Important Log Files for Deploying Vista

by Mitch Tulloch [Published on 10 April 2008 / Last Updated on 10 April 2008]

Five log files you should know about for troubleshooting Vista deployment problems.

Here’s a quick summary of five log files that may (or may not be) created by Vista during deployment:

%windir%\panther\setupact.log, records setup actions resulting from installation of the operating system.

%windir%\panther\setuperr.log, records errors encountered during installation of the operating system.

%windir%\panther\cbs_unattend.log, records processing of answer file during unattended install.

%windir%\panther\cbs_langpack.log, records installation of language packs.

%windir%\winsxs\pending.xml, lists operations that are pending for execution after the system reboots during installation.


Mitch Tulloch was lead author for the Windows Vista Resource Kit from Microsoft Press, which is the book for IT pros who want to deploy, maintain and support Windows Vista in mid- and large-sized network environments. Mitch was also the author of Introducing Windows Server 2008 and technical project lead for the Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 Resource Kit, both books also from Microsoft Press. For more information on these and other books by Mitch, see

The Author — Mitch Tulloch

Mitch Tulloch is a widely recognized expert on Windows administration, networking, and security. He has been repeatedly awarded Most Valuable Professional (MVP) status by Microsoft for his outstanding contributions in supporting users who deploy and use Microsoft platforms, products and solutions. Mitch has published over two hundred articles on different IT websites and magazines, and he has written or contributed to almost two dozen books and is lead author for the Windows 7 Resource Kit from Microsoft Press. For more information, see .

Latest Contributions

Featured Links