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Filtering Windows event log for text in Data field

Posted on 2014-09-26
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Last Modified: 2015-05-29
In a Windows event log (Win 8.1), I want to filter a log file for a substring in the Data field. What's the easiest way to do this (preferably in the Event Viewer with a custom view)?
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Question by:BlearyEye
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Expert Comment

by:Psymonious
ID: 40345839
You could try to achieve this with XML filters.

Advanced XML filtering in the Windows Event Viewer
http://blogs.technet.com/b/askds/archive/2011/09/26/advanced-xml-filtering-in-the-windows-event-viewer.aspx

If you're familiar with PowerShell, you can also try it that way.

Get-Event
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh849909.aspx
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Author Comment

by:BlearyEye
ID: 40345863
I saw the first link when I was poking around. But I don't see how to filter Data for a substring.

I've used PowerShell enuf to be somewhat dangerous but I don't know how to do the query I'm looking for.
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Expert Comment

by:Psymonious
ID: 40346026
I'm sorry i was wrong with "Get-Event"... it should have been "Get-EventLog".

Get-EventLog
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh849834.aspx

Sadly i couldn't get a substring to work with the XML Filter, but maybe the PowerShell way will work.

I have an Event with the word "NtpClient" in the Message field.

I used the following command to query ("Ntp" as a substring of NtpClient) from the System EventLog .
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> Get-EventLog -LogName System -Message "*Ntp*"
------------------------------

Does that help you in any way?

If that is not what you were looking for, then please be more specific about what you would like to achieve.
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Author Comment

by:BlearyEye
ID: 40352119
Sorry for the delay. The PS command helps. It truncates the message however, and only displays a limited number of columns. Any idea how to get everything?
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Assisted Solution

by:Psymonious
Psymonious earned 500 total points
ID: 40356772
I hadn't much this to go deeper, but this could help to get full information.
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Get-EventLog -LogName System -Message "*Ntp*" | Format-List *
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Accepted Solution

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BlearyEye earned 0 total points
ID: 40356986
Yes, that does get the whole Data element, including newlines. (Oddly, Get-EventLog renames the elements so that Data becomes Message, EventRecordID becomes Index ...)

The format isn't very readable however. I'd like to be able to output it as a file to view in Excel. Outputting to CSV is tricky since the message data sometimes has newlines and outputting to XLS also seems difficult.

After some playing around, here's what seems to do the job for me:
Get-EventLog -LogName thelogname | select TimeGenerated, Index, EventId, Category, MachineName, EntryType, Message  | Out-GridView

Open in new window

GridView is limited but may be enough. It shows newlines fine. I can pre-select events of interest in GetEventLog and further filter & sort in GridView.
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Author Closing Comment

by:BlearyEye
ID: 40802072
i came to with the final answer, with help from others.
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