Windows SDK Hidden Gems Part 3: TcpAnalyzer.exe and Consume.exe

I’ve been writing about some of the useful but sometimes overlooked tools in the Windows Software Development Kit for Server 2008 and .NET Framework 3.5.    For this installment, let’s have look at couple of tools that are related in that they are both used for testing. Check out my other ‘hidden gems’ posts, Part 1: Windows Installer Verbose Log Analyzer and Part 2: XAMLPad.


Your new application works great most of the time, but it inexplicably pauses for long periods of time. You suspect that it might be the connection to the backend server. TcpAnalyzer.exe is the tool to use to figure out what’s going on.

The tool displays a constantly updating list of all network connections in and out of your machine.


It allows you to zero in on a particular connection and log performance information for that connection.


It gives you the information needed to pin down network related delays or unexpected high traffic that might be slowing the network connection.


This command line tool can consume system resources for a specified amount of time and is useful for reproducing errors that might be caused by resource starvation.

The resources it can consume include physical memory, page file space, disk space, kernel pool, and CPU time.

As an example, start Windows Task Manager (Start->Run->taskmgr.exe) and select the Performance tab. Next, open the Windows SDK CMD window (Start->All Programs->Windows SDK v6.1->CMD Shell) and enter the following “consume.exe  -cpu-time -time 15”. You’ll see the CPU Usage History chart(s) climb to maximum for 15 seconds.

For other options use “consume.exe /?”

In closing…

These are just two of the many tools included in the Windows Software Development Kit for Server 2008 and .NET Framework 3.5.  A summary of the tools included with the Windows SDK can be found at C:\Program Files\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v6.1\Bin\StartTools.htm, which can be also be launched from a shortcut key on the Start Menu.

I will keep hunting for gems and report them here.


The MSDN Windows SDK Developer Center is the place to find resources and links to Windows SDK products, release notes, technical articles, and more.

Comments (2)

  1. My latest in a series of the weekly, or more often, summary of interesting links I come across related to Visual Studio. Pablo Galiano posted an explanation of the Zip file support in VS 2008 – Zip and unzipping with VS . Visual Studio KB: Error message

Skip to main content