 #

    I have two instances of DiskLED v1.1.1 running on Win 10 Home x64. One instance for Drive “C” and one instance for drive “D” . I was not able to get the program to display two LED icons in the system tray using the INI file so I remarked out the second Performance Counter lines and made two directories with two different INI files to be able to display both my hard drives simultaneously in the tray. My question is can the icon’s background/border color be changed and a “C” or “D” be added via the INI files?

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