Archive for November, 2007

Performance Counter InstanceName issue

November 21, 2007 LeandroDG No comments

I was creating a performance counter collection to register the processing time for ASP.NET requests, and I decided the best way to name instances was to use Request.Url.Authority + Request.Url.PathAndQuery. This counters would allow me to check average response time, total requests and requests per second, for each Request.Url.Authority + Request.Url.PathAndQuery.

I built the counters and I decided to create a _total instance too, to sum up all the requests being made to the server.

Rarely, the _total instance worked like a charm when looking at it in PerfMon, but the other instances (for example, localhost/Test.aspx?query=x) didn’t show a value, they all showed “—” in the report view of PerfMon. I had no idea what the problem was, but I saw that the failing counters showed up in the counters list with localhost in the Parent column and Test.aspx?query=x in the Instance column.

After some research I found something in this link (

PDH uses the following special characters in a counter path. Providers should not use these characters in their names. If a provider uses these special characters, PDH cannot parse the full counter path to obtain the counter and instances names.

Character Description
Generic separator for computer, object, and counter.
( Beginning of instance name.
) Ending of instance name.
/ Separates instance and parent instance.
#n Identifies a specific occurrence of a same-named instance.
* Wildcard character.

So I decided to replace the mentioned characters which could definetively appear in the InstanceName I was creating with ‘_’ character, and it fixed the problem right away.

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