Monitoring Vista’s Reliability and Health

Windows Vista provides a couple of interesting tools that can help it’s user (or an IT Technician)
with monitoring its health. I know that this comparison is going to sound a bit odd yet these
tools are similar to what a doctor uses when looking at a patient. The first tool that I will describe
is called ‘Reliability Monitor’,this tool provides the ‘patients’ history. The second tool is a report of
the current status and it is called:’System Health Report’.


Reliability Monitor

The reliability monitor will provide information about a systems history. The information provided
can be divided into two groups:quick and in-depth. The quick information you are provided with
is an index that will rate the systems reliability.
The index is a number between 0 and 10 that is affected by events that affect your system.The index
is calculated on a daily basis.
A higher index will point towards a more reliable system,while a lower index will point towards an unstable
system.

The events that affect the index(and the system) are grouped into the following categories:

  1. Software (Un)Installs
  2. Application Failures
  3. Hardware Failures
  4. Windows Failures
  5. Misc. Failures

To reach the Reliability Monitor:

  1. Right click the Computer icon
  2. Choose Manage
  3. Expand Reliability and Performance
  4. Expand Monitoring Tools
  5. Choose Reliability Monitor

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As you can see, you can check what happened each day and what affected your system. You can identify
reoccurring issues and their interval if need be. The information itself is gathered and processed by a hidden
scheduled task called:’RACAgent’.


System Health Report

The system health report provides a report about the current state of the systems health. The report is very
comprehensive and it will note anything that seems out of order.

To build such a report(a bit too complicated in my opinion):

  1. Right click the Computer icon and choose Properties
  2. Click the Windows Experience Index
  3. On the left pane(Tasks) choose Advanced Tools
  4. Choose ‘Generate a system Health Report’
  5. Wait for approximately 60 seconds and review the report

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Conclusion

As mentioned earlier, when reviewing a patient a doctor needs the patients history and current status, these
pieces fill the puzzle and provide a comprehensive picture about the patient. In a similar manner when an IT
representative or a home user need to tend to a system they can use the Reliability Monitor and the System
Health Report.

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