Smart Card Troubleshooting

Applies To: Windows 10, Windows 11, Windows Server 2016 and above

This article explains tools and services that smart card developers can use to help identify certificate issues with the smart card deployment.

Debugging and tracing smart card issues requires a variety of tools and approaches. The following sections provide guidance about tools and approaches you can use.


For a complete description of Certutil including examples that show how to use it, see Certutil [W2012].

List certificates available on the smart card

To list certificates that are available on the smart card, type certutil -scinfo.


Entering a PIN is not required for this operation. You can press ESC if you are prompted for a PIN.

Delete certificates on the smart card

Each certificate is enclosed in a container. When you delete a certificate on the smart card, you're deleting the container for the certificate.

To find the container value, type certutil -scinfo.

To delete a container, type certutil -delkey -csp "Microsoft Base Smart Card Crypto Provider" "<ContainerValue>".

Debugging and tracing using WPP

WPP simplifies tracing the operation of the trace provider. It provides a mechanism for the trace provider to log real-time binary messages. Logged messages can be converted to a human-readable trace of the operation. For more information, see Diagnostics with WPP - The NDIS blog.

Enable the trace

Using WPP, use one of the following commands to enable tracing:

  • tracelog.exe -kd -rt -start <FriendlyName> -guid #<GUID> -f .\<LogFileName>.etl -flags <flags> -ft 1

  • logman start <FriendlyName> -ets -p {<GUID>} -<Flags> -ft 1 -rt -o .\<LogFileName>.etl -mode 0x00080000

You can use the parameters in the following table.

Friendly name GUID Flags
scardsvr 13038e47-ffec-425d-bc69-5707708075fe 0xffff
winscard 3fce7c5f-fb3b-4bce-a9d8-55cc0ce1cf01 0xffff
basecsp 133a980d-035d-4e2d-b250-94577ad8fced 0x7
scksp 133a980d-035d-4e2d-b250-94577ad8fced 0x7
msclmd fb36caf4-582b-4604-8841-9263574c4f2c 0x7
credprov dba0e0e0-505a-4ab6-aa3f-22f6f743b480 0xffff
certprop 30eae751-411f-414c-988b-a8bfa8913f49 0xffff
scfilter eed7f3c9-62ba-400e-a001-658869df9a91 0xffff
wudfusbccid a3c09ba3-2f62-4be5-a50f-8278a646ac9d 0xffff


To enable tracing for the SCardSvr service:

  • tracelog.exe -kd -rt -start scardsvr -guid #13038e47-ffec-425d-bc69-5707708075fe -f .\scardsvr.etl -flags 0xffff -ft 1

  • logman start scardsvr -ets -p {13038e47-ffec-425d-bc69-5707708075fe} 0xffff -ft 1 -rt -o .\scardsvr.etl -mode 0x00080000

To enable tracing for scfilter.sys:

  • tracelog.exe -kd -rt -start scfilter -guid #eed7f3c9-62ba-400e-a001-658869df9a91 -f .\scfilter.etl -flags 0xffff -ft 1

Stop the trace

Using WPP, use one of the following commands to stop the tracing:

  • tracelog.exe -stop <FriendlyName>

  • logman -stop <FriendlyName> -ets


To stop a trace:

  • tracelog.exe -stop scardsvr

  • logman -stop scardsvr -ets

Kerberos protocol, KDC, and NTLM debugging and tracing

You can use these resources to troubleshoot these protocols and the KDC:

To begin tracing, you can use Tracelog. Different components use different control GUIDs as explained in these examples. For more information, see Tracelog.


To enable tracing for NTLM authentication, run the following command on the command line:

  • tracelog.exe -kd -rt -start ntlm -guid #5BBB6C18-AA45-49b1-A15F-085F7ED0AA90 -f .\ntlm.etl -flags 0x15003 -ft 1

To stop tracing for NTLM authentication, run this command:

  • tracelog -stop ntlm

Kerberos authentication

To enable tracing for Kerberos authentication, run this command:

  • tracelog.exe -kd -rt -start kerb -guid #6B510852-3583-4e2d-AFFE-A67F9F223438 -f .\kerb.etl -flags 0x43 -ft 1

To stop tracing for Kerberos authentication, run this command:

  • tracelog.exe -stop kerb


To enable tracing for the KDC, run the following command on the command line:

  • tracelog.exe -kd -rt -start kdc -guid #1BBA8B19-7F31-43c0-9643-6E911F79A06B -f .\kdc.etl -flags 0x803 -ft 1

To stop tracing for the KDC, run the following command on the command line:

  • tracelog.exe -stop kdc

To stop tracing from a remote computer, run this command: logman.exe -s <ComputerName>.


