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I have a rather large log file on a Windows Server 2008 R2 computer. It's a couple of gigabytes in size, but Notepad, Wordpad, Notepad++, etc can't open it.

Which program should I use to handle such a file?

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marked as duplicate by slhck, Mokubai, surfasb, Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, Nifle Jan 1 '12 at 11:44

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Delete the log file. If it doesn't exist, it never happened! – kobaltz Dec 31 '11 at 5:42
assuming you only want to read, not to edit, list.exe in the Windows 2003 resource kit should do the trick.… – Harry Johnston Jan 1 '12 at 0:20

It would have to be a 64-bit program to handle a file larger than 2 GB. This actually not a technical limitation but an implementation issue since most programs simply try to load an entire file in memory.

Whenever I encountered that issue on Windows, I found that MS Visual Studio 2010 (64-bits) works, at least for a few gigs. I realize if you do not have that software already it is an expensive buy just to open a file but you may be able to at least get a trial version.

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Unfortunately, it didn't work. How big do you mean by "a few gigs?" – Hugh Jass Dec 31 '11 at 6:04
There is no VS 2010 x64. There is only a 32 bit version of Vs 2010. Did you mean 32 bit VS 2010 on x64 OS? – Ganesh R. Dec 31 '11 at 8:15
Reading and writing files with sizes above 2GigaBytes is possible with the free VC10 (express edition) in a fully 32bit environment (OS and compiler). Although allocating chunks of that size will most probably not work, this will not keep a well designed program from modifing (editing) such big files. So there is no need to go for any 64bit tools to handle this big-file-issue. – alk Dec 31 '11 at 13:39
@Ganesh - I'll double-check that. I thought the one on my work computer was 64-bits, maybe it as both binaries. At least it is running under a 64-bit system. – Itai Dec 31 '11 at 15:33
2 gigabytes? That's it? – Hugh Jass Dec 31 '11 at 23:09

Vim is a great one. Others include 010 Editor, or so I've heard, and SlickEdit. Though slick edit is really geared to coding, it should handle large text files ok.

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It doesn't seem to be able to handle my text file. How big of a file can it handle? – Hugh Jass Dec 31 '11 at 6:04
Ive seen it chew up a 5GB file before, bizarre. Are you getting a size limitation related error, or maybe there is some other file corruption or problem at work here. – Paperlantern Dec 31 '11 at 13:39
I think it's a size limitation. Although, if it can handle 5 GB, I'm sure it could handle my file. – Hugh Jass Dec 31 '11 at 23:10

Don't open it in an editor. Try using findstr on it to search for the lines you are interested in. That way you don't have to load the whole file into memory at once.

See also:

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I think you have ruled out most editors.

Why not just create a small console utility (x64 prefered) (say in C#) which will read all the text and break it down into smaller managable files which can be then read using notepad++?

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I don't know if a x64 application would work. How much memory can they use? – Hugh Jass Dec 31 '11 at 23:11
@HughJass Practically a x64 application can use OS max virtual memory. So sky is the limit. – Ganesh R. Jan 1 '12 at 5:05

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