Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I know I can get logs of shutdowns from the eventlog when the shutdown is proper and initiated by the user or due to software upgrades. But how do I determine if the last shutdown was due power failure, over heating etc?

share|improve this question
up vote 9 down vote accepted

In the System event log, look for EventID 41 Kernel-Power. It's description is:

The system has rebooted without cleanly shutting down first. This error could be caused if the system stopped responding, crashed, or lost power unexpectedly.

That sounds like what you're looking for, correct?

share|improve this answer
Also if the system was shut down cleanly there will allways be 3 events "Event Log" in a row. One stopping one stopped and one starting. – t1nt1n Aug 9 '12 at 14:25
Is there any way to know when the last shutdown happened due to the reasons mentioned in my question? – unlimit Aug 9 '12 at 19:07
You can have a scheduled task with that event as a trigger and have it send an email or do whatever else you want. – MDMarra Aug 9 '12 at 19:35
I was thinking of creating a service and maybe do a "touch" on a file every n minutes and then compare its last modified date with the event timestamp to figure this out. Do you think this will be efficient or do you have any better way? – unlimit Aug 9 '12 at 23:31
Why do you need that, there's a time listed with the event... – MDMarra Aug 10 '12 at 0:25

You can create a custom event viewer view of the System log and restrict the source to

Source: Microsoft-Windows-Kernel-Power

These should notify you about power-loss and subsequent power-restored events.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.