How to View and Manage Event Logs in Event Viewer in Windows XP

Event Log Service is responsible for saving all the logs for events which occur in the background while you work on your computer. An event is any action taken or handled by the application of operating system and is crucial enough to be notified to the user. Logs are recorded for applications, security and system event. Other hardware, software or system components can also be added to the list so that even their logs are maintained by the Event Log Service. All these logs once captured can be viewed in the Event Viewer which comes with the Operating System. Event Viewer can be opened by going to Start then Run and executing EvntVwr command in the Run box. In the Event Viewer windows you will see the following types of logs. (1)Application Log – any kind of error or notification handled by the application, (2) Security Log – A log of all the security related actions like login, logout etc, and (3) System Log – Events occurring in the System components like a driver failure etc.

We have mentioned above how to open the Event Viewer but what is next? How to understand the information given in the Event Viewer? Each entry in the Event viewer has following headers attached to it: the date of the event, time, user, computer, event id, source, type, and category. In Windows the Event Types are categorised into 5 categories. These are Information (events of successful operation), Warning (not very significant but can invoke future problems), Error (Significant problem which requires attention), Success Audit (Successful operation of any security event), Failure Audit (Failed operation of any Security event).

All the headers given above like date, time, and user, can be used as filters for finding any specific event. The best way is to remember approximate time and the application on which you were working when an error occurred. This way you can simple go to the events of that time range and check what exactly went wrong and what was the reason of that error. Once you locate the event you were looking for just double click on it to open it. when you open the event you can see the error message, its description, and possible solution to the problem. Event viewer is really a very power tool for troubleshooting problems when some applications is crashing or behaving improperly without throwing any error message. T at times is very frustrating when you do not know what the reason of the error was, or what the error is. Event viewer if used smartly can help you resolve almost all the problems on your computer, provided the Event Log service was running.

Status of the Event Log service can be checked by going to Start then Run and executing the Services.Msc command. This command will open a window which has list of all services available on your computer. Scroll to the Event Log service and double click o it. Make sure that the service start up type is set to Automatic and also start the service if it is not. By putting the Service to Automatic it will start itself when the computer starts and will capture all the events occurring in the background.

There are hundreds of events occurring when you work on your computer and logging each of them requires space on your hard drive. We can set a maximum log size for each category of event manually and we can also set the action to be taken when the log size reached its limit. Log size can be set by Right Clicking on the Category (like Application) and selecting Log Size. There you would find box for entering the maximum size of log files.

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