How to Check Event Log in Windows Server 2012: A Comprehensive Guide

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Are you facing issues with your Windows Server 2012 and wondering how to effectively troubleshoot them? One crucial tool at your disposal is the event log. Event logs provide valuable insights into the functioning of your server and can help identify errors, warnings, and other critical events. In this article, we will walk you through the process of checking the event log in Windows Server 2012, empowering you to diagnose and resolve issues efficiently.

Understanding Event Logs in Windows Server 2012

Before we dive into the details, let’s understand what event logs are and their role in the Windows Server 2012 operating system. Event logs are files that record significant occurrences, such as system events, errors, and security-related activities. They serve as a historical record of events, enabling administrators to analyze and troubleshoot problems effectively.

Windows Server 2012 includes different types of event logs, including Application, Security, Setup, System, and Forwarded Events. Each log focuses on specific aspects of the server’s operation, allowing you to track events related to applications, security breaches, system failures, and more.

Why Checking Event Logs is Important

Regularly checking event logs is crucial for maintaining a healthy and secure Windows Server 2012 environment. Here are a few reasons why:

  1. Identifying Issues: Event logs provide detailed information about errors, warnings, and critical events occurring on your server. By reviewing these logs, you can pinpoint issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, such as application crashes, disk failures, or security breaches.

  2. Troubleshooting: Event logs serve as a valuable troubleshooting tool. By analyzing the logs, you can gain insights into the root causes of problems and take appropriate action. This helps minimize downtime and ensures the smooth functioning of your server.

  3. Security Monitoring: Event logs play a vital role in monitoring the security of your Windows Server 2012. By regularly checking security event logs, you can detect potential security threats, unauthorized access attempts, and other suspicious activities. This allows you to take proactive measures to safeguard your server and data.

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Now that we understand the importance of event log analysis, let’s explore how to check event logs in Windows Server 2012.

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Check Event Log in Windows Server 2012

Method 1: Using Event Viewer

The Event Viewer is a built-in Windows tool that provides a graphical interface for viewing and managing event logs. Follow these steps to check event logs using the Event Viewer:

  1. Open Event Viewer: Press the Windows key, type “Event Viewer,” and click on the search result. The Event Viewer window will open.

  2. Navigate to Event Logs: In the Event Viewer, expand the “Windows Logs” folder to access the different event logs, such as Application, Security, Setup, and System.

  3. Select the Desired Log: Click on the specific event log you want to check. The log will appear in the center pane, displaying a list of events.

  4. Analyze Event Details: Double-click on an event to view its details. You can examine information such as event ID, source, description, and more. This information helps in understanding the event and its implications.

Method 2: Using PowerShell Commands

PowerShell provides a command-line interface for managing Windows Server 2012, including event logs. Here’s how to check event logs using PowerShell commands:

  1. Open PowerShell: Press the Windows key, type “PowerShell,” and click on the search result to open the PowerShell console.

  2. Check Event Logs: Use the Get-EventLog cmdlet followed by the desired event log name to retrieve the events. For example, to check the Application log, run the command: Get-EventLog -LogName Application.

  3. Filter Events: You can filter events based on various parameters, such as event ID, source, or time. This helps narrow down the results and focus on specific events relevant to your troubleshooting needs.

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By following these step-by-step instructions, you can easily check event logs in Windows Server 2012 using either the Event Viewer or PowerShell commands. Now, let’s address some frequently asked questions related to event log checking in Windows Server 2012.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Can I check event logs remotely on Windows Server 2012?

Yes, you can check event logs remotely on Windows Server 2012. Through the Event Viewer or PowerShell, you can connect to a remote server and access its event logs. This allows you to monitor multiple servers from a central location, making event log analysis more efficient.

How can I filter event logs based on specific criteria?

Event logs can be filtered based on various criteria to focus on specific events. In the Event Viewer, you can use the filter options available in the Actions pane to specify parameters such as event ID, source, or time range. Similarly, in PowerShell, you can utilize the Where-Object cmdlet to filter events based on specific properties.

What are some common event log errors and their solutions?

Common event log errors in Windows Server 2012 include disk errors, application crashes, and authentication failures. To resolve these issues, it is essential to identify the root cause of the error. By analyzing the event details, you can gather information that helps in troubleshooting. Solutions may involve actions such as updating drivers, repairing applications, or addressing hardware failures.


In conclusion, understanding how to check event logs in Windows Server 2012 is crucial for effective troubleshooting and maintaining a secure server environment. By regularly reviewing event logs, you can identify potential issues, troubleshoot problems efficiently, and enhance the overall stability and security of your server. Whether using the Event Viewer or PowerShell commands, the tools provided in Windows Server 2012 empower you to harness the power of event log analysis. Start utilizing this valuable resource today and take control of your server’s performance and security.

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