How to increase the number of SQL Server error logs

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SUMMARY

This article describes how to increase the number of SQL Server error logs.

By default, the SQL Server error logs are kept in the SQL Server's Log subfolder. By default, there are seven SQL Server error logs; Errorlog and Errorlog.1 through Errorlog.6. The name of the current, most recent log is Errorlog with no extension. The log is re-created every time that you restart SQL Server. When the Errorlog file is re-created, the previous log is renamed to Errorlog.1, and the next previous log (Errorlog.1) is renamed to Errorlog.2, and so on. Errorlog.6 is deleted. This actually occurs in reverse order, but the result is the same.

In some cases, you may want to keep more than seven logs archived. In SQL Server 7.0, you can add a registry key setting to retain more than seven error logs.

NOTE: In SQL Server 2000 or in SQL Server 2005, the number of error logs that are created before they are recycled is configurable through the context-sensitive popup menu for SQL Server Logs. For more information, see the "Configure SQL Server Error Logs" topic in SQL Server Books Online.

Increase the Number of SQL Server Error Logs

WARNING: If you use Registry Editor incorrectly, you may cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that you can solve problems that result from using Registry Editor incorrectly. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

Because this command changes the registry, Microsoft recommends that you back up your changes. You can do this by running the command-line utility Regrebld.exe with the -Backup parameter. For example:
D:\MSSQL7\BINN>regrebld -Backup
Note The Regrebld.exe command-line utility is only available in SQL Server 7.0. For information about how to rebuild the registry in SQL Server 2000, see SQL Server Books Online.

This command creates five files in the SQL Server's Binn subfolder:
  • Mssql7.rbk
  • Mssql7ct.rbk
  • Mssql7ea.rbk
  • Mssql7es.rbk
  • Mssql7p.rbk
Save these files because you need them to restore the registry.

The new registry key that you can set is:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\MSSQLServer\MSSQLServer\NumErrorLogs
By default, this key is absent. The value is of the REG_DWORD type. Modify the value to the number of logs that you want to maintain.

Additionally, in SQL Server 7.0, you can cycle the error log without restarting SQL Server by running the sp_cycle_errorlog stored procedure. This procedure is a simple wrapper for the DBCC ERRORLOG statement. Running DBCC ERRORLOG resets the SQL Server error log.

REFERENCES

For more information on increasing the archiveable number of SQL Server error logs, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
230590 How to archive more than six SQL Server error logs

Properties

Article ID: 196909 - Last Review: November 2, 2007 - Revision: 5.4
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Developer Edition
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Personal Edition
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition 64-bit
  • Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Developer Edition
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Enterprise Edition
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Workgroup Edition
Keywords: 
kbhowtomaster KB196909

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