Using SMS Trace to View Log Files

Monday, January 28, 2008

I wind up looking at a lot of text logs during troubleshooting. While opening a log in Notepad is quick, it’s also tough to look at a lot of log entries that way. I use the SMS Trace (aka, Trace32) log viewer from the Configuration Manager 2007 Toolkit.

With it, you can easily:

  • Find any log line with a specific text

  • Highlight lines with specific text

  • Filter out lines that contain text to reduce the volume of what you see
Lines with the word "warning" are automatically highlighted in yellow and lines with the word "error" are highlighted in red. It even updates the log every 500 milliseconds to get new entries, which you can adjust.

The System Center Configuration Manager 2007 Toolkit is available here. There is an exe which unpacks to two msi packages. Use the CcmTools.msi which installs the core tools.

When you launch the SMS Log Viewer for the first time, it will prompt you with:

Do you want to make SMS Trace the default log viewer?
I always make it my default viewer.