Troubleshoot With Reliability Monitor
By Stephen Bucaro
Windows Reliability Monitor, available in Windows 7 and Vista, is a built-in utility
that analyzes your PC's event logs and provides a graphical display. To open Reliability
Monitor, in Control Panel, click on the System and Security group link. On the
System and Security page, click on Action Center. In Action Center, just to right
of "Maintenance" click on the down arrow to view all the options. Click on the
link "View reliability history" link.
In the Reliability Monitor chart, the top line represents a "stability index". It's
basically a 1 to 10 score of your systems reliability. If the line drops suddenly,
there is a problem with your system.
The lower part of the chart displays five rows that track events that affect the
relaibility of system, Application failures, Windows failures, Miscellaneous failures,
Warnings, and Information. The (i) information icon indicates that a successful event
occurred. The red (x) error icon indicates a failure occurred. Click on one of the
icons and more detailed information will appear in the Reliability details box at
the bottom of the page.
If you click on an (x), a list of the events related to the error will appear
in the Relaibility details box at the bottom of the page. Select an item in the
list and, in the "Action" column click on "Check for a solution". A message box
will appear with some nonsense information.
For example, I clicked on the very common event "Internet Explorer stopped
responding" and got some useless information. It should have displayed the message
"Use Mozilla Firefox instead of Internet Explorer", that's the solution I used.
The columns in Reliability Monitor chart represent the time-line. You can click
on the link in the upper-left corner of the chart to view either by Days or Weeks.
The small arrows on the left and right sides of the chart allow you to scroll
Reliability Monitor may not be adept at providing solutions, but it does provide
a convenient chart of Windows events and some information to help identify the cause of an error.
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