Tuesday, May 5, 2009

System & Hardware Notifications

One much-requested application for GFW integration is hardware/system monitoring. To address that need, I am releasing an early version of System Monitor - a hardware/system monitoring application with full Growl support.

System Monitor Notification

System Monitor

Out of the box, System Monitor can provide alerts for the following events:

  • Low Disk Space (configurable by drive)
  • Event Log Entries (filter by log and source)
  • Network Connection Status
  • Ping Host Failed (configurable host address)
  • Battery Low
  • Battery Critical
  • USB Device Inserted
  • USB Device Removed

System Monitor is also modular, so it is not too hard to add support for additional events in the future.

Configuration Options

This is an early release to solicit your feedback. As such, the application is aimed more at developers and sysadmins than regular users. All monitor configuration currently requires editing an xml file (there are plans to add a configuration UI in a later release), and there may be bugs or strange behavior. If that doesn't scare you off, then I invite you to download System Monitor and give it a whirl.

Download System Monitor (Installer)

Download System Monitor (Zip)

Any comments, suggestions, feedback, or bug reports are always welcome.

Leave feedback in the Growl for Windows Google Group


  1. Crashes upon launch on Vista x64.

  2. having the same crashing issue on Win7 X64

  3. that is my fault - i forgot to set the assemblies to run in x86 mode only. i will put up a new version shortly with the fix.

    thanks for reporting this.

  4. ok - i posted a new version that should work on 64-bit systems: http://www.growlforwindows.com/gfw/d.ashx?f=plugins/SystemMonitorSetup.zip

    please try that out and let me know if it is still crashing.

  5. seems to be good now, thank you!

  6. I've run the setup, but the plugin doesn't show up under "Applications" in the Growl Settings dialog. And that xml file is located where, exactly? I'm using Windows 7 RC1, 64-bit.

  7. the app wont show up in the 'Applications' tab until it (System Monitor) has been run at least once.

    The xml file is located in the installation directory whereever you installed System Monitor. (ex: c:\program files\SystemMonitor). the file is named SystemMonitor.exe.config, but it is just an .xml file.

    if you want, you can just run System Monitor before editing the xml file just to verify that it is working and registes with Growl correctly. if it does, then you can shut it down and edit the file and then re-run it.

  8. This is looking good! Just a small feature request: could you include the option to start the program minimised to the system tray. It is sort of annoying to have to hide it every time I start it.

  9. re: start minimized to system tray

    this is already done and will be in the next release (hopefully over the weekend or maybe monday). thanks for the feedback.

  10. the new version i just posted (5/11/2009) starts minimized to the system tray. give it a try and let me know if you have any other feedback.

  11. When i try to disable the ping section from

    ! ....



    system monitor crashes. How can i disable the pings to spiderman and mcgee?

  12. RE: Joe C

    you can use the config file from here:

    either copy and paste the contents over your existing file, or save the file and rename it (remove the .txt extension) and replace your existing file.

  13. how do you set it to alert to low battery level?, otherwise, it works fine on windows 7 x86

  14. Please distribute in an zip/rar/7zip format!
    I'm trying to make grow 'portable' and this msi packages aren't friendly to extract!


  15. You run .msi packages like .exe files. They are just an installer.

  16. doesnt seem to show usb on my vista x64 machine.

  17. @Anonymous - re: usb on x64

    i will try to have a look. i dont have a 64-bit machine to test on, so if it is specifically related to 64-bit, i cant guarantee a timeframe for when it will be fixed. hopefully it is something else and i will be able to put a fix in.

    thanks for reporting the issue.

  18. Application crash when using accented caracters, for example, as the label for a ping in the xml file.

  19. dude. the main program of growl that i install in my system always crash. i tell me something about the .NET framework that not associated with my system. when i try to install the latest .NET framework from Microsoft website, the installer pop up and said that i do not need the .NET installation cause it integrated with my system update(i running window vista). can someone help?

  20. @Ahmad - if you can post the actual error message that you receive, that would be very helpful in figuring out what the issue is.

