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Why do my WMI sensors show error PE263 after updating PRTG?



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After updating PRTG to version (or later), many WMI sensors in my PRTG installation suddenly show a Down status. They also show the error code PE263 with this message:

Sensor could not establish a WMI connection for more than 3 successive intervals. See for more information. (code: PE263)

Where does this error come from? Have you changed something in PRTG that causes this issue? How can I fix error code PE263?

error error-messages pe263 performance-counters prtg wmi

Created on Jan 30, 2017 4:41:01 PM by  Gerald Schoch [Paessler Support]

Last change on Aug 2, 2019 5:47:42 AM by  Maike Behnsen [Paessler Support]

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This article applies to PRTG Network Monitor or later

How to Fix WMI Sensor Error PE263

Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI), the base technology for Windows monitoring by Microsoft, is often the reason why PRTG customers need to contact our technical support team. In many cases, WMI is not properly configured or the WMI system itself on a Windows computer is malfunctioning for some reasons. We have fixed many WMI issues and improved WMI monitoring with PRTG a lot over the years, so in current versions, PRTG basically works fine with WMI. If needed, there are also workarounds for issues that we just cannot fix from our side because they are WMI immanent.

Many WMI Fixes in PRTG 16

While again focusing work on the underlying WMI system of PRTG, we found various hidden issues and fixed them. You can find according entries in the PRTG version history for PRTG 16. With the latest improvements to the WMI system for PRTG version, we have discovered a bigger issue.

If you receive the WMI error PE263 after updating to PRTG version (or later), you will know that your WMI sensors are affected by this issue. These WMI sensors will turn red and show a Down status after a PRTG update, although before the update everything seemed fine. The error message in this case is:

Sensor could not establish a WMI connection for more than 3 successive intervals. See for more information. (code: PE263)

Reasons for WMI Error PE263

Affected WMI sensors did not work properly before PRTG and so did not report an error that actually occurred. These sensors did not receive any data, either not at all or at least for certain time spans, and just remained in the status for the most recent data (for example, in an Up status, but other states were also possible). Graphs and data tables show gaps for these time spans.

The root cause that we identified is the following: Several WMI sensors of PRTG access Windows performance counters via WMI requests. Performance counters and other WMI components sometimes get into a certain status and remain there until they trigger a timeout, for example, because of corrupt performance counters or a damaged WMI stack on the target Windows system.

PRTG was able to recognize the broken WMI connection, but scans of other WMI sensors on this device may still have returned a result. This result contained only a special message but no data and caused the gaps in graphs and tables. However, it did not result in a sensor status change that reflected this error.

We have corrected this issue so PRTG will catch and show this error now. This results in WMI sensor error PE263 after updating to PRTG (or later). If you are affected by this issue, follow the steps below.

Fixing WMI Error PE263

To solve WMI error PE263, first try to repair the performance counters on the target computer.

Rebuilding Windows Performance Counters

According to this Microsoft article, you can manually rebuild all performance counters this way:

  1. Open an administrative command prompt on the Windows computer that you want to monitor.
  2. Rebuild the performance counters with the following commands:
    1. cd c:\windows\system32 lodctr /R
    2. cd c:\windows\sysWOW64 lodctr /R
    3. Note: Command 1 might fail, command 2 should work.
  3. Resync the performance counters with WMI using this command:
  4. Stop and restart the Performance Logs & Alerts (pla) Windows service.
  5. Stop and restart the Windows Management Instrumentation (winmgmt) Windows service.

Check if your affected WMI sensors receive data.

If Rebuilding the Counters Does Not Help

If rebuilding the performance counters does not help and your WMI sensors still show error PE263, we recommend that you consider possible solutions in this article: I have tried a lot of things to fix my WMI. What else can I try to avoid reinstalling Windows?

WMI Error PE264 after Update

Some WMI sensors (multi-query sensors) will show an error message after the update if they showed an Unknown status before the update. You will receive WMI error PE264 in this case. This means that the data returned by the target device is invalid (for example, because of a negative time base) and cannot be properly processed. This is not a PRTG issue but it is caused by the device that you monitor. The error message is:

The host's WMI system is returning invalid data. Please activate "Write sensor result to disk" in this sensor's settings to find out what is going on. (code: PE264)


Find other known WMI issues and suitable workarounds in these articles:

Created on Feb 8, 2017 10:59:17 AM by  Gerald Schoch [Paessler Support]

Last change on Aug 2, 2019 6:03:30 AM by  Maike Behnsen [Paessler Support]

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Disclaimer: The information in the Paessler Knowledge Base comes without warranty of any kind. Use at your own risk. Before applying any instructions please exercise proper system administrator housekeeping. You must make sure that a proper backup of all your data is available.