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.

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