Where Is The SQL Server ErrorLog File?

I seldom lose things; I just cannot find them as quickly as I’d like. This is true for keys, tools, and yes even ErrorLog files on SQL Server.

On the servers that I configure, I have a standard way of doing things. I set them up using some industry best practices and some standards that I’ve developed over the years. On those servers, I can find the ErrorLog file quickly since it is in a predictable place for me.

Using T-SQL To Find The ErrorLog File

In my consulting practice, I regularly work with SQL Servers that I did not configure. For those servers, I must discover where things are. One technique that I use is to ask SQL Server itself where things are. For example, the following T-SQL query will return the location of the ErrorLog file.


It will return something like the following:

E:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL.1\MSSQL\LOG\ERRORLOG

This technique is particularly useful when I’m examining the ErrorLog in a PowerShell script. I blogged about that The Power Of RegEx in PowerShell.

9 Responses to Where Is The SQL Server ErrorLog File?

  1. Nitin says:

    Its particularly harder when the server is not starting up.

    Then the only choice is to do a desktop search

  2. If the SQL Server service can not start you can use SQL Server Configuration Manager, right-click your service, select Properties, Advanced, Startup Parameters and look for the -e parameter like in

    -eC:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL10_50.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\Log\ERRORLOG

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