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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Windows Me Setup Log Files

The Windows Me operating system maintains a number of log files that track system performance and can be used to assess system failures. These log files are SETUPLOG.TXT, NETLOG.TXT, and DETLOG.TXT and are stored in the system's root directory. All three are text files that can be viewed with a text editor such as WordPad and can be printed out.

These filenames are indicative of the types of information they log. During a Logged mode startup, the system will attempt to boot in Normal mode, but will keep an error log file called BOOTLOG.TXT (bootup log) that tracks the events of the startup procedure and the outcome of those events. Similarly, the SETUPLOG.TXT (installation and setup log) file tracks the events of the installation and setup process. The DETLOG.TXT (detection log) file monitors the presence of detected hardware devices and identifies the parameters for them. Likewise, the NETLOG.TXT (Network Log) file monitors the installation and configuration of your network connection.


For computer safety purposes, do not save any changes to the information contained in these four files.


  • PC-compatible desktop/tower computer system

  • Windows Millennium installed on hard drive


In this next lab, you will examine the BOOTLOG.TXT file and note the various types of information it contains. Familiarity with this file can aid in troubleshooting boot process problems.


The BOOTLOG.TXT file contains the sequence of events conducted during the system startup, and is located in the root directory (C:\). A boot log can be created by pressing the Shift+F8 keys during startup, or by starting Windows Me at the command prompt using the Windows Me Startup disk.

  1. Create a BOOTLOG.TXT file at startup.

    1. Turn on the power to the system.

    2. Select Windows Millennium and press the Enter key.

    3. Press and hold down the Ctrl key.

    4. Press the down arrow key to highlight 2. Logged (\BOOTLOG.TXT), and press the Enter key.

  2. Locate the log files with the Search tool.

    1. Choose Start, Search, and then select Files or Folders.

    2. Make certain that the C: drive is selected in the Look In box.

    3. In the Named box, type *log.txt, and click the Search Now button. Your window will look similar to Figure 3.29.

    4. Figure 3.29Figure 3.29 Search results.

    5. In the Listing Display window, click the Name column button, and then click the In Folder column button.

    6. Record the information for the first four files in Table 3.39. You might need to use the horizontal scroll bar at the bottom of the window to see all of the information for the first four *log.txt files.

    table 3.39Table 3.39

  3. Open and examine the BOOTLOG.TXT file.

    1. Double-click the BOOTLOG.TXT file icon to open the file in Notepad.

    2. Click the Maximize button to expand the Notepad window, as shown in Figure 3.30.

    3. In the first group, the system loads the VxD drivers. These drivers are shown to be successfully loaded by a line beginning Loading Vxd=, followed by a line reading LoadSuccess=.

      Figure 3.30Figure 3.30 BOOTLOG.TXT file.

    4. Record the names of the first and last VxD drivers to be loaded, and record whether or not they loaded successfully in Table 3.40. The next group can be checked to verify if the system-critical VxD drivers have been initialized. These drivers are shown to be successfully initialized by a line beginning SYSCRITINIT=, followed by a line reading SYSCRITINITSUCCESS=.

    5. table 3.40Table 3.40

    6. Record the names of the first and last VxDdrivers to be initialized, and record whether or not it was done successfully in Table 3.41. The next group shows the initialization of the VxD device drivers. These devices are shown to be successfully initialized by a line beginning DEVICEINIT=, followed by a line reading DEVICEINITSUCCESS=.

    7. table 3.41Table 3.41

    8. Record the names of the first and second devices to be initialized, and record whether or not it was done successfully in Table 3.42. The next group, which may be found inside the device initialization group, shows the dynamic loading and initialization of the system device drivers. These devices are shown to be successfully initialized by a line beginning Dynamic load device followed by a line reading Dynamic init device, then Dynamic init success, and finally Dynamic load success.

    9. table 3.42Table 3.42

    10. Record the names of the first and second devices to be dynamically loaded and initialized, and record whether or not it was done successfully in Table 3.43. The next group confirms the initialization of the system VxDs. These devices are shown to be successfully initialized by a line beginning INITCOMPLETE=, followed by a line reading INITCOMPLETESUCCESS=.

