Is there a way to view the number of dirty pages (cached file pages that need to still be written to disk) in Windows Server 2003?

In Windows 7, for example, I can use Performance Monitor and use the "Dirty Pages" counter (one of the cache counters). This counter does not seem to be available in Server 2003. Also on Windows 7 (and other later systems), I can use Sysinternals RAMMap and effectively see the dirty pages on a file-by-file basis.

Is there something similar for Server 2003?

  • I hate to say it, but #$@& like this is exactly why I'm migrating off of and/or rebuilding the remaining 2003 servers in my environment slightly faster than is humanly possible. Finding supported utilities for 2003 and XP is only going to get harder going forward too, so maybe this is a chance to say nope, not possible, this is why we need to move this to Server 2008 R2 or Server 2012. Oct 26 '12 at 23:00
  • Well ... it is 10 year old technology so I can't complain too much. I work on a product where some people use versions that were released 10 years ago and want features that we have added to the recent versions. But it just doesn't make sense to make changes to the older versions. The cost is enormous when we count the cost of testing, building installs, documentation, etc. And all for free (and for a very few people). Oct 28 '12 at 21:16

A little search on the question brought me to this KB article - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/920739 -

May not be your best choice but should solve your problem, where to identify count of dirty pages , you will have to resort to the below steps -

Use the !defwrites command in the kernel debugger. This command displays the values of the kernel variables that the cache manager uses, and it displays the values of the threshold and of the actual dirty pages that are in the cache. When you run this command, you may receive output that resembles the following:

CcTotalDirtyPages: 14 (0 Kb)
CcDirtyPageThreshold: 130941 (0 Kb)
MmAvailablePages: 62445 (0 Kb)
MmThrottleTop: 450 (0 Kb)
MmThrottleBottom: 80 (0 Kb)
MmModifiedPageListHead.Total: 43 (0 Kb)

You may experience the problem that is described in this article if the CcTotalDirtyPages value is close to the CcDirtyPageThreshold value.

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