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Fixing "The Event Log is Full" Error on Windows XP

I was working on a project for work when I suddenly got the strangest error: “The Event Log is Full”. Seriously? What I didn’t remember is that Windows XP doesn’t automatically overwrite events less than 7 days old from the event log, so when it’s full, most applications that try and write to the event log are going to break.

You can easily fix this problem by changing the event logs to overwrite old events regardless of the date, or just increase the size that the log is allowed to grow to.

Note: If your event log is so huge within 7 days that you are getting this error, there’s probably something seriously wrong. You should inspect your event log to understand what is causing all of the errors… more on that in a future article.

Increasing Event Log Size

Open up Event Viewer by typing in eventvwr into the Start \ Run box, or you can find it under Administrative tools section of Control Panel.

You’ll notice over on the right-hand side of the window that the current size of my Application and System Event Logs are 512 KB…

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Now you can right-click on one of the Event Logs in the list, and choose Properties from the menu.

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In this dialog you can do a number of things… you could clear the log, increase the size, or just set the system to overwrite events as needed.

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I chose to increase the maximum size of the event log, and then also to overwrite events as needed. 

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For those of you using Windows Vista, you’ll notice that the default settings in Vista are to overwrite as needed, and the maximum size is way bigger. Guess my setting choices make sense then…

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Again, if your Application or System event logs are growing so gigantic that you are getting this error, you should really look into the root cause by carefully examining the entries in the logs.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 12/9/08

Comments (25)

  1. venkat

    This is a nice tweak to increase the event log file size.

  2. Bill

    You can also Clear all Events from the same context menu as well :)

  3. Deyaa Addeen Fahmy Shedeed

    Great, thanks.

  4. Orange

    I had that happen to me, and I discovered that someone on another continent was trying to break into my computer using a program that was trying different passwords on my FTP server. So, as the article says, one should really find out why the event log is filling up.

    I did 2 things to put a stop to it. I renamed the built-in “Administrator” account to something else, and I turned off the FTP server that comes with XP because it does not have a feature that will limit connection attempts.

  5. Dave

    Hi

    I’ve just found your website and after failing to find a solution to fix a problem in Windows 7, I would like to ask here if you can help me please?

    My question is with regard to clearing the log in Administrative Events found in the Control Panel under AdministrativeTools/Event Viewer of Windows 7. I can clear the contents of all other logs in event viewer because each entry has a “clear log” option when you ‘right-click’ it, but Administrative Events does not have the “clear log” option.

    At the moment, the “Administrative Event” log has 207 events and I would like to clear it.

    Regards

    Dave

  6. Kenessar

    Ohhhh , It’s great. Thanks.

  7. David

    YOU ARE A LEGEND!!!!

    Thanks.

  8. chuck

    THanks very much, you are the GEEK!

  9. john

    dear sir,
    the event log file is full visual studio in window XP when i click on the service based database and local database to open but it show that the evenlog file is full,i browsed this whis webside and folllow the instruction but it doesn’t have any changes or cannot open the what i expected…

    so, can u assist me to how to solve this problem..i would highly appreciate..

  10. Ricardo

    Cool… This article help me a lot… after I installed the Sql Server 2008 the wizard of tableAdapter in Visual Studio 2008 stopped to work… and some times I received one message “The Event Log is Full”… this steps that you gave was perfect to resolve my problem… thanks…

  11. niaz

    God Bless you, you saved my day…

  12. Ahmer

    thnkssssssss my tens is reles…..

  13. Yogesh

    thanks a lot of you solved my problem that was headache for me for a long time ….

  14. nana

    Great!!! It makes me help a lot!!! thank you

  15. xoerk

    Thanks a lot,, plain and simple :)

  16. Quil Ekras

    Hi. Our server continues to show the message ‘Logfile is full. Please clear old events from the logfile’ even after clearing all events. Any thoughts? Thanks

  17. Khalil

    Hi
    Thnaks a lot
    This is great
    Good luck

  18. Nageshwarrao k

    Hi,

    Thank you so much..this article helps me a lot…Good luck

  19. thiru

    Hello boss good its very nice

  20. Valter

    Great article, i had the same problem and help me to fix it, but now i need you to help in a another issue,
    can i deploy this for 1500 machines by GPO…!!!!

    Thanks

  21. Surya

    This is a great solution and it did work for me. Thank you for posting this.

  22. Venkat

    i have fixed system Maximum Log size to 2048(Goto Run->Type.. eventwvr->then press Enter key) but i have got again “The event log file is full”…. after that i have fixed Application properties Maximum Log Size to 2048….. then only i have got solved the “The Event Log file is full”.

  23. gbu

    It solve the problem

  24. laaya

    thank you so much;
    that was great;

  25. Mimsi

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. Just started a new job. Brand new computer, yet when trying to run their primary application, I kept throwing errors and couldn’t figure out why. This was it! Many thanks for saving my sanity!

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