Windows 8 Log Collector: Collect Error Log files quickly and easily

Often there are situations, when IT support, system administrators or even in Windows Forums, people ask you for your system specifications and/or logs like Event Viewer logs or MSINFO32 files and even dump files to troubleshoot various system crashes and Blue Screens.

Sometime it’s hard to get all this information easily. After helping out a lot of people in online forums, I figured there had to be an easy way to collect the logs, so that both the person facing the problem and the person helping out, could save time and energy, in simply performing this chore of collecting the error log files. For this very reason, I created this application Windows 8 Log Collector, designed for the latest upcoming Windows operating system viz. Windows 8.

Windows 8 Log Collector

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The tool itself is self-explanatory. The buttons are marked with the names of the log files that you can grab. Click any of the buttons to obtain the respective log files or you can click on “Grab All” to collect all of them.

How to Use Windows 8 Log Collector

  • Download the Attachment and extract the file
  • Right click on the icon and click on “Run as administrator”. If you don’t run it as administrator, you’ll get Access Denied error.
  • Click on the appropriate button to generate the logs
  • Once you done go to your desktop and you’ll find a folder “W8” with all the logs.

A little explanation about the logs it collect:

MSINFO32

MSINFO32 a.k.a System Information Tool, collects system information, such as the devices that are installed in your computer, or device drivers that are loaded in your computer, and provides a menu for displaying the associated system topics. You can use System Information to diagnose computer issues.

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Minidump

Minidump usually get generated after a crash i.e. after a Blue Screen of Death. It gets created under Windows directory in a folder called “Minidump”.

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When a system crashes it creates a snapshot of the state of the computer at the exact moment of failure and analyze it with a conventional debugger.

Minidump contains information like call stacks of all threads in the failed process,Bug Check code, list of drivers with date and time stamp, registers etc. which help us in identify what’s wrong with system or what caused BSOD, there are a lot of tools out there which help us in analysing BSOD, but the most extensive way to use Windows debugging tools (free tools from Microsoft’s website) To know more about how to analysis them check out this Stop Errors Guide or my blog article.

Event Logs

These are generated when system crashes, hangs, or an event that is significant is generated, or a program requires users to be notified about something – then the Windows Event logs capture it. There are few types of Event Logs:

  • Application Log
  • Security Log
  • Setup Log
  • System Log

This tool only collects Application and System Logs. and according to Microsoft these are the explanation:

  • Application log
    The application log contains events logged by programs. For example, a database program may record a file error in the application log. Events that are written to the application log are determined by the developers of the software program.
  • System log
    The system log contains events logged by Windows XP system components. For example, if a driver fails to load during startup, an event is recorded in the system log. Windows XP pre-determines the events that are logged by system components.

Hosts File

The Hosts  File in Windows and other operating systems is used to associate host names with IP addresses. Malware often mess with Host file which often leads to issues like unable to connect to a specific website or Local Network is not assessable etc. This is what it look like:

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IE Logs

IEDiagCMD.exe is a small utility that generates logs required to troubleshoot issues with Internet Explorer. It is typically located in   C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer on a x86 OS install, and C:\Program files (x86)\Internet Explorer on a x64 OS install and can prove to be a very useful tool while troubleshooting Internet Explorer problems.

So if you ever need help in collecting your Windows 8 log files, you download and use Windows 8 Log Collector, developed by me.

Download

If you need to view Event Logs faster than the default in-built Windows Event Viewer and do more with them, you can also check out our freeware Windows Event Viewer Plus.

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Shyam aka “Captain Jack” is a Microsoft MVP alumnus and a Windows Enthusiast with an interest in Advanced Windows troubleshooting. Suggestions made and opinions expressed by him here are his personal one’s and not of his current employers. He blogs at captaindbg.com.