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Monitoring log files

Log files contain important information about the hardware, software, and system problems that occur on a computer. The information is recorded as chronological messages in the log. These messages can be used to monitor and troubleshoot the computer.

Two kinds of log files are created on a computer:

  • Event log files. Log files that can be examined using Event Viewer. They include the following logs:
    • Application
    • System
    • Security
    • Directory service
    • File replication service
    • DNS server
    • Event logs created by other services or applications
  • Other log files. Log files created by other services or applications such as the Windows Backup utility, antivirus programs, and third-party applications that cannot be viewed in Event Viewer. To examine the information in these log files, open the files with a text reader such as Notepad.

Before information can be recorded in log files, you must enable logging for the services you want to monitor. When you run the Monitoring Configuration Wizard and select one of the reporting options, logging is automatically enabled for the following services. For more information, see Using the Monitoring Configuration Wizard.

  • Exchange Server
  • Fax
  • Internet Information Services
  • Remote Access Service

After completing the Monitoring Configuration Wizard, you can click Change Server Status Report Settings in the Monitoring and Reporting snap-in in Server Management to attach these log files to server performance or usage reports sent to administrators in e-mail. You can also add log files for other services or applications to the list of available files. For more information about how to attach reports to e-mail messages, see Attach log files to performance or usage reports.

For more information about event log files, click Start, click Help and Support, and then search for "Event log overview: Monitoring Events."

Notes

  • Log files can be very large. Take this into consideration when deciding to attach a log file to a server performance or usage report. If the compressed size of log file attachments exceeds 5 megabytes (MB), the attachment will not be sent.
  • To open Event Viewer, click View Event Logs in the Monitoring and Reporting snap-in in Server Management.
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