Analyzing 3 months of Vista reliability data

A Windows Vista feature which I make use of regularly is the Reliability Monitor. While being far from an ideal metric for measuring reliability, it does offer users a simple way to tell if their system is behaving or misbehaving.

The other day I looked at the data I have collected for my main quad-core system and realized that I had just over three months of data collected since I wiped the system and upgraded to 64-bit Vista Ultimate. With that much data I thought that it would be interesting to take a closer look at this data and see what kind of issues my system has experienced over the past three months.
In case you’ve not come across the Reliability Monitor, here’s how you get to it:

* The quick way:
Click Start and type Perfmon into the Start Search box, and click the Perfmon shortcut when it appears. then click on Reliability Monitor.
* The long way:
Click Start > Control Panel > System and Maintenance > Performance Rating and Tools > Advanced Tools > Open Reliability and Performance Monitor > Reliability Monitor.
The Reliability Monitor gives you access to a lot of varied and useful information.
* A System Stability Chart which shows you a stability rating between 10 and 0 (the higher the number the better).
* The chart also shows if any of the following occurred on a particular day:
- Software (Un)Install
- Application Failures
- Hardware Failures
- Windows Failures
- Miscellaneous Failures
* There is also a system stability report for each day which gives a breakdown of each of the above categories for each day.

Here’s a breakdown of the failures that I encountered over the 133 days (note that multiple failures can occur during a single day):
* Application failures: 22 days (16.5%)
* Hardware failures: 0 days (0%)
* Windows Failures: 5 days (3.7%)
* Misc failures: 14 days (10.5%)
* Total failure days: 37 days (27.8%)


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