Reliability Monitor and Windows 7 (How it saved my life!)

Ok, so maybe it didn't save my life, but it sure does help me discover what's really happening on my users' computers. No longer do I have to rely on answers from the users. I can simply look at the history of their computer and see new installs, crashes and other valuable information in the Reliability Monitor.

To access the Windows 7 Reliability Monitor the fast way:

  1. Simply click Start, type Reliability and click the View reliability history link that is displayed with the blue flag.
  2. Once in the interface, you can scroll through the history viewing errors, warnings and information entries by clicking on them.

 

The information displayed in the Reliability Monitor will include device driver installations, software installations, system crashes, application crashes, failed installations and more. You can export the data to an XML file, which could then be analyzed by other reporting applications, for example, Crystal Reports supports XML data sources.

Interestingly, Microsoft removed the feature to view remote computers' reliability data through the GUI interface of the Windows 7 Reliability Monitor. With the new tools, to view the reliability data on remote computers, you must use PowerShell , which, quite frankly, sucks in comparison to the graphical view in my opinion. However, there is a nice article at the TechNet Magazine website that gives you the basics of PowerShell and reliability data here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/dd535685.aspx.

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