  21. is there any way to add HTTP monitoring?

  22. re: http monitoring - i would like to add this to the System Monitor, but i am not sure of the time frame of when it will be availalbe.

    in the meantime, i do know of another Growl-compatible app that monitors websites: http://groups.google.com/group/growl-for-windows/browse_thread/thread/893fad321f9a1a4e - check that one out and maybe it will do what you need until i get the System Monitor updated.

  23. is there any way for this to monitor a raid array? id like it to monitor a Raid 5 i have set up and tell me if any of the disks fail/go offline.

    any pointers on how to go about this?

  24. I love it, keep up the most awesome work.
    Top job. Works fine and easy to configure.

  25. Any way to monitor login attempts or general events in the event and security logs?

  26. @Anonymous - re: event log monitoring
    you can add event log monitoring by specifying the log (Application, Security, System, etc) and the event source (Security, Disk, .NET Runtime, etc). see the .config file for an example.

  27. Great app. Any plans to expand what ports can be monitored? I would like to be able to monitor my clients' mail servers (port 25.) I also need to monitor some Lotus Domino servers (port 1382.)

  28. How about a monitor event for processor usage? It would be useful to know whent the processor has been at some threshold percent for a specified period of time...
    "Processor has been over 95% for 5 minutes"

  29. Can I get notification of event logs in the critical and error level category?

  30. @Anonymous - re: category level

    unfortunately, right now you can only specify the Log (Application, System, Security, etc) and the Source. i will try to add Category filtering as well, but i cant promise a timeline.

  31. You can create a custom view in event viewer - using that the the filter for events would be ideal.

  32. Excellent plugin. Would like to see a process watcher as well- for instance, notify when/if the virusscan kicks off, or if a process ends (something dies unexpectedly).

    Overall, can see much usage. Would be easier to eval if the included XML started with everything on as an example.

  33. I get a notification every so often saying that the "microsoft kernel audio driver" has been added and removed. I'm assuming it has something to do with Windows disabling idle hardware drivers... but I can't seem to figure out how to stop it. Quite annoying. Any ideas?

  34. @Nick - i have never seen that specific notification, but i assume you are right that it is Windows disabling stuff internally. i am assuming this is a USB-related notification (check the icon to see which type it is). if so, you can set GfW to not show USB-related notifications at all (but you would not get any others either). there is no way to suppress just one specific notification like that.

  35. Very nice :)

    I would like it to display time as well. Like the SnarlClock "it's 2 o' clock" message.
    Maybe in a next version?

  36. Growl alert for the CD/DVD tray openeing would be great (I'd know when discs have finished burning), could this be added in the future please?
    Thanks, Sam.

  37. Really excellent work - this is great. Would also like to have port and service/process monitoring, that'd really top it off! :)

  38. nice... wouldn't it be cool if it could also monitor a syslog textfile and depending on the severity or source etc would present a growl with the source as title and the message as body?

  39. I recently uninstalled this app and am having a problem. How do I get the ballons (Windows 7) to pop up again? No ballons come up, and in the taskbar settings show all icons and notifications is CHECKED. I am running Windows 7 Home Premium, 32 bit.

  40. @Laertes - the System Monitor app doesnt do anything to the normal Windows balloons, so whether it is installed or uninstalled, you should get your normal Windows balloons the same as always.

  41. Ping portion does not work for me. I have had things running overnight and wondered if they "were" in fact working... so I unplugged the network cable on the computer being monitored thru Ping, I then waited for 35 minutes with no alerts that the ip was not responding to pings. I did not get an alert until after I restarted the System Monitor.

  42. Is there any documentation on what different types of notifications can be used etc?

    I am trying to see if there is a way to add a notification to let me know if an ip address is unreachable and then becomes reachable etc.
    I don't want a notification every interval if it is down, only if the stat has changed since the last attempt. So if it has been down for days, then get a notification when it comes up, and then another one when it goes down again.


