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Understanding Windows Vista: Working with Vista’s New Event Viewer

written by: Ashwin Satyanarayana•edited by: Christian Cawley•updated: 5/11/2009

Do you know what the event viewer is? How about event Logs? Why would you even need to know this? Windows Vista comes with pretty nifty set of tools which have a range of important uses. One such tool that comes with Windows Vista is the Event Viewer. So what exactly is it? Read on.

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    Understanding the Windows Event Viewer

    The Windows Vista’s Event Viewer can be described as an application that enables you to manage as well as browse the event logs. Any kind of specific events on your computer are recorded by special files known as the event logs. For example, when a program encounters any kind of error or when a user logs on to the computer, the system automatically records it into this special file or event log which can be easily viewed using the Event Viewer.

    Event Viewer can also be described as an indispensable tool which can be used for troubleshooting issues and monitoring the health of the systems whenever need arises. Event Viewer has been around for quite some time now but without many changes, till the launch of Windows Vista. The event viewer in Windows Vista allows the user to perform a variety of tasks such as:

    • View events from multiple event logs: Users can easily filter across for specific events across multiple logs using the event handler in the Windows Vista which is quite unlike the previous versions of Windows. This makes it quite easy and simple to troubleshoot problems and investigate issues which might have logged in several logs. You will actually have to create a custom view for specifying the filter that would span multiple logs.

    • Save useful event filters as custom views that can be reused: Filtering can help you in narrowing down your search to only those events that you would be interested in. In the earlier versions of Windows operating system, all the work was lost after the Event Viewer was closed and there was practically no method of saving the information. Whereas in Windows Vista, once you have finished the sorting and querying of those events that you want to analyze you can actually save the search filters and have them available whenever required.

    • Create and manage event subscriptions: You have the option of collecting the events from remote computers and finally storing them locally simply by specifying the event subscriptions.

    In the previous versions of Windows, the Event Viewer was used to track information in various different logs. But the Event Viewer in Windows Vista has a better flexibility of storing and displaying the log files. There are various logs types available in windows Vista and they are as follows:

    • Application events

    • Events related to security

    • Setup events

    • Forwarded events

    • System events

    • Applications and services logs vary

    The Event Viewer in Windows Vista comes as a big improvement over its previous versions. It definitely proves to be a boom for all the administrators as it provides various methods for displaying, working conditions and placing the events. Although it is quite different as compared to the prior versions of operating systems, it is quite easy and simple to get used to Windows Vista because of its amazing user interface and intuitive nature.