Windows Event Log

What is Windows Event Log?

A Windows event log is an extensive archive of system, security, and application-related events kept on a Windows operating system. Event logs can be used to monitor and predict potential issues with the system and certain applications.

Microsoft first made the Windows event log available with the release of Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. It is now part of every Windows version.

What are the Elements of a Windows Event Log?

The Windows event log contains a Windows operating system’s hardware and software events. Network operators can use it to monitor risks and problems that could cause performance degradation. Besides, Windows stores event logs in a common format, making the data understandable.

The primary components of a Windows event log are as follows:

Log Key

The Eventlog key is made up of multiple logs or subkeys. When an application contributes to or examines an event log, the event logging service utilizes the data contained in each log to find the resources.

Event Categories

Organizing events using categories makes it easier for Event Viewers to locate them. Each event source can define the listed categories and text strings into which they belong independently.

Event Sources

Event sources are subkeys found in each log within the Eventlog key. The program that generates the event is known as the event source. It is frequently the application’s name or the title of one of its subcomponents.

Event Identifiers

A specific event can be distinctively identified by its event identifier. In its message folder, every event source can establish its own set of listed events and the description strings that specify where they are assigned.

Event Log Record

Every event has its information recorded in an event log record like time, type, and category.

Event Data

Every event may have activity-specific data attached. The event log allows for an event’s total size of 0x3FFFF bytes.

Kinds of Data Saved in the Windows Event Log

Windows event logs store information regarding various system events. The categories an event log falls under determine what information is stored there.

There are mainly five Windows event log types:

1. Application Events

These are connected to instances involving locally installed software. When an application breaks down, its name and the reason it crashed are recorded in an application log entry that is created in the Windows event log.

2. Security Events

These keep data according to the audit policies of the Windows operating system. Logs of attempted logins and resource access are common events that are kept. For instance, when a user attempts to sign on to a computer, the system checks their account credentials and records them in the Windows security log.

3. Setup Events

These comprise domain-control-related enterprise-focused events, like the location of logs following a disc configuration. Additionally, events about Active Directory on domain controllers will be recorded in this log.

4. Forwarded Events

When an admin wishes to make use of a computer that collects multiple logs, these come from different systems on the very same network.

5. System Events

This Windows system event log records occurrences on the system and its elements. An illustration of a system-level event is the inability to launch the boot-start driver.

Different Levels of Windows Event Severity

Windows event levels highlight the severity of recorded events. These fall into the following categories:

Information: Shows that everything went according to plan. Information events can be found in most logs.

Verbose: Provides updates or success stories regarding a specific event.

Caution: This indicates a possible issue that system administrators ought to keep an eye on.

Error: Indicates problems with the system or service that don’t need to be fixed right away.

Critical: Denotes a serious problem that requires immediate attention in a system or application.

How to Examine and See Windows Event Log?

The C:\WINDOWS\system32\config\ folder is where Windows event logs are kept. ‘Event Viewer’ can be used to monitor event logs and identify system problems. How to do it is as follows:

Step 1: To launch the run window, use the keyboard shortcut Windows key + R.

Step 2: Enter “eventvwr” in the run dialogue box, then click OK.

Step 3: The Windows Logs menu can be expanded in the Event Viewer window.

Step 4: You can find several types of event logs under the Windows Logs menu, including application, security, setup, system, and forwarded events.

Step 5: To examine and view the events listed under a particular event log, click on it.