Geeks With Blogs
Reidar Husmo SharePoint from the trenches

Let us imagine that you've done a bad. Or, more easily imagineable, that a colleague has. SharePoint has presented you with a "Woopsie! And here's the correlation id: {27B94581-9972-4D93-AD7F-DDCB72EF0FA1}".

If you've ever developed with SharePoint, you know what I'm talking about…

So you navigate to the SharePoint hive, find the logs directory, sort by date, open the newest file in notepad, and search for the error. Or if you're black belt you use UlsViewer and, well, basically do the same.

But after you've developed with SharePoint a bit, you decide to get certified, and find that one of the questions has an answer that must be correct (the others being non-sensical) which mentions Get-SPLogEvent.

How does that work?

Well, the Get-Help Get-SPLogEvent -Examples works as usual.

Basic idea:

Get-SPLogEvent -StartTime "13/11/2012 08:38:23" -EndTime "13/11/2012 08:38:23.02"

finds all the errors between start and end times. 

And if you only want to see your colleague's error you filter by correlation ID:

Get-SPLogEvent -StartTime "13/11/2012 08:38:23" -EndTime "13/11/2012 08:38:23.02" | Where-Object { $_.Correlation -eq '{27B94581-9972-4D93-AD7F-DDCB72EF0FA1}'}

You may be tempted to forego the start and end times. Do not do this. Well, ok, do it just this once. And start task manager first - it is always nice to watch all those cores getting a proper work out.


Having to type the start and end time quickly gets tiresome. 

On a dev box it makes sense to use a starttime of  five or ten minutes ago (i.e. Now.AddMinutes( -5/-10)). And you don't really need EndTime.

$events = Get-SPLogEvent -StartTime (Get-Date).AddMinutes(-10) | ? { $_.Correlation -eq '{27B94581-9972-4D93-AD7F-DDCB72EF0FA1}'} you wrap this in a Powershell snippet which takes an argument, and you're happy.

Or not.

I hate pasting into command windows, even if it's set up as right-click to paste.

So. How about a tiny a win64 application? With a textbox? Paste the correlation id into that textbox, create a Powershell script on the fly, and call it.


But it can be improved. How about... A tiny application that has a GotFocus handler. And checks the clipboard - if it's a guid, grab it, create the script, and call it. In a background thread, so we're still (almost) responding to stuff:

        private BackgroundWorker _worker;

        public LogForm()



            _worker = new BackgroundWorker {WorkerSupportsCancellation = false, WorkerReportsProgress = false};

            _worker.RunWorkerCompleted += (sender, e) =>


                    Cursor = Cursors.Default;

                    if (e.Error != null)


                        feedbackTextBox.Text = "Error: " + e.Error.Message;




                        resultTextBox.Text = e.Result.ToString();



            _worker.DoWork += (sender, e) =>


                    var script = e.Argument as string;

                    var result = RunPowershell(script);

                    e.Result = result;



        private void LogForm_Enter(object sender, EventArgs e)


            if (Clipboard.ContainsText() && !_worker.IsBusy)


                var text = Clipboard.GetText().Trim();

                Guid correlationId;



                    correlationId = new Guid(text);


                catch (FormatException ex)


                    return; // not a guid. (there is no Guid.TryParse)


                correlationTextBox.Text = correlationId.ToString("B");

                resultTextBox.Text = string.Empty;

                feedbackTextBox.Text = string.Empty;

                this.Cursor = Cursors.WaitCursor;

                var script = string.Format(@"

$events = Get-SPLogEvent -StartTime (Get-Date).AddMinutes(-10) | ?{{$_.Correlation -eq '{0}'}}

foreach ($event in $events) 










The "runpowershell" method is largely unchanged from a previous post:
        public string RunPowershell(string powershellText)
            // Powershell ~= RunspaceFactory - i.e. Create a powershell context
            var runspace = RunspaceFactory.CreateRunspace();

            var resultString = new StringBuilder();
                // load the SharePoint snapin - Note: you cannot do this in the script itself (i.e. add-pssnapin etc does not work)
                PSSnapInException snapInError;
                runspace.RunspaceConfiguration.AddPSSnapIn("Microsoft.SharePoint.PowerShell", out snapInError);


                var pipeline = runspace.CreatePipeline();

                // add a "return" variable

                // execute!
                var results = pipeline.Invoke();

                // convert the script result into a single string
                foreach (PSObject obj in results)
                // close the runspace
            // consider logging the result. Or something.
            return resultString.ToString();


SharePoint log lookup in action

It should, perhaps, be mentioned that just as I was putting the finishing touches on this post, VS 2012 update 1 was released - which includes improved SharePoint integration, especially w.r.t. SharePoint logs.

To summarise: We created a tiny application which automatically searches the SharePoint logs for a clipboarded correlation guid.

Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2012 1:08 PM | Back to top

Comments on this post: Finding the error from a correlation ID

No comments posted yet.
Your comment:
 (will show your gravatar)

Copyright © Norgean | Powered by: | Join free