Let’s look at some tools that you can use to read ConfigMgr log files. These tools help you read and analyze the ConfigMgr log files to identify the errors and warnings.
Configuration Manager troubleshooting is a complex topic and log files play an important role in troubleshooting. I can confidently say that without SCCM log files, the troubleshooting is very difficult.
We all know that there are lots of log files created when you install Configuration Manager. Some of them are well known because you use them on daily basis for troubleshooting while others are rarely reviewed.
When you want to open any of the ConfigMgr log files, you need a proper tool to read the log files. Although you can open log files with built-in application such as Notepad, but other tools provide more advantages.
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5 Tools to Read ConfigMgr Log Files
There are several tools that you can use to read ConfigMgr log files. You may already have your personal choice, but it is always good to know the tools that you can use to open the ConfigMgr log files.
CMTrace Log Viewer
CMTrace is one of the Configuration Manager tools which allows you to view and monitor log files. This includes the following types :-
- Configuration Manager or Client Component Manager (CCM) format
- Plain ASCII or Unicode text files, such as Windows Installer logs
The tool helps to read and analyze ConfigMgr log files by highlighting, filtering, and error lookup. Unlike other log viewers this tool shows the data as the log file is written or updated.
The CMTrace is located in the \Program Files\Microsoft Configuration Manager\Tools folder. You can find this tool from SMSSETUP >TOOLS folder located on your configuration manager installation media.
Starting in ConfigMgr version 1806, the CMTrace log viewer tool is automatically installed along with the Configuration Manager client. The CMTrace log viewer tool is present in client installation directory, which by default is %WinDir%\CCM\CMTrace.exe.
Support Center Log File Viewer
Support Center was first introduced with SCCM 2012 and since then, there have been many improvements and features added to this tool.
The support center tool is located in the following path – C:\Program Files\Microsoft Configuration Manager\tools\SupportCenter. Where C:\ is the ConfigMgr installation drive.
You can deploy support center using SCCM to client machines. The support center log file viewer is installed when you install support center on the client computer.
Starting with SCCM 2103, Support Center is split into the following tools :-
- Support Center Client Data Collector – This collects data from a device to view in the Support Center Viewer.
- Support Center Client Tools – The other Support Center troubleshooting functionality, except for Collect selected data.
When you install Support Center, the following tools are also installed.
- Support Center Viewer
- Support Center OneTrace
- Support Center Log File Viewer
The Support Center Log file viewer has got more advanced tools than CMTrace. If you like CMTrace tool, you should switch to Support Center Log file viewer, and you will surely love this tool.
Notepad++ is an open-source application, and is designed with writing programming code in mind. This is not an official log file reader, but this tool can read ConfigMgr log files. I have included this tool because it can read ConfigMgr log files and display line numbers.
If there is no log file opener software installed on your computer, you can still open the ConfigMgr log files with Notepad++ or even notepad application.
Notepad++ has more tools built-in, but these are mostly useful for coders. Talking about log file reading, there is no live updating of data however the search feature is excellent.
Universal Viewer is an advanced file viewer for wide range of formats. You name the format and it supports it. This tool comes in free version and Pro version. The pro version is offered as 15-day trial version, and it requires license.
This tool doesn’t support the live updating feature, but it is a decent tool to read ConfigMgr log files. Some good features of this tool include :-
- You can rename any log file easily.
- Copy the entire file to any folder on your PC by pressing F5 key.
- Move a log file to any folder on your system.
- It can also display non-printable characters.
- Send the log file via email.
- You can copy a selected string or whole log file and paste it into a new file.
- You can create a link to any log file for easy access.
- It supports more than 5 viewing modes for a file, which includes: Text, Binary, Hexadecimal, RTF, etc.
File Viewer Lite
File Viewer Lite is another free tool that you can use to read ConfigMgr log files. It lets you open large log files quickly, and it also displays file information on its interface.
On the right pane, you can see the contents of the log file with the line numbers, Ruler, and Syntax Tree. Four types of views are available for a log file Native, Text, and Hex and icon view.