Important Log Files for Deploying Vista

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

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