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Old 06-25-2009, 10:19 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Lightbulb Using the BB Event Log to solve mysterious problems

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I mentioned this in another thread, specific to an issue I had been having with my 8900 over the past couple of days ("can't edit profiles"). It seemed useful enough to me so that it might be worth sharing as a separate thread where more people might see it. A number of folks here already knows all about this, but I'm guessing that most people never look at the event log and don't realize how useful it can be, even if you're not a developer. I hope this helps somebody else out.

The Blackberry Event Log is a repository for messages logged by applications and the operating system. They also come in multiple "levels" of severity, including "Warning", "Information" and "Debug Info". You can choose which level of messages you save (the "minimum log level") from the severity options, and also choose which apps and portions of the OS to capture event log messages from.

Note: most of the write-ups on saving memory in your Blackberry tell you to "hide events", which keeps the log clear and saves operating memory. If you have memory issues, this is probably good advice -- and you can simply un-tick "hide events" when you're using Event Log to track down problems, and go back to clearing the log and hiding events when you're done.

The two easiest ways to get to the event log that I'm aware of are:
1) hold down the ALT key while pressing LGLG, then let go
2) use QuickLaunch and add "Event Log" as an "application" for it to launch on request (it then appears in your QL popup menu)

If you try this, you'll probably see a LOT of messages in your event log (unless you have "hide events" checked). These can warnings, errors, informational messages, etc. I find it easiest to get everything set to create the error condition I've been experiencing, open the event log and "clear it" (open Event Log, press menu button, select "Clear Log"), then go back and actually do whatever I've been doing that seems to make the error happen. Then I immediately go back and look at the event log.

A number of the messages you'll see are normal byproducts of proper system operation. But if there's an error in the way a program or module is running, you will likely see a message with "exception" in it. You don't have to be a programmer to be able to read any such message and look for recognizable terms that give you an idea about which application or module is having or creating problems.

I used this approach just this morning, and was able to figure out an annoying issue in which I was simply unable to edit my blackberry profile -- I went through the normal steps (click on profile icon, select "advanced" and then click on the active profile), but nothing would happen and I couldn't edit any profiles or create new ones. Using the event log, I could see that Facebook was causing an issue (there are FB hooks into the profile manager), which in turn led me to looking at installed applications where I found that as well as having FB 1.6 installed the OS also thought that FB 1.5 was still installed. Clearly, FB was not 100% clean. In the end, I wound up uninstalling both versions, rebooting and reinstalling FB 1.6 -- and now all is back to normal. This approach allowed me to avoid a needless OS reinstall which probably wouldn't have worked anyway, since it would also reinstall the problem files. I saved a lot of time and aggravation simply by looking at the clues readily available to me.

Just a suggestion to keep this approach in mind if you ever run into issues where the Blackberry is usable, but not behaving it should. Check the event log and see if the system is capturing any useful clues for you.

- Jon
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Old 06-25-2009, 01:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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That is a very helpful post. I'm bumping because more people need to know about this wonderful diagnostic tool on their device.
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Old 06-26-2009, 02:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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any idea on where to find the event log on a 8220?
I have issues with deleted appointments.
Thx
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