In Windows XP, an event is any significant occurrence in the system or in a program that requires users to be notified, or an entry added to a log. The Event Log Service records application, security, and system events in Event Viewer. With the event logs in Event Viewer, you can obtain information about your hardware, software, and system components, and monitor security events on a local or remote computer. Event logs can help you identify and diagnose the source of current system problems, or help you predict potential system problems.
Event Log Types
A Windows XP-based computer records events in the following three logs:
• Application log
The application log contains events logged by programs. For example, a database program may record a file error in the application log.
Events that are written to the application log are determined by the developers of the software program.
• Security log
The security log records events such as valid and invalid logon attempts, as well as events related to resource use, such as the creating, opening, or deleting of files. For example, when logon auditing is enabled, an event is recorded in the security log each time a user attempts to log on to the computer. You must be logged on as Administrator or as a member of the Administrators group in order to turn on, use, and specify which events are recorded in the security log.
• System log
The system log contains events logged by Windows XP system components. For example, if a driver fails to load during startup,
an event is recorded in the system log. Windows XP predetermines the events that are logged by system components.
How to View Event Logs
Click Start, and then click Control Panel. Click Performance and Maintenance, then click Administrative Tools, and then double-click Computer Management. Or, open the MMC containing the Event Viewer snap-in. In the console tree, click Event Viewer.