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I use a handy little freeware tool called MonitorApp, an extremely lightweight Gadget-like program that shows various real-time usage info, such as network usage, memory usage, and CPU load:

enter image description here

Since it needs to run with admin privileges and I want it to run at logon, I used Task Scheduler (in Vista 64-bit, Windows 7 RC 32-bit, and Windows 7 RTM 64-bit) to start it at logon, setting it to "Run with highest privileges" and "Configure for: Vista".

In the Windows 7 RC 32-bit (and Vista 64-bit), this worked perfectly. However, in Windows 7 Professional 64-bit, everything works except the CPU load; in fact, the CPU entry is completely blank (no percentage or usage graph), no matter what kind of compatibility mode/admin/etc I use to run it (either standalone or with Task Scheduler):

MonitorApp Broken

What changed between the RC and the RTM to break this one feature? Am I forgetting/missing an extra compatibility mode or tweak that would let this work properly?

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2 Answers

MonitorApp works just fine (except, the OS is shown as "XP 7600" :) in Windows 7 x86, suppose this is a 64bit issue only.

mind you, the program is well over 4 years old and discontinued. so, we got a fairly good ride out of it :)

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True enough, I guess I didn't try it in the 64bit RC so I can't necessarily expect it to work in the 64bit RTM, but if it worked in Vista64 I'd expect it to work in Win7-64, at least in compatibility mode or something. Too bad it's not open-source. –  Andrew Coleson Aug 31 '09 at 17:43
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So, in the interests of detailing an extremely lame hack, here's something that "works" (with caveats of course):

  1. Install XP Mode (requires Win7 Pro/Enterprise/Ultimate and hardware virtualization support)
  2. Install MonitorApp inside the XP Desktop
  3. Move MonitorApp into C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs (this allows it to be "picked up" by Win7)
  4. Run MonitorApp inside the XP Desktop and set up the features that don't work in Win7 (in my case, only CPU monitoring)
  5. Shut down the XP Desktop
  6. In the Windows 7 Start Menu, choose All Programs->Windows Virtual PC->Windows XP Mode Applications->MonitorApp (Windows XP Mode) (or just search for MonitorApp, of course)
  7. Run MonitorApp normally (in Win7) for the other features you want (machine name, IP, network traffic)
  8. Arrange the two MonitorApp instances (one in Win7, one in "XP Mode") so that they mesh together (or put them on different parts of the screen, whatever you like)

Caveats

  • The reason you probably need to run two instances is that the XP Mode MonitorApp will only be monitoring the VM resources -- RAM, network traffic, IP address, machine name, etc will all reflect the VM and not the host. However, since the CPU is completely shared, the CPU monitor will be accurate for both the guest and the host.
  • The XP Mode application comes in a sized-just-right "window" from the XP Desktop, and due to MonitorApp having a transparent background, this means that your XP Desktop's wallpaper/background color will be brought to your Win7 host, which may be a problem if you use a rotating wallpaper.
  • If you use the "Right Align" option, the two are not likely to line up. I assume this is due to the differences in display drivers between the host and guest (due to the hardware being virtualized), such that the XPM version is about 20 pixels wider.

Here's the two instances, with the top running locally in Win7 to show machine name/processor/IP/network traffic/uptime and the bottom simply showing CPU (with the XP Desktop set to a black background):

enter image description here

Whether this is worth the hassle or not, who knows, but it was a good exercise in getting familiar with XP Mode.

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