Windows Installation and Uninstall Troubleshooting
Windows setup for the most part is an automated procedure and because of that there is only a few troubleshooting steps that ca be done to attempt to fix installation and uninstallation problems. Most problems during an installation will occur due to bad hardware, incompatable hardware, or a damage installation disc. Thankfully there are some log files created during setup to help with the troubleshooting process. This article will give information on the log files. The best troubleshooting step we can give you for installing Windows is to a clean installation. This will remove any software settings that could cause a conflict during setup. Failures during a clean installation will generally be hardware related or a damage installation disc.
Windows Installation Log Files
Windows XP Log Files
|setupact.log||- Is located in the Windows folder (%SystemRoot%). This log file logs setup during the graphical setup phase. This file will also contain setup errors.|
|setuperr.log||- Is located in the Windows folder (%SystemRoot%). This log file logs any errors that occurred during setup.|
|setupapi.log||- Is located in the Windows folder (%SystemRoot%). This log file logs .inf files during setup. Any .inf errors will also be logged here.|
|comsetup.log||- Is located in the Windows folder (%SystemRoot%). This log file logs the Optical Components Manager and COM+ events of setup.|
|netsetup.log||- Is located in the Windows\debug folder (%SystemRoot%\debug). This log file logs the workgroup and\or domain membership.|
|setup.log||- Is located in the Windows\Repair folder (%SystemRoot%\repair). This log file contains installation information and is used during repair situations.|
Windows Vista, 7, and 8 Log Files
|setupact.log||- Is located in the WINDOWS\PANTHER folder (%WINDIR%\panther). This log file logs the various actions taken during setup.|
|setuperr.log||- Is located in the WINDOWS\PANTHER folder (%WINDIR%\panther). This log file logs any errors that occur during setup.|
|miglog.xml||- Is located in the WINDOWS\PANTHER folder (%WINDIR%\panther). This log file contains information about the user directory structure.|
|setupapi.dev.log||- Is located in the WINDOWS\INF folder (%WINDIR\inf). This log file contains information about plug and play devices and driver installations.|
|setupapi.app.log||- Is located in the WINDOWS\INF folder (%WINDIR%\inf). This log file contains information about application installations.|
Accessing the Setup Log Files
Now that we know what setup log files to look for the next step is accessing these files. YOu can do this with 2 different methods. The first method is to press Shift and F10 on your keyboard during setup. This will bring up a command prompt window where you can run programs like notepad to open the log files. The second option is to put the hard disk drive into another Windows computer and accessing the log files from there.
Uninstalling Windows Troubleshooting
Windows Vista and later dont include any tools to do a uninstallation. Generally to uninstall you will need to do a clean installation. Troubles that Occur during a Windows XP uninstallation are generally going to be caused by software settings. You generally want to uninstall any antivirus or other security software before uninstallating Windows XP. Still the best method of doing any uninstallation of Windows is to do a clean installation of your older or other Operating System.