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Posted 20 Dec 2004

Get CPU Usage with GetSystemTimes

, 20 Dec 2004
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Get CPU usage with GetSystemTimes.
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      From a very long time, a lot of people wanted to get the CPU usage from the computer.

      You've a lot of way to do this like calling registry like key or PerfCounter. But TaskManager doesn't call any of these ... If you're looking from the import table of TaskManager you can find:

        Import Adress Table: 0x00001414
        Import Name Table: 0x00013C2C
            0x7C90E213 260 NtQueryVirtualMemory
            0x7C90DDF9 209 NtOpenThread
            0x7C90D586 103 NtClose
            0x7C90E1AA 255 NtQuerySystemInformation

      So there is no other solution to have this information to dig into undocumented NtQuerySystemInformation. With this nice warning at the beginning of the article:[ NtQuerySystemInformation is available for use in Windows 2000 and Windows XP. It may be altered or unavailable in subsequent versions. Applications should use the alternate functions listed in this topic.]

      No other solution?

      Well GetSystemTimes is a good function if you have the Requirements

      Client         Requires Windows XP SP1. 
      Server         Requires Windows Server 2003. 
      Header         Declared in Winbase.h; include Windows.h.
      Library        Link to Kernel32.lib.
      DLL            Requires Kernel32.dll. 

      How to use it?

      Call this :

      FILETIME idleTime;
      FILETIME kernelTime;
      FILETIME userTime;
      BOOL res = GetSystemTimes( &idleTime, &kernelTime, &userTime );

      and voilà you have almost what you need.

      Now you have to poll this function and make a little calculus.

      usr = userTime - last_userTime;
      ker = kernelTime - last_kernelTime;
      idl = idleTime - last_idleTime;

      System time is:

      sys = kerl + usr

      idleTime is the rest because "System Idle" process is taking 100 % of CPU.

      So CPU is :

      cpu = int( (sys - idl) *100 / sys );


      It was a very long wait before Microsoft gave us this function. Now it's done but there is still one problem. For multiple processor system, you don't have the right information.

      In the sample you can find the use of GetSystemTimes and GetProcessTimes and a little class to do everything.

      class CPU
        CPU( void );
        ~CPU( void );
        // return :
        // % of cpu usage for this process 
        // % cpu systemUsage 
        // uptime for this process
        int GetUsage( int* pSystemUsage, TKTime* pUpTime );
    • License

      This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under A Public Domain dedication


      About the Author

      Web Developer
      United Kingdom United Kingdom

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      Comments and Discussions

      QuestionWhen I use this function, I encountered an error that this function is undeclared, do you know why? Pin
      love_fairytale13-Mar-12 23:12
      memberlove_fairytale13-Mar-12 23:12 
      AnswerRe: When I use this function, I encountered an error that this function is undeclared, do you know why? Pin
      ejor20-Mar-12 4:13
      memberejor20-Mar-12 4:13 

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