Background Tracing


Applies To: Windows 10, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server Technical Preview, Windows Vista

The DTC allows a user to select from three different types of background tracing, depending on user need and performance considerations. The three tracing options are described in the following table.


For information about how to enable or disable these output options, see the Help documentation for the Component Services administrative tool on your system.

Tracing option Description
Trace All Transactions This tracing option is the most comprehensive This and is not enabled by default. Enabling this option could affect system performance.
Trace Aborted Transactions For performance reasons, users can choose to trace only those transactions that have aborted or stopped. This tracing option is enabled by default.
Trace Long-Lived Transactions This tracing option, which is enabled by default, traces transactions that live beyond a certain time interval, indicating that the transaction might be hung. The system-defined time-out interval is one minute plus the time-out period for the transaction (if specified).

When background tracing is enabled, the DTC writes the trace data to a binary log file on the local system. This binary file is located in %systemroot%\system32\msdtc\trace\dtctrace.log. The maximum size of the log file is 10 megabytes.

If you want to delete the log file for background tracing, you must first stop the current tracing session. Reasons for deleting the trace log file are to reclaim disk space or to force a backup of the current log file.

Only one log file for background trace data ever exists on a computer, so the file is circular. When the file reaches its maximum size, log file data is replaced with new data. The oldest transaction entries are overwritten with newer entries. Prior to overwriting the log file, DTC makes a backup copy of the file, renames it, and stores it in the same directory.

See Also

DTC Tracing
Executing Queries on Trace Data
Messages in Trace Data
Tracing Individual Transactions
Viewing Trace Data