Event Logs (Application, System, Security event logs) script for Windows Server 2008 R2

Posted on 2013-06-18
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-08-15
I need a good event log script that will work on my new servers (Windows server 2008 r2). The event log script I used for my old Windows Server 2003 does not work properly on Windows Server 2008 r2. Just need to automatically save and clear the server event logs (application, system and security) to a specific location monthly.
Question by:jslaught
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LVL 16

Expert Comment

ID: 39258912
You can also use Sysinternals psloglist in a task.  I use it to catch my rapidly turning over Security Log events every 5 minutes:

cd \locks

psloglist /accepteula \\dc1,dc2 -i 4767,4771,1625,4772,4724,4740 security -s -m 10 >testdc1.txt
psloglist /accepteula \\dc1,dc2 -i 4298 application -s -m 18 >>testdc1.txt



Set PARSEARG="eol=; tokens=1,2,3,4* delims=/, "
For /F %PARSEARG% %%i in (%CURRDATE%) Do SET YYYYMMDD=%%l%%k%%j

Set PARSEARG="eol=; tokens=1,2,3* delims=:, "
For /F %PARSEARG% %%i in (%CURRTIME%) Do Set HHMM=%%i%%j%%k

rem Echo RENAME %1 %1_%YYYYMMDD%%HHMM%
RENAME testdc1.txt  %YYYYMMDD%%HHMM%.txt

move d:\locks\*.txt d:\dsdata\locklogs

This works to capture the log data.  I just set the logs to overwrite old events.
- gurutc

Expert Comment

ID: 39258944
It seems like most people don't know about this feature, but Windows will rotate the log files automatically if so-configured. Look for "AutoBackupLogFiles" in this file.

You can configure this on a server-for-server basis, but that's tedious for a large number of servers. I created an Administrative Template to set this on server computers, and then scripted a startup script to add a scheduled task to periodically pick up, ZIP, and move the log files to a retention location. It worked really well, and was cheap!


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LVL 16

Expert Comment

ID: 39259124
Good post, but our log files turn over so fast that we only grab the events we care about.  Psloglist will hit all our DCs from one DC.  Not saying the autobackuplogfiles isn't a good idea, but we'd use gigs of space per day at the rate our logs fill.

- gurutc
LVL 15

Accepted Solution

ZabagaR earned 400 total points
ID: 39266673
Windows 2008 R2 has a built in command WEVTUTIL.EXE for this.
Make a windows scheduled task that runs the 1st of every month using WEVTUTIL.EXE

command syntax for clearing a log:
wevtutil cl <LogName> [/bu: <backup_file_name>]

If you wanted to clear and save the application log, system and security logs:

wevtutil.exe cl Application /bu:C:\logs\applog.evtx
wevtutil.exe cl System /bu:C:\logs\syslog.evtx
wevtutil.exe cl Security /bu:C:\logs\seclog.evtx

Schedule the 3-line batch script to run once per month.

Author Comment

ID: 39267132
WEVTUTIL.EXE works great in a command prompt. Tried to run the 3-lines in a .bat file manually before putting them in and nothing happens? What am I doing wrong?
LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 39267163
I'm not sure. I put the 3 lines in "test.bat" then double-clicked on it.  It worked fine for me.
Put a PAUSE statement at the end of the 3 lines so you can see what it did or didn't do.

Author Comment

ID: 39287102
I'm getting an "access denied" error message when running the .bat with a PAUSE statement. Trying to troubleshoot it when I have a chance unless you have suggestions.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 39412968
Was able to make the suggestion from the expert work finally. I had to run the wevtutil.exe commands as an admin to make it work via a .bat file through the command line and through task scheduler. I even researched and found out how to append the current date to the wevtutil.exe command:


wevtutil.exe cl application /bu:\\c:\temp\application_%Date:~4,2%-Date:~7,2%.evtx

Thanks for the assistance!

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