I may be asking for trouble, but it looks like I’ve finally gotten my production PC to settle down and behave itself. After about 13 weeks of ups and downs I’ve finally fixed all the drivers, gotten the various system components to behave, and have dealt only with very basic Windows and Internet Explorer issues for the past four weeks. Here’s what the weekly view from Reliability Monitor looks like for my primary production PC, all the way back to the original RTM install.
The biggest secret to keeping things on an even keel has proved to be fastidious use of a test machine for installing and running new or unfamiliar software (and then, within a virtual machine until it proves to be something I actually want or need). This has kep the clutter and gunk on my production system to a minimum, where I am now running only software that I actually use to get real work done.
It could just be the benefits of a recent clean OS install and the relatively pristine registry that goes with it that’s responsible. But I’m happy to finally have a well-functioning and reliable system on which to conduct the daily grind. This sure helps me understand why so many people believe that building PCs is no longer an avocation for the faint of heart, nor for those without deep and broad Windows expertise. As I’ve shown with the reliability indexes from my Dell D620 notebook, perfect 10s are a lot easier to achieve when you keep the software simple and the build relatively limited.
Now, all I need to do is figure out why pctsSvc.exe keeps crashing on my primary test machine and I’ll have my PC troubleshooting problems more or less fixed for the time being. And just in time for the holidays…