October 20, 2003, 12:00 AM — Microsoft's UPTIME Resource Kit Utility, which can be found at
allows you to capture critical data about your systems' availability and
downtime. By collecting this data into Microsoft Excel and building a
trend analysis, you will be able to better manage your infrastructure.
The uptime.exe utility has a few different command line options
available to you when you run it, but the most critical ones are "/s",
which allows you to display key system events and statistics and
"/heartbeat", which allows you to turn on/off the system's heartbeat.
If a system's heartbeat is off, or if you are not running Service Pack 4
or greater, UPTIME may report that the event logs do not contain
sufficient information to calculate system availability. This is because
UPTIME detects an abnormal shutdown (for instance a bluescreen or power
failure) but cannot determine how long the system was down during this
abnormal outage. Therefore, for accuracy of your data, it is recommended
that you enable the heartbeat feature on all of the servers that you
want to manage and report the uptime statistics for. However, before
doing so, please read these two articles so that you understand the
You can enable the heartbeat featured by typing the following command at
a command prompt:
uptime serverName /heartbeat
Anytime before or after you have enabled the heartbeat feature you can
view the vital availability statistics of your server by typing:
uptime serverName /s
See Figure 1 for a sample of what is displayed.
If you want, you can write a simple VBScript that will just gather the
data you need (i.e. System Availability, Total Uptime, etc) and export
it to a CSV file for importing into Excel. I will show you how to do
this in a future article.