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Windows Setup Log Files and Event Logs

Applies To: Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2

Windows® Setup creates log files for all actions that occur during installation. If you are experiencing problems installing Windows, consult 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 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 that you are interested in. The Windows Setup performance events are saved into a log file that is named Setup.etl, which is available in the %WINDIR%\Panther directory of all installations. To view the logs, you must use the Event Viewer included with the Windows media that corresponds to the version of the customized image that you are building.

To view the logs on a computer that does not include the corresponding kit, you must run a script from the root of the media that installs the Event Trace for Windows (ETW) provider. From the command line, type:

Cscript D:\sources\etwproviders\etwproviderinstall.vbs install D:\sources\etwproviders

where D 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 locate 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 how to use 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 

- or -

Tracerpt /l C:\windows\panther\setup.etl

See Also


Windows Setup Command-Line Options
Windows Setup States
Windows Setup Edition Configuration and Product ID Files (EI.cfg and PID.txt)