    11. table 3.43Table 3.43

    12. Record the names of the first and last VxD initializations to be confirmed, and record whether or not it was done successfully in Table 3.44. The final section begins with the line Initializing KERNEL. This describes the loading of the various parts of the operating system kernel and its support drivers. These steps are shown to be successful by a line beginning LoadStart=, followed by a line reading LoadSuccess=.

    13. table 3.44Table 3.44

    14. Record the names of the first and last kernel parts to be loaded, and record whether or not it was done successfully in Table 3.45.

    15. table 3.45Table 3.45


The DETLOG.TXT file is stored in the system's root directory (C:\) and is used in recovery after an operating system crash. DETLOG.TXT can be edited or created in two different ways. First, it is created after a normal hardware setup. Second, it can be created or edited after a failed hardware setup. When a system crashes during the hardware detection portion of the startup procedure, a temporary DETCRASH.LOG (Detect Crash) log file is created. The file contains information about the detection module that was running when the crash occurred. DETCRASH.LOG is a binary file and cannot be read directly. However, a text version of this file is created and named DETLOG.TXT, as depicted in Figure 3.31.

Figure 3.31Figure 3.31 DETLOG.TXT file.

  1. Open and examine the DETLOG.TXT file.

    1. In the menu bar, click the File menu and then select Open.

    2. In the Open window, scroll to the right and then double-click the DETLOG.TXT. If the file is not visible type DETLOG.TXT in the File Name box and be sure that you are looking at Local Disk (C:\), and click the Open button.

    3. If DETLOG.TXT is too large for Notepad to open, you will be asked to use WordPad to read it.

    4. Record the information of the first line in Table 3.46.

    5. table 3.46Table 3.46

    6. In Table 3.47, record the first item to be checked, which begins with "Checking for."

    7. table 3.47Table 3.47

    8. Record the number of functions called, and the number of devices detected/verified in Table 3.48.

    9. table 3.48Table 3.48


The NETLOG.TXT file is stored in the system's root directory (C:\) and is used in troubleshooting network problems. This file, as shown in Figure 3.32, is created at the installation of a Network Interface Card (NIC) and its accompanying software setup. It stands for Networking Log Text file.

Figure 3.32Figure 3.32 NETLOG.TXT file.

  1. Open and examine the NETLOG.TXT file.

    1. Open the NETLOG.TXT file from drive C: in Notepad in the same manner as in step 1a.

    2. Click the Maximize button to expand the Notepad window.

    3. In Table 3.49 record the first three devices listed, which are identified by "NdiCreate" at the beginning of the lines. The device is enclosed inside a set of square brackets [] or a set of parentheses ().

    4. table 3.49Table 3.49

    5. Close the NETLOG.TXT file Notepad window.


The SETUPLOG.TXT file holds setup information that was established during the installation process. The file is stored in the system's root directory (C:\) and is used in safe recovery situations. Entries are added to the file as they occur in the setup process, as shown in Figure 3.33. Therefore, the file can be read to determine what action was being taken when a setup failure occurred.

Figure 3.33Figure 3.33 SETUPLOG.TXT file.

  1. Open and examine the SETUPLOG.TXT file.

    1. Open the SETUPLOG.TXT file from drive C: in the same manner as in step 1a for NETLOG.TXT.

    2. Click the Maximize button to expand the Notepad window.

    3. Record the name of the first section in Table 3.50.

    4. table 3.50Table 3.50

    5. Record the name of the last section in Table 3.51.

    6. table 3.51Table 3.51

    7. Close the SETUPLOG.TXT file Notepad window.

  2. Exit the Notepad program and turn off the computer.

What Did I Just Learn?

Log files can provide essential information for troubleshooting problems. By recording events and errors from applications and services, logs record information that can make difficult problems easier to solve. They can provide clues that point you in the right direction to resolve issues. With this exercise you practiced how to

  • Locate log files in Windows Millennium

  • Create and examine the log file BOOTLOG.TXT

  • Examine the log file DETLOG.TXT

  • Examine the log file NETLOG.TXT

  • Examine the log file SETUPLOG.TXT

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