Conventionally, reliability analyses either assume that a fault/error is detected immediately following its occurrence, or neglect damages caused by latent errors. Though unrealistic, this assumption was imposed in order to avoid the difficulty of determining the respective probabilities that a fault induces an error and the error is then detected in a random amount of time after its occurrence. As a remedy for this problem a model is proposed to analyze the impact of error detection on computer performance under moderate assumptions. Error latency, the time interval between occurrence and the moment of detection, is used to measure the effectiveness of a detection mechanism. This model is used to: (1) predict the probability of producing an unreliable result, and (2) estimate the loss of computation due to fault and/or error.