February, 2010

  • Never doubt thy debugger

    Which files to collect? Here’s a tool for you


    Over the last couple of months among other things I’ve been working on a tool to automatically the logs and information in my team we usually ask at the beginning of a new Support Call: all standard things such as IIS logs, event logs, .config files etc… Not all of those files are necessary for every case (as usual it depends on the problem at hand), but experience tells me the more information we have about the environment, the more chances we have to spot small inconsistencies, configuration problems etc… that sometimes can lay unnoticed and interfere with our work.

    So, enter our guest:



    I tried to keep the UI as simple and organized as possible, utilization is very easy, just run it and click the “Collect” button, sit there a couple of minutes (how much exactly will depend on the logs collected) and you’re done Smile. Please note that I’m still working on it, this is just a preview release but I’d love to have your feedback/bug reports/feature requests etc…, keeping in mind that the scope of this tool is to facilitate troubleshooting and data collection for IIS/ASP.NET related problems, I am not interested (and probably do not have the time) to build an omnicomprehensive tool to replace everything else we have today Nerd.

    So, here is the list of what it collects so far:

    • IIS
      • IIS logs
      • IIS configuration (content of C:\Windows\System32\Inetsrv\config for IIS 7, metabase.xml for IIS 6)
      • HttpErr logs
      • Freb logs (IIS 7 only)
    • ASP.NET
      • .config files and .browser files under .NET Framework installation folder(s): all versions available on the machine
      • .config files for the sites/vdirs configured in IIS (the list of sites and applications is dynamically read from the config store)
      • ASP.NET setup logs
      • ACLs for the sites and applications defined in IIS (the list of sites and applications is dynamically read from the config store)
      • Result from browsing get_aspx_version.aspx (the page does not exist, this is made on purpose to get the 404 error page from IIS)
    • Event Logs
      • Application
      • Security (not enabled by default)
      • System
    • Environment
      • System information (uses msinfo32.exe, might take a few minutes to complete)

    Important: it currently works only with IIS 7 (hence on Vista/Windows 7/Windows 2008 and Windows 2008 R2).

    Already on the “to do” list:

    • Enable Windows 2003 (IIS6) support
    • Support IIS7 shared configuration
    • Collect local policy information for the worker process account
    • Collect custom event logs (in case one is used to store custom application messages)
    • Improve performances and enhance application logging
    • Implement a log report (such a summary HTML page or similar) for easy access and review to the collected information
    • Automatically compress the collected logs for an easier transfer
    • Suggestions?

    The dedicated page is http://blogs.msdn.com/carloc/pages/idevdatacollector.aspx, let me know what if think! Wink


    Quote of the day:
    In archaeology you uncover the unknown. In diplomacy you cover the known. - Thomas Pickering
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