Microsoft has built into Windows 7 a tool in which users can check the reliability of their Windows 7 installation. The reliability feature uses a graph that a user can use to determine if any problems have been reported and if there is a possible solution. You can start this feature by going to Start and typing in ‘reliability‘ in the search feature box.
Microsoft describes the tool as:
How to use Reliability Monitor
Reliability Monitor is an advanced tool that measures hardware and software problems and other changes to your computer. It provides a stability index that ranges from 1 (the least stable) to 10 (the most stable). You can use the index to help evaluate the reliability of your computer. Any change you make to your computer or problem that occurs on your computer affects the stability index.
The Reliability Monitor is intended for advanced computer users, such as software developers and network administrators.
Click to open Action Center.
Click Maintenance. Then, under Check for solutions to problem reports, click View reliability history.
In Reliability Monitor, you can:
Click any event on the graph to view its details.
Click Days, or Weeks, to view the stability index over a specific period of time.
Click items in the Action column to view more information about it.
Click View all problem reports to view only the problems that have occurred on your computer. This view does not include the other computer events that show up in Reliability Monitor, such as events about software installation.
I found the feature easy to use. I believe that this could be of value to the casual user as well. Why Microsoft thinks that only techies may want this information does not do just to the million of users who may have a need to know this information. I personally believe that most people using computers these days are very knowledgeable compared to 10 years ago.
* Information came from the help menu which described the ‘reliability’ feature.