  43. Awesome product. Got it monitoring internal websites that alert my iPhone through Prowl.

    Would love some port & processor monitoring, and maybe some MySQL server monitor (or that could just be a mysqld.exe process monitor)!

    Great job!

  44. Great App! I've got several drives in my machine. Is there a way to get notification when a drive dies?

  45. Great! I like the notifications it allows, and I can see if someone tries to ping me...

  46. Is there a way for it to monitor the "Microsoft-Windows-Backup/Operational" Log under event monitoring?

    Right now it crashes when I set the log value to "Microsoft-Windows-Backup/Operational"

  47. I have tried to install this package 3 times now.. incl. restarting.. But its still not showing in Growl App list.. Could you please help?


  48. OK got it.. typed System monitor in the run command and it started working..

    Gr8 work... Can we please have the dropbox notifier..


  49. Greetings,

    Any plans to make this open source (if it isn't already--granted I haven't totally perused the main distribution)? I'd love to help deal with some odd issues, especially the app's pull on CPU when it checks with WMI for USB dis/connected devices (it incurs a huge performance penalty, at least on my desktop).

    Would love to be able to help, if I can...

    Thanks for these wonderful programs!
    --Quinn Ebert

  50. +1 for clock monitoring "It's 2:00PM", etc
    +1 for system log source and category filter monitoring
    Would also like to be able to mute notifications. If I have system monitor pinging a resource every X minutes, when that resource goes down, I get notified every X minutes. Would be nice if I could mute just that notification type for a configurable period of time.
    Like @Quinn Ebert suggested, this might be a good app to go open source. I think it could do quite a lot with all the collective minds working on it.
    Great app, by the way.

  51. Quinn, Skip, and everyone else who is interested: I planning to open-source this code and am looking for someone to take ownership of the project. Check out http://groups.google.com/group/growl-for-windows/browse_thread/thread/bfe5c44acdb0e01a for more info.

  52. Hi. I'm Skip. I am maintaining this project now. It is open source, so if anyone wants to help, just let me know. A new release will be coming out Very Soon (hopefully in the next day or two). Even if you can't help with the coding, just leaving feedback here will help me decide what features to work on next.
    Cheers! :)

  53. Can't delete tasks!!!!!!!!!!

  54. With version 1.1.0, you have to manually edit the configuration file. With version 1.2.0, I have written a configurator app to do the editing for you. It should be out soon.

  55. If this project is truly now "open source" as stated above, you're required by that standard to have a link to the source code in an easy-to-find place. I only bring it up cause I'm trying to get the Event Log Monitor to notify me when someone logs into one of my application servers. I'm not even sure if this project CAN do what I need, but being able to view the source would help me work out the details as the field descriptions are kind of ambiguous and I can't find any examples of what to put in the fields anywhere. Any help would be most appreciated. Thanks in advance! :)

  56. That's reasonable. You are the first to ask. I'll put it up on my website tonight.
    Care to share what it is that you hope to accomplish with it?

  57. It was requested that I post the source code for SystemMonitor. No problem. Here it is:
    Now, please go easy on me. This was my VERY FIRST C# project. Please don't post my code on http://thedailywtf.com/ (although it probably deserves it). Anyway, if posting it makes it better, then I am all for it.

  58. Just started using System Monitor and it looks pretty cool; thanks for your work on it.

    Had a couple of questions/observations (v1.2.1 with gfw v2.0.9 on a windows server 2008 r2 machine):
    * The msi installer put System Monitor into my start menu as [ProductName]
    * any thoughts about putting the code in a git repo or something, since you're clearly willing to share it?

  59. Hi there, was trying to the systemmonitor for the first time. Want to get this running on my Windows Home Server 2011 server and am unable to get the the configurator to save the file. It gives this error msg:

    There was an error saving your new configuration file. The actual error message was: The process cannot access the file
    'C:\Users\Administrators\AppData\Roaming\SystemMonitor\SystemMonitor.xml' because it is being used by another process.

    Any idea how to fix or get around the problem? Thanks in advance!

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