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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Is there a way to tell if someone else has been using my computer in my absence?

Is there a way to tell if someone else has been using my computer in my absence?
For example, the last time it was booted?

Windows XP and Vista have an Event Viewer to help you keep track of what your computer is doing. An event is anything noteworthy that happens to your computer. To bring up the E.V. in XP go to Start/Run and type the following...
eventvwr.msc
The same process applies to Vista, only you type it in the Search Box.
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Events are stored in three log files: Application, Security, and System. These logs can be reviewed and archived. In Vista these can be found under the "Windows Logs" section.
For our purposes we want the System log. Click on "System" in the left-hand column for a list of events. Look for a date and time when you weren't home and your computer should have been off.
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By double-clicking the event you can get more details on what the event was. Just click on the link for that says, "For more information..."
You can also use this log to see how long someone was on the computer. Just look at the time the computer was turned on and off for that day. Oh look, Junior was on for 6 hours! No wonder the yard work wasn't done.

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