Windows tip: Working with GPLogView

In my previous tip titled How to troubleshoot Group Policy issues, we looked at a systematic procedure for troubleshooting Group Policy processing issues in Windows Vista and later. This procedure involved using a command-line tool called GPLogView, which is free for download from the Microsoft Download Center. Here are a few more tips for using this tool.

As indicated previously, you can use the following command to filter the Group Policy Operational log for all events having the specified activity ID and display these events in the order in which they occurred:

gplogview –a <activity ID>

Doing this allows you to see all the steps that occurred during a particular Group Policy processing cycle so you can try and pinpoint what caused the processing cycle to fail.

By adding the –o switch, you can save the output of the above command to a text file as follows:

gplogview –a <activity ID> –o output.txt

Then you can view this output by typing notepad output.txt to open the text file using Notepad.

Alternatively, you can save the command output to an HTML file by adding the –h switch like this:

gplogview –a <activity ID> –h –o result.html

Then you can type result.html to open the saved Web page in Internet Explorer as shown in the accompanying Figure 1.

Another alternative is to save the command output as XML, which provides even more details concerning each event. To do this, use the –x switch like this:

gplogview –a <activity ID> –x –o steps.xml

Typing steps.xml then opens up the saved XML file in Internet Explorer as shown in Figure 2.

For details concerning GPLogView syntax, type gplogview /? at a command prompt. You can also read more about this tool on the Group Policy Team Blog. Finally, don't forget you must run GPLogView within an admin-level command window.

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