The Windows Experience Index rating may inherit an incorrect value after you make a change to your computer's hardware configuration or you start Windows Vista for the first time

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Article ID: 933478 - View products that this article applies to.
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SYMPTOMS

In Windows Vista, the Windows Experience Index rating may be displayed as "Unrated," or it may inherit a lower value or a higher value than expected.

You may experience this issue if one of the following conditions is true:
  • You start Windows Vista for the first time.
  • The Windows Experience Index runs before you update a driver.
  • You make a change to your computer's hardware configuration. For example, you add memory or remove memory.
For example, when you first run the Windows Experience Index, the system is rated as 4.0. You later upgrade the graphics card and add more memory to the system. After you do this, the rating is dimmed and is listed as 4.0. However, the rating is also displayed as "Windows Experience Index: Unrated."

CAUSE

This issue occurs when Windows previously tested the system and provided an index rating. If the hardware changed since the initial testing process, the original values are stored until they are updated. This procedure is performed to support existing software and features that rely on the Windows Experience Index rating information.

The Windows Experience Index evaluates the scores of hardware configurations and updates items that have high scores. Each score in the Windows Experience Index relates to a particular hardware item. For example, the Memory score relates to random access memory (RAM). The Graphics score relates to the video card.

The Windows Experience Index may inherit earlier ratings. The index is especially likely to inherit earlier ratings for components that relate to gaming graphics, such as memory.

RESOLUTION

To resolve this issue, use one of the following methods, as appropriate for your situation.

Method 1: When you start Windows Vista for the first time or when the Windows Experience Index runs before you update a driver

To resolve this issue when you start Windows Vista for the first time or when the Windows Experience Index runs before you update a driver, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start
    Collapse this imageExpand this image
    Start button
    , type performance information and tools in the Start Search box, and then click Performance Information and Tools in the Programs list.
  2. If the following information appears, click Refresh Now to update the Windows Experience Index:
    Your Windows Experience Index needs to be refreshed.
    Collapse this imageExpand this image
     User Account Control permission
    If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or click Continue.

    Windows Experience Index assesses the components in the computer.
  3. Note the value that appears next to Your computer has a Windows Experience Index base score of.
  4. Click Update my score.

    Collapse this imageExpand this image
     User Account Control permission
    If you are prompted for an administrator password or for confirmation, type the password, or click Continue.

    Windows Experience Index assesses the components in the computer.
Note On mobile systems, plug in the main power source before you run the performance tests. When you run the tests, we recommend that you do not use the system for any other tasks. Additionally, be aware that the screen may temporarily go blank.

Method 2: Update the Windows Experience Index from Control Panel

To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start.
  2. Right-click Computer.
  3. Click Properties.
  4. Click Windows Experience Index: Unrated.
  5. Click Refresh Now.

Method 3: Update the Windows Experience Index at a command prompt

To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, type Command Prompt in the Start Search box, and then press ENTER.
  2. Type the following command, and then press ENTER:
    winsat formal

Method 4: After you change the computer's hardware configuration

To resolve this issue after you change the computer's hardware configuration, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start
    Collapse this imageExpand this image
    Start button
    , type the following path in the Start Search box, and then press ENTER:
    %SYSTEMROOT%\Performance\WinSat\DataStore
  2. Delete all the .xml files in the folder.
  3. Follow the steps in method 1.

STATUS

This behavior is by design.

MORE INFORMATION

The Base score value in Windows Experience Index displays the minimum value for the five components that Windows Vista tests to determine the Windows Vista Experience Index. Therefore, the Base score value represents the value of the lowest sub-score when Windows Vista tests the components in the computer. Windows Vista tests the following five components:
  • Processor
  • Memory (RAM)
  • Graphics
  • Gaming graphics
  • Primary hard disk
Consider the following example.

The following table displays results from Windows Vista Experience Index:
Collapse this tableExpand this table
ComponentWhat is ratedSub-score
ProcessorCalculations per second4.8
Memory (RAM)Memory operations per second4.9
GraphicsDesktop performance for Windows Aero5.0
Gaming graphics3D business and gaming graphics performance4.9
Primary hard diskDisk data transfer rate4.5
In this example, Windows Vista sets the Base score value as 4.5 because the lowest value for these tests is 4.5.

For more information about Windows Experience Index, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://windowshelp.microsoft.com/Windows/en-US/Help/f59082f4-6385-4a61-ba7e-2de9625a780a1033.mspx

Properties

Article ID: 933478 - Last Review: May 28, 2008 - Revision: 3.2
APPLIES TO
  • Windows Vista Ultimate
  • Windows Vista Business
  • Windows Vista Enterprise
  • Windows Vista Home Basic
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • Windows Vista Enterprise 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Home Basic 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit Edition
Keywords: 
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