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A similar question titled How do I log startup and shut-down times in Windows 7? mentioned that PC startup and shutdown times can be recorded in the event viewer.

Events logged in the viewer are only recorded from August 2011 (despite the fact the computer has been used since 2008). The raw data is also difficult to visualise without exporting it and viewing the data in another program such as Excel.

I've searched Google for software but I can only find search items related to desktop assistance and parental security.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

The logs have size limits after which older events start getting deleted. These limits can be increased. In the Event Viewer you can setup a custom view to show only the startup/shutdown events (event IDs 12 and 13). Create one with a name like "Startup and Shutdown Events" and properties like:

Image of Custom View Properties dialog

When this custom view is open in the event viewer changing which columns are visible and the order they display in will be saved against the custom view only making it easy to customize how the list is presented.

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I don't get any results with the same properties used. – Ambo100 Jan 25 '12 at 20:53
I also saved the events in a custom view as an XML file and imported it into Excel but I get an unusual timestamp in the SystemTime field: '2011-11-18T22:45:42.000Z'. Everything but the date and time is recognisable, what does the extra information mean? – Ambo100 Jan 25 '12 at 21:03
If you open the XML file in Excel the dates should be formatted normally so it might be something in the way the import is done. – Brian Jan 25 '12 at 21:36

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