Filtering data from SQL*Server Errorlogs

There was an interesting question on Twitter that got bumped up:

How to filter line + following line using Get-SqlErrorLog? Something like Select-String -Context 1

From the PowerShell help:

The Context parameter captures the specified number of lines before and after the line with the match. This allows you to view the match in context.

If you enter one number as the value of this parameter, that number determines the number of lines captured before and after the match. If you enter two numbers as the value, the first number determines the number of lines before the match and the second number determines the number of lines after the match.

I was not sure if Get-SqlErrorLog supported a parameter like Context. So, I decided to check if we can do something like this, without too much code.

Add-type -AssemblyName "Microsoft.SqlServer.Smo, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=89845dcd8080cc91" -EA Stop
$server = New-Object Microsoft.SqlServer.Management.Smo.Server $env:COMPUTERNAME

Output is something like so, on my machine:

C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL10.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\Log

From here it is pretty straight forward:

Get-ChildItem -Path $server.ErrorLogPath -Filter ERRORLOG* |
ForEach-Object -Process { Select-String -Path $_ -Pattern "Starting up database 'sqlchow'" -Context 1}

The output is something like:

  C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL10.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\Log\ERRORLOG:54:2013-08-17 08:33:58.26 spid52
Using 'dbghelp.dll' version '4.0.5'
> C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL10.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\Log\ERRORLOG:55:2013-08-17 12:55:59.64 spid53
Starting up database 'sqlchow'.
  C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL10.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\Log\ERRORLOG:56:2013-08-17 12:56:01.78 spid53
Setting database option COMPATIBILITY_LEVEL to 100 for database sqlchow.

Note: If you want to search only in the first error-log file then, just remove change the code to:

Get-ChildItem -Path $server.ErrorLogPath -Filter ERRORLOG |
ForEach-Object -Process { Select-String -Path $_ -Pattern "Starting up database 'sqlchow'" -Context 1}

Interesting stuff eh!


By profession, I’m a SQL Server Database Administrator. I love to poke my nose into different corners and see how stuff looks in there. I keep looking for new things to do as my mind refuses to settle on one topic.

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Posted in Fun-Stuff, PowerShell, SQL Server

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