By Woody Leonhard
Windows abounds with special-purpose tools that can help in the care and feeding of the beast — if you can just figure out where to find them.
Today, I’d like to introduce you to the Reliability Monitor, one of my favorite ways to identify and exorcise the demons that lurk within.
The Windows 7 Reliability Monitor, as well as the version in Vista, slices and dices event logs (as explained later). The logs record information related to your PC’s stability. The Reliability Monitor doesn’t catch everything — more about that in a moment — but what it does find can give you instant insight into what’s ailing your machine.
The easist way to launch the Reliability Monitor is to enter reli in the Start menu’s search box and press Enter. (In Vista, you can enter perfmon /rel in the Start, Run dialog box or at a command prompt.) To get the most out of the monitor, sign in as an administrator.
Figure 1. The Reliability Monitor in its Windows 7 version.