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Getting CPU Usage in a Multiprocessor Machine

, 30 May 2005 Ms-PL 126.3K 2.6K 36
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Getting CPU usage in a multiprocessor machine.


Ever since I saw 'Performance' application on Windows 2000, I wondered if there is a way / Windows API to programmatically determine CPU usage for each of the individual CPUs in a multi-processor machine. Though there are many articles for getting the CPU usage, none helped when it came to multi-processor machines.

After some digging in MSDN, I could find WMI (Windows Management and Instrumentation) has a few performance counter classes. I chose to use the Win32_PerfRawData_PerfOS_Processor class in this case as it is supported on Windows 2000 onwards.

How to use it?

Follow these seven steps:

Step 1: Initialize COM:


Step 2: Set COM security levels:

        -1,                          // COM authentication
        NULL,                        // Authentication services
        NULL,                        // Reserved
        RPC_C_AUTHN_LEVEL_DEFAULT,   // Default authentication 
        RPC_C_IMP_LEVEL_IMPERSONATE, // Default Impersonation  
        NULL,                        // Authentication info
        EOAC_NONE,                   // Additional capabilities 
        NULL                         // Reserved

Step 3: Obtain the initial locator to WMI:

   IWbemLocator *pLoc = NULL;

   hres = CoCreateInstance(
        IID_IWbemLocator, (LPVOID *) &pLoc);

Step 4: Connect to WMI through the IWbemLocator::ConnectServer method:

    IWbemServices *pSvc = NULL;
    // Connect to the root\cimv2 namespace with
    // the current user and obtain pointer pSvc
    // to make IWbemServices calls.
    hres = pLoc->ConnectServer(
         _bstr_t(L"ROOT\\CIMV2"), // Object path of WMI namespace
         NULL,                    // User name. NULL = current user
         NULL,                    // User password. NULL = current
         0,                       // Locale. NULL indicates current
         NULL,                    // Security flags.
         0,                       // Authority (e.g. Kerberos)
         0,                       // Context object 
         &pSvc                    // pointer to IWbemServices proxy

Step 5: Set security levels on the proxy:

       pSvc,                        // Indicates the proxy to set
       RPC_C_AUTHN_WINNT,           // RPC_C_AUTHN_xxx
       RPC_C_AUTHZ_NONE,            // RPC_C_AUTHZ_xxx
       NULL,                        // Server principal name 
       NULL,                        // client identity
       EOAC_NONE                    // proxy capabilities 

Step 6: Use the IWbemServices pointer to make requests of WMI:

    IEnumWbemClassObject* pEnumerator = NULL;
    HRESULT hres = pSvc->ExecQuery(
        bstr_t("SELECT * FROM Win32_PerfRawData_PerfOS_Processor"),

Step 7: Get data from the query in step 6.

    IWbemClassObject *pclsObj;
    while (1)
        HRESULT hr = pEnumerator->Next(WBEM_INFINITE, 1, &pclsObj, &uReturn);

        if(0 == uReturn)

          VARIANT vtProp;

          hr = pclsObj->Get(L"PercentProcessorTime", 0, &vtProp, 0, 0);

          // Use it

           hr = pclsObj->Get(L"TimeStamp_Sys100NS", 0, &vtProp, 0, 0);

          // Use it


I have tried to keep the source code in the attached project simple. So I have taken the number of processors as the input though you may like to programmatically get the number of processors using GetSystemInfo Win32 API.

I have tested it on Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional OS running on a dual processor machine. It should work on Windows XP/ Windows 2003 Server as well.


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL)


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Comments and Discussions

GeneralNot Practical Pin
VitalyTomilov6-Jun-08 8:38
memberVitalyTomilov6-Jun-08 8:38 
Questionerror C2061:syntax error : identifier 'DWORD_PTR' Pin
thaithiensu12-Feb-08 21:53
memberthaithiensu12-Feb-08 21:53 
GeneralC# Code Available Pin
Adam L. Stevenson30-Dec-07 6:25
memberAdam L. Stevenson30-Dec-07 6:25 
GeneralRe: C# Code Available Pin
Member 296291322-Jul-08 7:12
memberMember 296291322-Jul-08 7:12 
GeneralRe: C# Code Available Pin
Manish K. Agarwal29-Mar-10 22:01
memberManish K. Agarwal29-Mar-10 22:01 
GeneralRe: C# Code Available Pin
lalit.k.bhatia21-Sep-14 18:31
memberlalit.k.bhatia21-Sep-14 18:31 
GeneralDevision By Zero Pin
_pmneo_18-Nov-06 8:48
member_pmneo_18-Nov-06 8:48 
GeneralRe: Devision By Zero Pin
_pmneo_18-Nov-06 14:17
member_pmneo_18-Nov-06 14:17 
GeneralRe: Devision By Zero Pin
Finix21-Mar-07 19:16
memberFinix21-Mar-07 19:16 
GeneralRe: Devision By Zero Pin
BimalV11-Jul-07 1:44
memberBimalV11-Jul-07 1:44 

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