Welcome to LanDen Labs
Source Code, Tools, Developer Notes and Performance Metrics

[ To Main Page ]

MagniFile v6.3 (April 2010)

This project started out as a tool to monitor open handles to isolate a handle leak and grew into a stand-alone application. MagniFile starts by displaying the active processes in the top panel. When you select one or more processes, it will try to display the open handle information in the bottom panel. Both panels support printing, exporting and logging. If auto-update and auto-logging is enabled, the information will be logged every time the display updates.

There is nothing new in this program, it is a port of well-know logic in the unmanaged world to access system information. The only twist is I made it available to the .NET world. The program can be built to run on XP32 or XP64.

I also provide a simple C++ command line program Mfile which duplicates some of the functionality of MagniFile.


Feature Summary:

  1. Display Process list
  2. Display Open Handle list by process
  3. Process, Handle and Statistic lists can be exported and printed
  4. Automatic update/refresh (rate selectable)
  5. Manually or automatically Log process and/or handle information.
  6. Both process and handle have a secondary view to display summary information collected over time (short term version of log file).
  7. Handle specific features:
    1. Tries to display description per handle (ex: file name, directory name, registry key name)
    2. List can be pruned by handle type (file, dir, event, key, port, ...)
    3. List can be pruned to display only those with valid descriptions (removes useless handle info)
  8. Auxiliary Dialogs
    1. Display Disk, Drive, NTFS statistic information
    2. Display NTFS disk cluster allocation as an image
    3. Display File disk cluster allocation as an image
  9. All dialogs can be resized (I hate fixed size dialogs)
  10. Major dialogs are not modal (I hate modal dialogs)
  11. List columns can be sorted (two level column sort selection)

How To Use

Both MagniFile and Mfile access a lot of system functions. Make sure you download or build the correct version for your OS (Xp/32 or Xp/64). After you launch MagniFile it should start to update the process list every 5 seconds. Any new process is backlit in green and dead ones in red. When you select one or more processes, it tries to enumerate and describe each handle in the lower panel. Some privileged processes will display no information. Some handle queries time-out and produce a partial handle list. Lastly, some handles will produce no useful description (permission problems).

Once you get a list of handles, you can use the View... menu to prune the display by type and description and/or set a group by order. If you enable group by mode, the sorting stops working.


Both the Process and Handle lists support column sorting. In addition to the normal sorting, if a duplicate is found in the primary sort column, it will defer to the secondary sort column (previously select sort column). The primary sort column has the large triangle/arrow while the secondary has the smaller triangle/arrow.

The process list has a column labeled Log. If you click in this column the Log tag will cycle on or off. If one or more Log tags are set, then only those process lines will be sent to the log file during a log update.


In addition to the Detail process view, there is a Summary view. The summary view contains those lines marked with the Log tag. The summary is updated every time the detail view is refreshed. The Log tag effects both the process summary view and process logging. The summary views will automatically trim their lists to not exceed 100 elements.


The Process, Handle and Statistic lists support automatic update/refresh, manual exporting and printing. The Process and Handle lists provide several update rates via the File menu.


Disk Information

If you need more information, you can click the left icon stat-icon to get a new dialog which displays various file system information. Some of the information will display the change between the start value and the current value.


Use the check boxes at the bottom to change the display information. Press the Help button to get an explanation of the information.


Disk and Files Allocation

If you want to see a disk cluster allocation image, press the right icon cluster-icon. Nothing special, just an image which shows which clusters are allocated. You can overlay a file allocation by:


The file allocation is drawn in the image overlay as small circles. The start and end of the file allocation chain is drawn in a larger orange circle. Here is a zoomed in example showing part of the disk cluster allocation image map, with a file allocation overlay. The file's starting cluster is marked with the larger orange circle. The other file allocation clusters are marked with smaller circles with a tight sequence appearing as a thick colored bar. This example shows two fragments with one large sequential chain.


To help inspect NTFS system files, press the SysFiles button to populate a list of system files. Double click on a file name to view its allocation.


The SaveAs button will allow you to save a screen capture of the dialog to a disk file.

Art Work

The artwork uses the microscope as its metaphor to represent the quest for file information. The top splash banner is made of amoebas and the disk cluster splash screen is a DNA image. The application name MagniFile is a play on the words Magnifier and File


Points of Interest

When you inspect the code you will find the following items:



MagniFile C# source code and executables:

To build executable you need to install MS Chart
To run you need the mschart dll (included in separate zip file)
I can't find MsChart for Windows7. Program runs, but you cannot edit/build code on Windows 7 unless you stub out the chart feature. The following zip file is only require if you don't already have MsChart installed. Place extracted files in the same directory where you store magnifile.exe.

Magnifile v6.3 (requires MsChart)

Older MagniFile v3.5 (does not require mschart)

Mfile v3.7 command line utility