When troubleshooting issues, the Event Viewer is one of the most handy of all tools. Assuming that appropriate coding practices were used during application development, the Event Viewer contains a log of most problems – in the system, in the configuration or in the application code.
The only problem is analyzing the Event Viewer logs when you have a thousand events. It becomes extremely difficult to try and answer questions like the following while going through events serially:
- Events logged by type for each source
- Events by severity
- Events by category
- And many more such analytical questions…
These analytical requirements are best achieved with tools like Microsoft Excel. And so, I went about analyzing Event Viewer logs in Microsoft Excel in just 2 steps.
Step #1: Export the Event Viewer Logs to XML
- Once the Event Viewer is launched, navigate to the Event Log to be evaluated
- Right-click on the Event Log and choose “Save All Events As” option
- In the Save As dialog, choose to save the Events as an XML file
- If asked to save display information, you can choose not to store any or choose a language of your choice
And that’s it – it completes the 1st step!
Step #2: Import the XML file into Excel
- Launch Microsoft Excel
- In the File -> Open dialog, choose to search files of “XML” type
- Select the exported Event Viewer Log file
- In the Import Options, you can choose to import as an “XML Table”
- Excel will prompt to create/determine the XML schema automatically. It’s okay to allow Excel to do so
And that’s it – the Event Viewer Logs are now in Excel and you can use all native Excel capabilities (sort, filter, pivot and so on).
I do hope you found this tip helpful. If you have more such thoughts and ideas, drop in a line in the Comments section below.
Until we meet next time,
Be courteous. Drive responsibly.