Microsoft gets some stick for Windows supposedly being less than stable (which, as I’ve written here many times before, is not my experience); however my netbook has had more than its fair share of BSODs this evening… something to do with a file called tdx.sys (the TDI Translation Driver). I should point out that this machine is running a beta operating system (i.e. one where problems should be expected) but the good news is that Windows 7 detected the problem and the Action Center referred me to Microsoft knowledge base article 967891, from where I was able to apply for, download and install the associated hotfix.
Only time will tell if the hotfix solved the problem but the point is that Windows self-diagnosed the issue and I was able to follow the necessary steps to fix it. Some people may argue that if the system can diagnose the issue then it should be able to self-heal and they may have a point but I’d like to know which updates are being applied (and why), so this system works for me.
On a related note, Daniel Terhell at Resplendence Software has written a great utility called WhoCrashed. If you’re trying to diagnose the cause of system crashes, this might just help out (it makes use of Microsoft’s Debugging Tools for Windows) – and it’s free for personal use. If it can’t find any crash dumps on your system (but you can see them in the %windir%\minidump folder) then make sure you are running the program as Administrator (and that’s no excuse for running with Admin privileges all the time).
If you want to see just how stable your system is and you’re looking for the Reliability Monitor, under Windows 7 (at least in the beta – build 7000) it is available in the Action Center.