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Windows Event Logs

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Windows Event Logs

Unread postby Jeremy_C » August 30th, 2016, 12:21 am

Greetings!

I was looking for a way to view windows event logs with a little more detail than having to click on each "warning" or "error" to view the properties of a single event. Further, I wanted to be able to record the information a bit easier than the standard copy/paste method (which only seems to work on item at a time) while collecting information about "warnings" and "errors" that I see sporadically listed.

My first search in Google led me to a program that seems to meet these requirements very nicely. However, their price structure seems to reflect that the product may be geared more towards corporate sales rather than the casual user. Looking over some of the other results in Google, the prices vary, but the products still seem marketed for professionals.

Now, I have nothing against companies or people charging a premium price for a premium product - they put the work in so they deserve a return on their time and efforts. However, as a casual user it is kind of hard for me to justify a large expense for something I will not use professionally (nor use very often.)

Can anyone recommend any software that may be free or low-priced that is designed for viewing Windows Event Logs? I really don't need (or want) all the options and tools that seem to be built-in with many of the commercial software options. I just want a slightly better way to view these logs.

I know that I've seen various programs over at BleepingComputer that create or record various types of logs, etc., but it seems like those are made to gauge the overall health or status of a system rather than something specific, i.e., Event Logs.

I am pretty familiar with using tools from Mark Russinovich (SysInternals Suite) back before Microsoft acquired that tool set (and him!) The SysInternals Suite is full of great little programs, such as AutoRuns which is a very clean and simple way to view/control startup items rather than dragging through Services and dealing with each item one at a time. And Process Explorer (which I currently have set to run in place of my Task Manager.) And it is these great little tools that have spoiled me on standard Windows processes and have me searching for simpler, cleaner ways to look at things (such as event logs.)

Thanks for your time!
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Re: Windows Event Logs

Unread postby Jeremy_C » August 30th, 2016, 12:39 am

(I apologize if I seem to be flooding posts, but I can't find an edit button for the above post.)

As an addendum to my above request, I'd like to point out that I did find some "free" programs out there in the wild, but I'm hoping for some specific advice as I am notoriously paranoid about downloading random files just to experiment with. (After Download.com taught me a big lesson some years ago, I rarely have faith in "trusted" sources anymore.)
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Re: Windows Event Logs

Unread postby NonSuch » August 30th, 2016, 1:09 am

I don't blame you for being paranoid about unknown "free" programs. I feel the same way. ;)

It's too bad that Mark Russinovich is no longer turning out those magnificent little tools he was so famous for. I've always been a big fan of his work.

I'm sorry I can't think of a tool for viewing Windows event logs. I've always just looked them over "as is" when needed. Perhaps someone who has used such a tool will come along with a recommendation for you.
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Re: Windows Event Logs

Unread postby Jeremy_C » August 30th, 2016, 7:39 am

Thank you for the prompt reply!

Well, I took the name of a program that looked promising and then searched Google with various combinations (the company name, the program name, and finally the name of the install file) and the word malware (and then a second time using the word "spyware") appended to the end just to see if any major complaints or notices could be found. And I couldn't find anything. So, I fired up an old WinXP machine that (I swear, someday) I plan on installing Ubuntu on and downloaded the program. (This machine is sort of my equivalent of a sandbox - other than being connected to my home network as minimally as possible, it is pretty much disposable.)

The program is called Event Log Explorer (I'm not going to post a link because I'm still learning the rules here but you can Google for it and find it easy enough.) I've scanned the daylights out of this thing on two machines now with various tools and it seems clean from malware. It does pretty much what I want a program like this to do. And best of all, they have what they call a "Home License" which allows free (limited) usage of the software for non-commercial use. So, the price is right and so far it seems like a pretty neat little tool.

Hopefully this update helps if anyone else happens along looking for a similar tool. :)

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For anyone that does not work or study here, please pay attention!

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Re: Windows Event Logs

Unread postby askey127 » September 7th, 2016, 4:36 pm

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Re: Windows Event Logs

Unread postby Jeremy_C » September 7th, 2016, 6:46 pm

askey127 wrote:Nirsoft has a couple tools you could take a look at.

http://nirsoft.net/utils/full_event_log_view.html

http://nirsoft.net/utils/my_event_viewer.html


First off, let me thank you VERY MUCH!!! This little proggy is everything I was looking for. The other one is pretty nice, but I don't think it does so well with the newer events format. This one from Nirsoft is just awesome!

So, here's the good and the bad of it...

The newer version (Full Event Viewer) definitely seems the way to go.

VirusTotal gave it a clean bill of health (first the site, then the 64-bit file.)

So, I ran it (no sandbox, maybe risky) and no alarms, bells, or whistles sounded off.

And now the only issue is that I seem to have spent the last hour pouring over and analyzing the events log - problem with that is, as a newly minted MRU Freshman, it's not the log that I'm supposed to be studying! :oops:

So, let me close that thing and get in here where I'm supposed to be studying. That log viewer is a great find, thanks much for the link! :cheers:
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