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SQL Server 2005, 2008 and 2010: How to find the ERRORLOG ?

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I had to do this recently, so it must be that others need to sometimes also.

The ERRORLOG is a very useful tool on SQL Server. For example, this is a good way to find out what port SQL is listening on, and other important parameters of SQL Server. But, especially if you have multiple instances of SQL Server, sometimes it is not in the usual place under "C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\"

Here is how to find where a given instance of SQL Server keeps its logs.

#1: Open SQL Server Configuration Manager, and right click on the instance you are interested in. Choose Properties.

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#2: Copy the Startup Parameters to the clipboard

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#3: Paste this into a text editor, and look for the "-e" startup switch:

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#4: Found! This is the full path and file name of the errorlog. By default the file is named ERRORLOG (without an extension, it opens in a text editor), however you can rename the file by renaming it here, in the startup parameters, and cycling the SQL Server service.


Happy logging!
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