Find causes of your computer problems with Windows Vista’s Reliability Tools

Applicable to Windows Vista

If your computer is unstable or if you suspect that something might be wrong with your computer, there is good news if you are running Windows Vista. With many of the useful feature-sets that Windows Vista offers, the Reliability Tool is something that stands out in its usefulness. You can use these tools to figure out problems with your computer’s reliability. Follow these steps to know how to make use of Windows Vista’s Reliability Tool,


Click on the “Start” button and then click on the “Control Panel” menu option.


Click on "System and Maintenance"

Click on the “System and Maintenance” link.


Click on the "Performance Information and Tools"

Then, click on the “Performance Information and Tools” link.


Click on the "Advanced Tools"

Click on the “Advanced Tools” link on the left.


Open the "Reliability and Performance Monitor"

Click on the “Open Reliability and Performance Monitor” link.


Reliability and Performance Monitor Window

Click thru the UAC prompt and click on the “Reliability Monitor” node on the left side under “Monitoring Tools”. Vista will display the “Reliability Monitor” that has some quite a lot of useful information to diagnose some of the issues.

There are couple of useful things to look at here. Your computer’s historic reliability information is displayed on a timeline. When you click on a timeline you can get more information about the problem. There are icons that represent the severity of those information.


A red icon with an “x” mark indicates that something has failed and is a serious thing to consider. A triangle icon with an exclamation mark indicates that something has not installed or uninstalled properly.  An information icon indicates a “FYI” type of information.

Depends on where these icons appear helps you diagnose the specific problem. If it appears on the very 1st line then that means it is a software install or uninstall issue. If the icon is on the 2nd line then that means it is an application failure. If the icon is on the 3rd line then that means that it could be a hardware failure. If it is on the 4th line then that means it could be because of a Windows failure. And if it is on the 5th line then it could be because of some other failures. Having an understanding of these locations would help you quickly judge the cause of the problem and would help you focus on the important ones first.

I hope you can now make use of Windows Vista’s Reliability Tools to diagnose any of your computer issues, if you many have. If you have any questions or comments regarding this please make sure to ask in comments.

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