*UPDATE* as of October 8th, 2013, the below MPS Reports link is no longer available. Please see the following blog post from our good buddy Yong Rhee, that details more on this change:
Happy Friday AskPerf! Today’s post is a quick overview of the new MPS Reports tool that was released last week. For those of you that have worked on support incidents with us in the past, you’re used to downloading multiple flavors of the MPS Reports based on the issue that you were experiencing. With the new MPS reports, there is only one download, based on your system architecture (x86 or x64). The hosted location for the tool hasn’t changed, so if you had the old MPS Reports page bookmarked, you don’t have to change a thing. This new version of MPS Reports includes in one binary file most of the information that was previously collected by the eight different flavors of MPS Reports that we used previously. So let’s take a look at the new tool …
The supported Operating Systems for the new tool are Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. There are also some prerequisites for running the new tool:
As I mentioned, the new tool is architecture specific. The downloads themselves are fairly small as you can see below.
Once you’ve downloaded the version you need, run it and accept the EULA (notice that the new MPS reports are now part of the Fix it family!).
Once you click next, you’ll have the option to select which machine you want to run the MPS Reports on:
I’m actually downloading this on a Windows 7 machine, but I want to run the MPS Reports on my Windows Server 2008 system, so I’m going to select the second option. For enterprises with systems with no internet connectivity, this will be a common scenario, which is why I’m using it as my example. If your target system has internet connectivity, then the tool checks your system and provides you with links to download missing prerequisites as part of the normal workflow. Below is a screenshot from a Windows XP System:
Getting back to our example though, the MPS Reports tool assumes that you may not have the prerequisites installed on the target machine, so it presents you with an easy method to download the necessary prerequisites:
Downloading the components for Windows XP / Window Server 2003
Downloading the components for Windows Vista
When you click on the “More information” links, you are taken to the relevant download packages for those components. Save the install packages (and the MPS Reports executable) to your removable drive or to a network share that the target machine can access, install them on the target system, and you’re ready to run your MPS Reports …
OK, so my Windows Server 2008 system now has all of the prerequisites installed, and I have a copy of the MPS Reports executable on that system so … let’s run the MPS Reports. To run MPS Reports, you do need administrative privileges, so you may be greeted by the UAC prompt:
When you run MPS Reports on a Windows Vista (or later OS) the files are extracted to a temporary folder in the C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Temp\<GUID>\MPSReports\tools folder (see the screenshot from Process Explorer below). The folder name under temp is randomly generated each time you run the tool. However, once the tool finishes its run, or you cancel execution, the temporary files are removed (but not the folders) :
One of the features in the new version of MPS Reports is the ability to select which diagnostics to run.
The available options are:
For each of these, clicking on the “Link to more info” link brings up a .txt file that provides information about what data is collected. The information for the “General” item is below:
Below are some notes about what information is gathered for specific components that you may be interested in and their associated diagnostic package:
From the Performance team perspective, the diagnostics that we are interested in are the General, Internet and Networking, Business Networks and Server Components ones since they each contain useful components about OS Configuration, Terminal Server properties, File Server configuration and Printing. Once I select these four diagnostics, I click Next and the data gathering begins.
During data collection, the progress meter shows exactly which data is being gathered – the more diagnostics you run, the longer the data collection process will take.
While the tool is running, the output data is collected in the RESULTS subfolder in the MPS Folder temp location.
The data is organized by diagnostic package:
Once the data collection has been completed, you are presented with the following options:
If you are working with a Microsoft Support Engineer, you can select the first option and email the results to them. The results files are compressed into a .CAB file and an email template is created with the file already attached
One thing to be aware of though is that the size of the .CAB file may exceed your email server’s threshold:
If this is the case, you can simply close the email and then click the BACK button to select a different option. In my case, I am going to save the results to a different location so that I can transfer them via other means.
Once I click the FINISH button, the temporary copy of the files is removed. I still have my .CAB file – which is the same size as the one created via the email option. If I open up the .CAB file, the results are still organized in the same fashion as they were in the results folder, so I have the option to extract all the files, and re-compress them into smaller packages:
And with that, we’ve reached the end of this post. One feature that we didn’t cover was the use of configuration (.CONFIG) files and how they relate to generating custom MPS Reports diagnostic results – but that will be a topic for another day. Until next time …
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