Control Background Tracing

Applies To: Windows Server 2008

The Microsoft Distributed Transaction Coordinator (MS DTC) provides a dialog box in which you can control background tracing. You can use the Tracing Options dialog box to set output and logging options.


You can use the Tracing Options dialog box for background tracing only. You cannot use it to control the tracing of individual transactions or to control trace settings remotely.

Membership in Administrators, or equivalent, is the minimum required to complete these procedures. Review details about using the appropriate accounts and group memberships at Local and Domain Default Groups (

To control background trace settings

  1. Open Component Services.

    To open Component Services, click Start. In the search box, type dcomcnfg, and then press ENTER.

  2. In the console tree, click the DTC instance that you want to configure.

  3. On the Action menu, click Properties to open the Tracing tab.

Setting output options

The Trace Aborted Transactions option and the Trace Long-Lived Transactions option are enabled by default.


If you do not select the higher-level Trace Transactions check box or the highest-level Trace Output check box, the default tracing options are disabled.

To set the type of tracing that you want to enable or disable

  1. Open the Tracing Options dialog box.

  2. In the Output Options panel, select or clear the appropriate check box. The options are as follows:

    • Trace All Transactions

    • Trace Aborted Transactions

    • Trace Long-Lived Transactions

  3. Click OK.

Setting logging options

You can use logging options to control the log file for the trace data.

To set the logging options

  1. Open the Tracing Options dialog box.

  2. In the Logging Options panel, select the option that you want. The following table describes the possible options.

    Option Description

    New Session

    Starts a new tracing session. When a new session starts, the DTC backs up the existing log file, if one exists.

    Stop Session

    Stops a tracing session that is in progress. Stopping a trace session unlocks the trace log file so that you can delete the file, if necessary.

    Flush Data

    Moves all the data from its memory buffers to the log file on a disk. Be sure to flush data before you view trace data to ensure that all trace data that is in memory is sent to the disk; otherwise, some trace data might not appear in the log file when you view it. Selecting this option might affect system performance. When the tracing session stops, this option is disabled.

    Max. Num. Of Memory Buffers (size PageSize)

    Changes the maximum number of memory buffers that are possible. The default maximum value is 25. If the DTC recommends that you increase this limit, it writes a message to Event Viewer. Because the memory is taken out of the nonpageable buffer, if the amount of memory that is available in the nonpageable buffer is insufficient, you might not be able to set a high number for this value. If you see a message to that effect from the DTC, click OK.

  3. Click OK.