For Event Viewer reports relating to Windows XP and earlier this web site is as helpful as any: http://www.eventid.net/
For Vista and Windows 7 Google is the best source of information. Looking for text selected from the Description part of the Report (phrases not individuals words) as "this exact word or phrase" gets the best results. Concentrate on reports from Social Technet
and Microsoft Answers within the last 12 months. Look elsewhere if an answer is proving difficult to find.
Here are some notes about Event Viewer Reports which may help. When you have a lot of errors you need to concentrate on system errors and warnings, even if it is applications that are giving you grief. Sorting system problems first can make resolving
application problems easier. Note the time the computer is last booted and deal with those at the beginning of the boot first. Correcting the earlier errors can resolve later ones.
1. Normally when an error occurs on your computer looking in Event Viewer should be your starting point for finding a solution. Most system related errors are logged and getting an exact copy of the relevant report is important. Unfortunately understanding
the reports is not easy and most computer users need help with their interpretation. I have more to say later on interpretation.
2. Event Viewer comprises four main Windows logs. These are Application, Security and System with Applications and Service logs as
a more detail source.. For troubleshooting purposes System is by far the most important.
3. To access the System log select Start, Control Panel, Administrative Tools, Event Viewer, from the list in the left side of the window select Windows Logs and System. Place the cursor on System, right
click and select Filter Current Log. Check the box before Error and click on OK and you see only Error reports. Click on the Date and Time Column Header to sort. You may need to click a second time to see the latest Report at the top.
4. A tip for posting copies of Error Reports! Run Event Viewer and double click on the error you want to copy. Click on the Copy button on the General tab to place a copy on your Clipboard and close Event Viewer. Now start your message and paste into
the body of the message. Make sure this is the first paste after exiting from Event Viewer.
5. There are three types of Report, being Information, Warning and Error reports. In most situations it is Error Reports that offer the best information but occasionally Warning Reports provide useful clues.
6. All reports have date and time stamps and when troubleshooting it is important to concentrate on more recent reports. Study reports since the point when the computer was last booted and then check whether a similar report appeared in the previous
session. If errors do not repeat investigation as to why they occurred is wasted effort.
7. Within individual reports the more important information is Event ID and Source as these help when looking for help on the internet. The description is equally important and copying the exact text for use as the search criteria greatly helps getting
better results when using Google. Do not paraphrase descriptions when asking others for help.
Gerry Stourport-on-Severn, Worcestershire, England Enquire Plan Execute
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