So, I've been having some issues lately with getting my laptop to sleep correctly. It's really been a pain. Shut the lid, then the hard drive would spin for a while, a blue screen, then a restart, a message saying asking me to check for a solution that didn't exist. So basically, I'd close the lid when I was done with it at work, and by the time I got to the train to go home, I'd have half a battery, and half a train ride home that was very boring.
I'd been hearing about the Vista Reliability and Performance Monitor, but through some very cursory poking around, couldn't find it and thought it might be a Vista Ultimate only thing (I have Vista Business). But, if I had been Vista savvy (or even a half-wit), I'd have used the search.
Anyway, this thing basically gives you a running reliability score over time, based upon application failures, hardware failures, Windows failures, and other miscellaneous failures. Along with the score, you can see what you installed on each day.
So, all I had to do was look at the reliability monitor and find out when my reliability started to tank. Then I could cross reference that with the applications I messed with at the time and hone in on a potential issue.
So, to get to this thing, click on the circle, search for "Reliability". You'll get the Reliability and Performance Monitor. Click on Reliability on the tree menu on the left, and you should see the following.
You can see how bad my issue was. OS was blue screening multiple times almost daily. So, I just started scrolling this thing backwards, looking for the reliability score to go back up. So, I found a period when things started to go wrong, and started to look for anything I might have installed. Here's what I found:
As you can see, I had a lot of fun with the Cisco VPN client that day. I've been struggling with that one for a while, and I kind of suspected that had something to do with the sleep issue. It was, but very indirectly. It was actually due to the fact that I installed Microsoft Virtual PC because I gave up on getting the Cisco VPN client running on my computer. So, last night, I uninstalled Virtual PC, and Viola! All is well. I can finally sleep again.