The default location for logman.exe is %systemroot%system32\. Use the -s option to supply a computer name.

Configure tracing with the registry

You can also configure tracing by editing the Kerberos registry values shown in the following table.

Element Registry Key Setting
Value name: NtLmInfoLevel
Value type: DWORD
Value data: c0015003
Kerberos HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Lsa\Kerberos
Value name: LogToFile
Value type: DWORD
Value data: 00000001

Value name: KerbDebugLevel
Value type: DWORD
Value data: c0000043

Value name: LogToFile
Value type: DWORD
Value data: 00000001
KDC HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Kdc
Value name: KdcDebugLevel
Value type: DWORD
Value data: c0000803

If you used Tracelog, look for the following log file in your current directory: kerb.etl/kdc.etl/ntlm.etl.

If you used the registry key settings shown in the previous table, look for the trace log files in the following locations:

  • NTLM: %systemroot%\tracing\msv1_0

  • Kerberos: %systemroot%\tracing\kerberos 

  • KDC: %systemroot%\tracing\kdcsvc 

To decode event trace files, you can use Tracefmt (tracefmt.exe). Tracefmt is a command-line tool that formats and displays trace messages from an event trace log file (.etl) or a real-time trace session. Tracefmt can display the messages in the Command Prompt window or save them in a text file. It is located in the \tools\tracing subdirectory of the Windows Driver Kit (WDK). For more information, see Tracefmt.

Smart Card service

The smart card resource manager service runs in the context of a local service. It's implemented as a shared service of the services host (svchost) process.

To check if Smart Card service is running

  1. Press CTRL+ALT+DEL, and then select Start Task Manager.

  2. In the Windows Task Manager dialog box, select the Services tab.

  3. Select the Name column to sort the list alphabetically, and then type s.

  4. In the Name column, look for SCardSvr, and then look under the Status column to see if the service is running or stopped.

To restart Smart Card service

  1. Run as administrator at the command prompt.

  2. If the User Account Control dialog box appears, confirm that the action it displays is what you want, and then select Yes.

  3. At the command prompt, type net stop SCardSvr.

  4. At the command prompt, type net start SCardSvr.

You can use the following command at the command prompt to check whether the service is running: sc queryex scardsvr.

The following code sample is an example output from this command:

SERVICE_NAME: scardsvr
    TYPE        : 20 WIN32_SHARE_PROCESS
    STATE       : 4 RUNNING
    WIN32_EXIT_CODE  : 0 (0x0)
    SERVICE_EXIT_CODE : 0 (0x0)
    CHECKPOINT     : 0x0
    WAIT_HINT     : 0x0
    PID        : 1320
    FLAGS       :

Smart card readers

As with any device connected to a computer, Device Manager can be used to view properties and begin the debug process.

To check if smart card reader is working

  1. Navigate to Computer.

  2. Right-click Computer, and then select Properties.

  3. Under Tasks, select Device Manager.

  4. In Device Manager, expand Smart card readers, select the name of the smart card reader you want to check, and then select Properties.


If the smart card reader is not listed in Device Manager, in the Action menu, select Scan for hardware changes.

CryptoAPI 2.0 Diagnostics

CryptoAPI 2.0 Diagnostics is available in Windows versions that support CryptoAPI 2.0 and can help you troubleshoot public key infrastructure (PKI) issues.

CryptoAPI 2.0 Diagnostics logs events in the Windows event log. The logs contain detailed information about certificate chain validation, certificate store operations, and signature verification. This information makes it easier to identify the causes of issues and reduces the time required for diagnosis.

For more information about CryptoAPI 2.0 Diagnostics, see Troubleshooting an Enterprise PKI.

See also

Smart Card Technical Reference