We always wonder how we can determine or possibly forecast the reliability of our computers when we plan on doing some important tasks with it. Although this may be approached from different angles and criteria, certain occurrences of interruptions and their regularity can tell us how well a computer is serving us.
By having a concrete record of the manner in which a computer can run its intended software without unnecessary slow downs and aborts, we can get a fair picture of how well the computer is performing. If for example, a computer aborts a software execution routine by displaying a message box that contains incomprehensible or technical information every now and then, I will be left guessing as to the cause of these failures. My initial guesses will lean on a viral attack or malware activity. If the same software has been known to run error free in comparable Windows installations, I will think about changing or upgrading my anti-virus program without basing my reaction on the correct reasons, hence losing money without finding a solution.
The scenario above has been faced by many Windows users, globally. As a result, Windows released a software utility that would seek to answer some of the questions that we ask ourselves about below par software performance. By providing a reliability monitor, Windows enables you to analyze your computer’s performance statistics. This tool is useful since it provides a record of the software errors that have occurred and logs these errors into a historical record that can be used to generate a general performance trend for a specific period of time.
How can a reliability monitor help me?
The reliability monitor offers a summary of your computer’s performance at a glance. This is especially useful since it can inform you of malicious activity that is being triggered by particular software components, allowing you to take remedial action. For example, if you notice a tendency of the computer slowing down significantly, due to no apparent reason, you can track the error details which will eventually help you to identify the cause of the problem.
How can I access the reliability monitor?
Choose Review your computer’s status and resolve issues link in Control Center via: System and Security > Action Center. The view type should be set to Category. Once there, choose: Maintenance > View reliability history.
What is before you is the reliability monitor tool and it will probably display a chart that contains data from a month-on-month basis. In essence it shows what daily occurrences have been taking place on the computer in each week. The reliability is rated highly if the computer experiences no software errors by the end of a particular day. At maximum reliability, the computer will be ideally rated as having a 10 point score.
The reliability monitor incorporates data that includes software errors, the Windows system errors and warnings, miscellaneous errors and other informational prompts. By selecting a day, the lower pane will display the expounded details of the chosen messages.
All alerts are categorized in such a manner that they are allocated their corresponding icon glyphs. This enables you to have quick visual brief on the type of error that occurred and the level of severity of the said error. This can be illustrated by the way some events have a marginal effect on the day’s overall reliability score while fewer occurrences on other days have a great impact on the score.
At the end of the day, you should be concerned with what causes the greatest reliability drop and why it does so. You can achieve this by going over the details that are listed in the Summary section. This section will give you the reasons why a certain occurrence took place. The View technical details option will offer further explanation that will feature the technical details of the event.
Reliability Monitor Shortcut
You can open the reliability monitor by simply typing perfmon /rel into the start menu search area. You can also use the same command to create a desktop shortcut so you can simply press on an icon to start the reliability monitor.
What else can I do with it?
The reliability monitor lists all the software events that take place in the system. In addition to the error messages, the tool will even list the occurrences that concern activities like installation of software. System Administrators are at a great advantage, since they can easily monitor the software activities of a user and can therefore determine the causes of erratic system performance. By knowing what a user installed or uninstalled in the system over a particular period of time they get a starting point in the troubleshooting procedure.
The software components that greatly affect the performance of the system can be easily pointed out due to the significant impact that they have on the reliability score. Therefore the system optimization can be carried out with accuracy and at a shorter time.
Problems that are accumulating and may cause a greater aggregated failure in the future can be easily preempted by analyzing the occurrence of smaller, regular, critical errors that may not have a big impact in their isolation. The system reliability can therefore be tailored to remain high in the immediate future.
As a user of a computer that is used for business critical processes or in a production environment, it is important that you learn about the reliability of your computing systems and then to make sure that the optimum operating state of the system is ensured. The reliability monitor will eventually offer you a means of increasing uptime. You will be able to forecast any future failures whereby system crashes can be easily pointed out by having information on the root causes of the system’s errors.