What is the Purpose of the System Event Log?

by Barry Dysert
(last updated December 26, 2016)

1

There are several types of event logs maintained by the Windows operating system. One of these is the System event log. This log file stores record of events written by device drivers. The drivers may be commercial drivers or custom drivers that you've developed yourself. The events written to the System event log can run the gamut from Service Control Manager events to Windows Update Service events to run-time error events.

Like events written to other event logs, some of the important elements written to the System log include the date and time when the event occurred, the event ID, and the event source. You'll also want to note the information stored in the Level column, as that indicates the severity of the event logged. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. Partial display of the System event log.

Events can be viewed by the Event Viewer, and by default they are presented in reverse chronological order (i.e., the most recent event is on top). You can, however, sort the events by any of the event columns by clicking the column header.

 This tip (12939) applies to Windows 7, 8, and 10.

Author Bio

Barry Dysert

Barry has been a computer professional for over 30 years, working in different positions such as technical team leader, project manager, and software developer.  He is currently a senior software engineer with an emphasis on developing custom applications under Microsoft Windows. ...

MORE FROM BARRY

Understanding the Pictures Folder

The Pictures folder is one of several system libraries specifically optimized to hold digital pictures. This tip tells you ...

Discover More

What is the Purpose of the Forwarded Events Event Log?

The Forwarded Events event log collects events that have been forwarded from other computers. In this way you can login to ...

Discover More

Using Reliability Monitor

Reliability Monitor provides some measure of how stable your system is. It does this by noting, over time, various types of ...

Discover More
More WindowsTips

Changing How Event Log Overruns are Handled

By default, the event logs are implemented in a circular buffer, i.e., when its maximum size is reached, the oldest events ...

Discover More

Filtering Event Logs

Filtering a log in the Event Viewer allows you quick access to those events you're interested in watching over time. This tip ...

Discover More

What is the Purpose of the Security Event Log?

The Security event log captures success and failure audit events when auditing is turned on. This tip explains a bit more ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 9 + 4?

2017-02-02 06:17:08

Peter

Where do I find this log and what can I do with the information


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.