Additional Troubleshooting and Reliability Features in Windows 7

Although this document focuses on the Windows Troubleshooting Platform, Windows 7 includes many new monitoring and troubleshooting features to keep users and IT professionals productive:

  • Windows Recovery Environment (RE). Windows 7 installs Windows RE automatically during Setup. If Windows 7 is unable to start correctly, users or IT professionals can launch Windows RE and use recovery tools, including the Startup Repair Tool, to automatically or manually repair the Windows 7 installation.

  • Problem Steps Recorder. Users can launch the Problem Steps Recorder to record the steps that were taken when a reproducible issue occurs. The Problem Steps Recorder creates a set of screenshots that illustrate the user’s exact actions, which enables an IT professional to analyze the cause of the problem.

  • System Restore. Like previous versions of Windows, Windows 7 includes System Restore to roll back changes that decreased system stability. Windows 7 improves the tool by listing programs or drivers that will be deleted if a Restore Point is recovered.

  • Windows PowerShell 2.0. Windows 7 includes an improved version of the Windows scripting environment: Windows PowerShell 2.0. Unlike traditional programming languages that are designed for full-time developers, Windows PowerShell is a scripting language designed to be used by IT professionals. Because Windows PowerShell can use the Windows Management Interface (WMI), scripts can perform almost any management task that an IT professional would want to automate, even across multiple remote computers at one time.

  • Reliability Monitor. Reliability Monitor provides a timeline of system events, including software and hardware installation, application failures, and unclean shutdowns. IT professionals can use this information to correlate system problems with related changes. In Windows 7, this information is available by using Windows Management Interface (WMI). This allows IT professionals to gather reliability data remotely by using Windows PowerShell scripts and WMI-related cmdlets.

  • Resource Monitor. Windows 7 includes an enhanced version of Resource Monitor that displays processor, memory, disk, and network performance data in a format that provides rapid access to a great deal of information, and that you can use to easily drill down into process-specific details.

  • Action Center. The Action Center provides a central location for Windows 7 to provide status updates and notifications to users. Action Center consolidates alerts from many different features, including problem reports, diagnostics, backup and restore, and security tools such as antivirus tools and Windows Defender.


The Windows Troubleshooting Platform provides a structured approach to solving common computer problems in Windows 7. This improves user satisfaction by allowing users to solve their own problems, and it reduces support center costs by lowering call volume and improving call efficiency. This is done by using existing, proven methodologies and technologies like Windows PowerShell.

To address the most common computer problems, several troubleshooting packs ship with Windows 7, and they are easily accessed from the Control Panel, the Action Center, and Help. Additionally, IT professionals can expand the list of available troubleshooting packs by writing custom scripts to address problems that are unique to their environments. Although the benefits of the Windows Troubleshooting Platform are significant, it is just one of the many new technologies included in Windows 7 to improve the efficiency of users and IT professionals.

For more information, see the Windows 7 Home page on the Microsoft Web site (