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Windows Setup Log Files

Applies To: Windows 7


This content applies to Windows 7. For Windows 8 content, see Windows Deployment with the Windows ADK.

Windows® Setup creates log files for all actions that take place during installation. If you are experiencing problems installing Windows, refer to the log files to troubleshoot the installation.

Windows Setup log files are available in the following directories:

Log file location Description


Log location before Setup can access the drive.


Log location when Setup rolls back in the event of a fatal error.


Log location of Setup actions after disk configuration.


Used to log Plug and Play device installations.


Location of memory dump from bug checks.


Location of log minidumps from bug checks.


Location of Sysprep logs.

Windows Setup Event Logs

Windows Setup now includes the ability to review the Windows Setup performance events in the Windows Event Log viewer. This enables you to more easily review the actions that occurred during Windows Setup and to review the performance statistics for different parts of Windows Setup. You can filter the log so as to view only relevant items you are interested in. For more information about using the Event Viewer, see this Microsoft Web site.

The Windows Setup performance events are saved into a log file called Setup.etl, which is available in the %WINDIR%\Panther directory of all Windows® 7 installations.

To view the logs, you must use the Event Viewer included with Windows 7, Windows Vista®, Windows Server® 2008, or Windows Server® 2008 R2.

To view the logs on a Windows Vista computer that does not include the Windows AIK 2.0 or Windows OPK 2.0, you must run a script from the root of the Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 media that installs the Event Trace for Windows (ETW) provider. From the command line, type:

cscript <WindowsDVD>:\sources\etwproviders\etwproviderinstall.vbs install <WindowsDVD>:\sources\etwproviders

Where <WindowsDVD> is the drive letter of the Windows DVD media.

To view the Windows Setup event logs

  1. Start the Event Viewer, expand the Windows Logs node, and then click System.

  2. In the Actions pane, click Open Saved Log and then navigate to the Setup.etl file. By default, this file is available in the %WINDIR%\Panther directory.

  3. The log file contents appear in the Event Viewer.

To Export the log to a file

From the command line, use the Wevtutil or Tracerpt commands to save the log to an .xml or text file. For information about using these tools, see the command-line Help. The following commands show examples of how to use the tools:

wevtutil qe /lf c:\windows\panther\setup.etl 


tracerpt /l c:\windows\panther\setup.etl

See Also


How Windows Setup Works