Windows Vista

Introduction to the Windows Vista Reliability and Performance Monitor - Generate a System Health Report

One of the many upgrades to Windows Vista is the Reliability and Performance Monitor. The following is the description of the Reliability and Performance Monitor from the help file: “You can use Microsoft® Windows® Reliability and Performance Monitor to examine how programs you run affect your computer’s performance, both in real time and by collecting log data for later analysis. Windows Reliability and Performance Monitor uses performance counters, event trace data, and configuration information, which can be combined into Data Collector Sets.”

You can start the Reliability and Performance Monitor by clicking Start and then typing reliability and the Reliability and Performance Monitor will automatically appear. The first thing you will notice is that the Reliability and Performance Monitor is split into five sections: resource overview, CPU, disk, network, and memory.

Resource Overview

You can graphically analyze your real time CPU usage, disk usage, network usage, and memory in one step by clicking Resource Overview.

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You can incorporate a scaled down version of the resource overview into your desktop by adding the performance gadget:


Clicking on the CPU section of the Reliability and Performance monitor will give you an in-line (real time) version of the “Processes” section of Task Manager.


Similar to the CPU processes analyzer, the Disk analyzer will give you a real time snapshot of your current disk usage.


The network portion of the Reliability and Performance Monitor is particularly useful as it allows you to analyze the bandwidth usage based on the specific application. You can also monitor the interaction of svchost.exe with your router (my router is shown as DD-WRT).


Similar to the previous categories, the memory section allows you to analyze your memory usage based on the applications that are currently being used.

Generate a system health report

Windows has another tool that integrates with the Reliability and Performance Monitor that will give you a comprehensive report on the health of your system.

Click Start and type Performance and select Performance Information and Tools

Click Advanced tools in the left hand panel and then click Generate a system health report.

You will be prompted by Vista for access and then Vista will run the report. The report will take approximately one minute.

The Reliability and Performance Monitor will give you detailed information about your software, hardware, and diagnostics in addition to the areas mentioned above.


Here is what you’ve learned how to do:

  • Use the Windows Reliability and Performance Monitor
  • Generate a system health report

Further Reading

Got a question? Post it on our Windows Vista Forums!

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