How to view(read) the smsts.log and other log files when PXE boot fails in running the task sequence

Failure of Task sequence during the PXE is very common and sometimes it is very difficult to know why is it failing until you get the smsts logs .There could be various reasons why the Task sequence is failing.If you try to look at the reports,you may not get exact reason for the failure .There are couple of solutions to get the smsts*. logs incase of task sequence failure .Some of them are given here.

1) you can add task sequence action to copy the logs to share location using cmd as given in

2)Manually getting the logs using F8 command.

After the Task sequence session starts,press F8 (you should have this F8 command enabled in Boot image),CMD will open with the default path like x:\windows

Usually the logs will the stored in X:\Windows\Temp\SMSTSLog or C:\SMSTSLog or C:\_SMSTaskSequence.To know more about the logs location depends on the task sequence actions where it is storing the logs

Now i want to see the smsts.log which is present in x:\windows\temp\smstslog during PXEBoot.

In CM12,the default path after pressing F8 will be X:\sms\bin\X64 .

To load smsts.log,you will have to change the Dir .

Type cd X:\windows\temp\smstslog

You will be redirected to X:\windows\temp\smstslog ,just do notepad smsts.log,it will open the .log file in notepad which is not good to read /identify the errors.If you have included trace32 in boot image,you can use trace to view the log.

Lets move onto the next step by connecting the network share to copy the log files.

on the command prompt that you recently changed the DIR to X:\windows\temp\smstslog  just type net use k: \\\soft (Where IP address is the computer to store the logs on the network ,k: drive letter to map and soft is folder on the share to copy the log files) .

It prompt you for the use name and password. Provide user name(ex:eskonr\eswar) and password (which is invisible) where eswar is the username should have write permission to the above share and eskonr is a domian.when you enter the credentials,it gives you message connected successfully.

In the commnd prompt i.e X:\windows\temp\smstslog type copy smsts.log  K: .you will see 1 file copied successfully.You can open the smsts.log with trace32.exe which you can get if you install SMS/SCCM tool kit from microsoft.

3 Responses to "How to view(read) the smsts.log and other log files when PXE boot fails in running the task sequence"

  1. Hi Eshwar,
    I need some assistance from you, I have issues with injecting NIC drivers to the boot image, so I am manually loaded NIC drivers into WinPE by pressing f8 and running drvload to install NIC drivers and I am get Ipaddress.
    Once done I am running tsbootshell.exe to start the task sequence, once the task sequence finishes copying the image to C drive, it needs a restart which is not happening because I have command prompt opened.
    If I close the command prompt the computer reboots but it will fail to run the 2nd stage of task sequence.
    How can I close the command prompt and resume my task sequence to take care of the restart.
    Can you help me.


  2. Hi Eshwar,

    I am trying to deploy sccm OSD Task sequence to Non SCCM sites. I have created stand alone media, but it fails after domain join step. when I check error in smsts.log "the task sequence manager unable to continue the task sequence"

    1. In Non SCCM Site, SCCM Client is not required.

    Please help...


    1. what do you mean by Non-SCCM Site ? are these computers not managed by SCCM ? if so,you dont need sccm client. You must check the smsts.log for more information where does it failed. Did it join to domain correctly ?


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