Windows Vista introduced us to the Reliability and Performance Monitor utility to help keep track of hardware and software crashes. It’s now a stand alone utility in Windows 7 and we will take a look at how to access and use it.
Reliability and Performance Monitor in Vista
In Vista the Reliability Monitor was part of the Reliability and Performance Monitor utility. Now it’s a separate utility in Windows 7 and located in a different spot in the OS.
Reliability Monitor in Windows 7
To access the Reliability Monitor in Windows 7, open Action Center from the icon in the Notification Area or from Control Panel.
Under the Maintenance options click on View reliability history.
Alternately you can enter Reliability Monitor into the search box in the Start menu.
The Reliability Monitor opens and you can start checking out where and when hardware or software errors have occurred.
On the chart you’ll see icons for warnings and failures based on a scale from 1 to 10 (1 being least stable and 10 the most stable). Click on the date where errors have occurred so you can view the details.
You can choose between Days or Weeks View.
In the details section you can click on any of the errors and get the technical details.
The Problem Details section tells you what the problem is, date and time it happened, and a description of the problem. You can copy the details to the clipboard in case you need to email it to tech support.
It also allows you to View all problem reports that will show only computer errors. It doesn’t show other events like software installations.
It provides a list of problems on the computer, luckily in this example there is only one issue.
Double click on any error in the list to get detailed results.
You can also click on Check for solutions to all problems.
When a solution is found, the information is presented in Action Center under the Maintenance section. In this example there is a wireless network adapter that’s missing a driver. It provides a link to the driver and gives directions on how to download and install it.
If you are experiencing problems with your Windows 7 machine such as devices not working or are getting different error messages, the Reliability Monitor is a good place to start looking for a solution.
Programmer by day, geek by night, The Geek, also known as Lowell Heddings, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on Google+ if you'd like.
- Published 12/9/09