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If an installation of windows is unbootable, is it possible to access the event log from a Linux LiveCD?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

It is possible if you are running Vista or newer. The event log data is now written to an XML file in %SystemRoot%\System32\winevt\Logs\.

Previous versions of Windows wrote the log in an undocumented binary format. This web page tries to describe that format.

GrokEVT which is mentioned on that page, is is a collection of scripts built for reading Windows NT/2000/XP/2003 event log files. GrokEVT is released under the GNU GPL, and is implemented in Python.

The default locations of the logs are:

  • %SystemRoot%\System32\Config\SysEvent.Evt (System Log)
  • %SystemRoot%\System32\Config\AppEvent.Evt (Application log)
  • %SystemRoot%\System32\Config\SecEvent.Evt (Security Log)
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Where is this XML file stored? – Macha Nov 29 '09 at 13:55
Windows 7/Vista XML event files stored in: %SystemRoot%\System32\winevt\Logs\ – Umber Ferrule Jun 30 '10 at 16:57

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