Using Event Viewer to Troubleshoot

The Windows Event Viewer is a handy utility to diagnose computer problems. It keeps a log of what is going on with your computer in respect to applications, security and system services. If you use it in a Windows server environment you will get additional logs on items such as DNS and directory services.
To get to the Event Viewer tool simply right click your My Computer icon and select Manage.
Event Viewer logs are categorized into groups that include informational alerts, warnings and errors. You can sort these entries by type, date, time, source, category, event, user and computer. When you double click an entry you will get more detailed information about that entry.
In this example you can see that the type of the entry is a warning, the source of the error is Symantec AntiViurs and the computer name is JIM. Under the description it tells you that the Symantec AntiVirus could not scan the pagefile.sys file. You can use this information to search the web to find answers to more complicated events by using the Source, Category and Event ID information.
You can also export the event logs to a file if you want to save them or have someone else look at them on their computer. To do this simply right click the log you want to save and pick Save Log File As. You will have an option to save it as an Event Log, text file or CSV file.
To clear the contents of the log file right click the log and pick Clear all Events. It will ask you if you want to save the log before clearing it.