How to Find Out What is Causing Problems on Your Windows 7 PC

Are you experiencing problems on your PC such as hangs or crashes? Here is one possible way to see what is causing the trouble. Take a look at the Reliability Monitor that comes with Windows 7. For example, if you have had a Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) crash, you may not have gotten a chance to record the error messages. But you can retrieve the data from a BSOD in the Reliability Monitor history. It also can help you find out if a particular application has issues. It displays a timeline for various system events and divides them into failures, warnings and information.

To open Reliability Monitor

  1. Open the Action Center (see how at this link )
  2. Click “Maintenance” to expand the menu
  3. Under “Check for solutions to problems reports”, click “View reliability history”
  4. A report covering a selected period of time like the one in the figure below will open

An alternate way to open Reliability Monitor is the following:

  1. Type “reliability” or just “rel” in the Start search bar
  2. Click “View reliability history”
  3. A report will open

Click a date for more information about a reported event. In the figure below, the date 7/25/12 (shown by the colored bar) has been selected. Two events on that date were logged and are listed in the bottom panel.

Reliability monitor for Windows 7

Go to this Microsoft link for more information on how to use Reliability Monitor for troubleshooting or see this link

Reliability Monitor also comes with Vista. 

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This tips section is maintained by Vic Laurie. Vic runs several websites with Windows how-to's, guides, and tutorials, including a site for learning about Windows and the Internet and another with Windows 7 tips.

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by NoMonkeyNo100 on 1. January 2013 - 5:28  (104140)

The windows search bar works if one has indexing turned on. Personally, I hate all the disk thrasing and slowdowns that come from indexing all my drives. If the indexing has been turned off for some reason, consciously or accidently, your searches will be haphazard at best.

There are a number of alternate well behaved indexing programs out there, but no matter what indexing sometimes can be more of a bother than a help.

by NoMonkeyNo100 on 1. January 2013 - 5:23  (104139)

Great tip Vic.
Using the reliability tool on a Win7 64bit system, I quickly tracked down a recurring problem to its source -a missing dll. Quick out to the net, rounded up the newest version of the missing dll, installed, and Voila! Problem solved.
Things are so easy when you do them right! Accurate info, follow instructions, and things go well. Thanks.

by jimcarter1959 on 28. December 2012 - 14:13  (104045)



works in Windows 8 Pro With Media Center.

by KAHSR (not verified) on 7. August 2012 - 20:14  (97359)

The search with just rev worked fine with my Win7 64bit. Interesting tip, thanks.

by B (not verified) on 7. August 2012 - 18:22  (97353)

Great tip, thank you.

by BearPup (not verified) on 7. August 2012 - 14:17  (97340)

Regardless of how one accesses the Action Center, its a wonderful tip. Thanks very much.

by cyberqueen on 7. August 2012 - 14:10  (97338)

Neither of the instructions for accessing the Reliability Monitor worked on my Windows 7 64-bit computer. When I tried typing rel or reliability into the Start - Search box, I was told there were no matches. Ditto for typing "action" (without quotation marks). But I found that if I simply opened Control Panel, the very first section was Action Center. Duh. I'm not sure why the instructions didn't just say this.

by PaulMcDonald (not verified) on 8. August 2012 - 1:34  (97366)

That is strange. It works great when I type rel or action into the search box. I also have Win 7 64bit.

I also tried your method and thought you must be dreaming :-) until I realised that I had to first change the control panel view from the default category view to showing icons. Then I could see the link.

Sometimes I think it would be easier if there was just a single way of doing things - - - but where would be the fun in that :-)



by Joe A.TT (not verified) on 8. August 2012 - 1:04  (97363)

I just tried typing both "rel" and "act" in the Windows searchbar on my Win 7 x64 machine and "View Reliability Report" and "Action Center" did come up as one of the results. I'm puzzled and can't really say why it doesn't work for you. And yes, the method you described is another way to get to Action Center. Yet another way is via the hidden icons in the Notifications Area of your taskbar. I suspect there are many more ways to get to Action Center (including many shortcuts in Help and Support), so just because it wasn't mentioned, I wouldn't make a fuss about it ;-)


by Divs (not verified) on 6. August 2012 - 19:15  (97309)

Thanks for this. It is very help full.

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