Read your cluster log live with SMS Trace

This past week in my class Jim Thyne from Thomas H. Lee Partner, L.P. gave me a great tip. He is an MCT that teaches SMS, but please don’t hold that against him. Microsoft now has a free utility that can read live logs, it’s called SMS Trace.

 Go to and download the .exe.

Run SMS2003Toolkit2.exe and it will expand a few folders and create SMS2003Toolkit2.msi.

1.       Run SMS2003Toolkit2.msi.

2.       On the SMS 2003 Toolkit 2 page click Next.

3.       On the License agreement page select I accept the license agreement and click Next.

4.       On the Selected Components page:

Common Tools = Run locally (default) The common tools are all you really need.

Server Tools = Do not install

Advanced Client Tools = Do not install

Legacy Client Tools = Do not install

5.       Leave the Installation folder: at the default C:\Program Files\SMS 2003 Toolkit 2\ and click Next.

6.       On the Setup Complete page click Finish.

Now that it’s installed, time to use it.

1.       Launch SMS Trace from Start, All Programs, SMS 2003 Toolkit 2, and then SMS Trace.

2.       On the SMS Trace dialog box click Yes.

3.       On the SMS Trace menu select File, Open and navigate to C:\WINDOWS\Cluster and click on C:\WINDOWS\Cluster\Cluster.log and then click Open.

4.       Scroll through the log, it’s really not too bad. Scroll to the bottom, fail a resource and watch what happens in the logs. Notice the color of warning and errors.

Thanks Jim, I love free tools that work great!!


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