I rarely come across systems administrators that use Windows reliability monitor when troubleshooting server or client platforms! I guess we either completely forget about this tool or the issue at hand is so critical that the tool is unavailable or even inadequate. However, I do recommend administrators to become acquainted with Reliability Monitor and leverage the power of its graphical reporting mechanism. It is ideal when diagnosing intermittent and long-term problems. In a nut shell, the tool tracks the computer stability by keeping track of installations and failures that occur on the machine and rate this activity with a stability index. A stable system is rated with an index towards the value of 10 (optimal stability) while a system with more installations and failures may have its stability index dropping towards a minimum value of 0.
For example, supposedly your system is encountering an intermittent problem and you have no any clue if one of the couple of utilities installed recently is causing the intermittent fault. With Reliability Monitor you can quickly browse both failures and application installations over time and correlate the failures with an application installation! To open Reliability Monitor in Windows 2008 servers, open Server Manager, expand Diagnostics\Performance nodes and click on Monitoring Tools. From the right hand side click More Actions and select View system reliability…
The top portion of the chart of Reliability Monitor shows data for each day or week as set in the View by: option. The rows below the chart show icons for successful and unsuccessful software installations, application failures, hardware failures, windows failures and other problems. To view more details you can select one day from the chart and view the report below the chart.
Reliability Monitor data is collected by the Reliability Analysis Component (RAC) which runs once an hour as a hidden scheduled task. You can view this task by browsing to Configuration\Task Scheduler\Task Scheduler Library\Microsoft\Windows\RAC and from the View menu item, select Show Hidden Tasks. To see a practical example of a faulty application diagnosed by Reliability Monitor go here.