Windows 7 Reliability Monitor

Windows 7 Reliability Monitor Windows 7 Reliability Monitor

As its name suggests, here is where you look to get details about programs not responding, or hardware that’s failing, in fact anything that affects the system’s reliability.

One of the best features of the Reliability Monitor is its ability to keep data for months, thus the graph not only shows trends, but also tracks-back to when a problem started.

Topics for Reliability Monitor


Finding the Windows 7 Reliability Monitor

In Windows 7, Microsoft has uncoupled the Reliability Monitor from Perfmon; as a result it took me ages to find its new location in the Control Panel –> Action Center –> Maintenance, View reliability history.  See screenshot below.

Action Center - View reliability history

Alternatively, type ‘Reliability’ in the Windows 7 Search dialog box, then click on ‘View reliability history’.

Solarwinds Config GeneratorGuy Recommends: The Free Config Generator

SolarWinds’ Config Generator is a free tool, which puts you in charge of controlling changes to network routers and other SNMP devices.  Boost your network performance by activating network device features you’ve already paid for.

Guy says that for newbies the biggest benefit of this free tool is that it will provide the impetus for you to learn more about configuring the SNMP service with its ‘Traps’ and ‘Communities’. Try Config Generator now – it’s free!

Download your free copy of Config Generator

Example of a Reliability Monitor Chart

The Reliability Monitor shows a timeline of software and hardware changes, application failures, and shutdown problems.  The Windows 7 version collects the data using WMI (Windows Management Interface) and this explains why there is no executable such as resmon.  WMI also enables you to collect reliability data using Windows PowerShell scripts. 

All this makes this monitor more finely tuned compared with its Vista equivalent.  Incidentally, if you subscribe to the Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP), these are the data events that get sent back to Microsoft.

 Windows 7 Reliability Monitor Reset

The chart above show three Application failures, which keep the score card (blue line) below the maximum of 10.  Note that the five categories which the monitor displays are Application, Windows, Miscellaneous failures, Warnings and Information.  Usually the chart defaults to Days, but if | Weeks is highlighted you may wish to click on view by: Days.

Getting the Most from the Windows 7 Reliability Monitor


When troubleshooting problems such as programs hanging or hardware freezing, the Reliability Monitor is the tool that everyone forgets; this is a pity because it can pin-point when a failure started.  Such knowledge is invaluable in detecting what changes happened, which resulted in a failure in some other component.  For specific information about the failure itself simply double click on the red cross.  When you do find the fault, then you can return to other troubleshooting tools such as looking in the event logs, and searching for a restore point just before the first failure.

For some users it’s a badge of honour to obtain and keep a scorecard of 10.  My feeling that this may be at the expense of not using a machine to it’s full potential.  Guy says it’s better to work normally even if this means suffering a few failures which you then eliminate, or else just accepting that Internet Explorer does hang once in a while.

In Vista there was a notorious error where the System Log jammed and stopped the Reliability Monitor, but that fault seems to have been another Vista problem that has been ironed out of Windows 7.

How to Reset the Reliability Monitor’s History

Let us suppose that you wish to start again and clear the Reliability Monitor’s history, this is how to do it:

  • You need to locate the RAC folder, it’s usually at:
    C: \ProgramData\Microsoft\RAC
  • Decide whether you want to preserve the data, if so then copy or backup the PublishedData and StateData sub-folders.
  • Select all the files in the C: \ProgramData\Microsoft\RAC\PublishedData folder.  Right-click and delete.
  • Repeat for C: \ProgramData\Microsoft\RAC\StateData.
  • Now that you have reset the Reliability Monitor it will start recording new data automatically.

Guy Recommends SolarWinds’ Free Network MonitorSolarwinds Network Device Monitor

Thus utility makes it easy to check the health of a router or firewall.  Check the real-time performance, and availability statistics, for any device on your network.  Get started with an extensive collection of "out-of-the-box" monitors for popular network devices. Give Network Monitor a whirl – it’s free. Download your free Network Device Monitor

If you need more comprehensive network analysis software:
Download a free trial of NPM (Network Performance Monitor)

Another Example of the Windows 7 Reliability Monitor

 Windows 7 Reliability Monitor

Drill down into event details showing a critical event, Video hardware error.

See a Review of Solarwinds Free SNMP Enabler ยป

Summary of Windows 7 Reliability Monitor

The Reliability Monitor is a neglected tool for troubleshooting when a problem started.  It’s also interesting to literally keep the score of application and hardware errors.  What’s new with the Windows 7 Reliability Monitor is that it has been uncoupled from performance monitor, and has it’s own place in the Action Center, Maintenance, View reliability history.

If you like this page then please share it with your friends


Microsoft Windows 7 Performance Topics