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December 17, 2007

Generate a System Health Report in Windows Vista

In Windows Vista, users can have an extensive System Health Report generated for them in helping troubleshoot performance and reliability issues on their PC or to see how healthy their PC is in general. For the average user, this probably won’t mean anything. But for me, I’m the type of user that really likes having the ability to create reports that tell me about my PC so I was really excited to find this ability in Windows Vista.

This evening I decided to generate a report on my main desktop PC for the first time and see what it says. To have a System Health Report generated:

  1. Open Start Menu.
  2. Right-click on “Computer” and click “Properties”.
  3. In the System Properties window, click on your Windows Experience Index rating.
  4. In the Performance Information and Tools window, under “Tasks” in the left-hand options pane click “Advanced Tools”.
  5. Under Advanced Tools window choose “Generate a system health report” at the bottom.

The report generates after about 60 seconds of testing. Here is my System Health Report I generated this evening:

As you can see, any sort of errors or warnings for your system are displayed first at the top of the report. You can see from my report, my HP Photosmart C5100 Printer is disabled giving an error. This is because I recently switched my HP Photosmart C5100 from being connected to my PC via USB to being a network printer. I can ignore this error. Under warnings, my CPU was being consumed more than 50% by the EncoderUI.exe process. This is Microsoft Expression Encoder. I was encoding a HD video using Microsoft Expression Encoder at the time of running the System Health Check Report. Nothing to worry about there. Once the encoding was finished, I re-ran the report and my CPU usage dropped to an acceptable level.

In generating the System Health Report, a series of basic system and performance checks are completed. You can also check out your Software and Hardware configurations as well. The information in these tests is pretty detailed. Under Network and TCP you can see outbound and inbound IP traffic for example from when the report was generated or the exact amount of memory being used by processes.

You have the option to save your report as an HTML document if you would like. For me, if I need to save a report, I just print to an XPS document.

For folks using the latest version of Windows Live OneCare, you also have the ability to pull up monthly reports displaying information on PC scans, your monthly subscription, and firewall protection. By default, after a monthly tune-up is run your monthly report is displayed.