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Authoring rules for Windows 2008 events, and how to cheat

So…. with the introduction of Server 2008 into OpsMgr… as a monitored agent, you might need to re-evaluate some of your old rules.

Almost all (if not all) of the basic event ID’s and parameters, in the security event log, have changed. 

For instance, I had a rule to alert me on every RDP logon to every server in my lab.  I did this on Server 2003, using the following data source configuration:


The logon event was 528, I used the Security event source (not really required in this case) and then I only wanted to alert on RDP/Console logon types… so that is where Parameter 4 came in.  I had to use LogParser to figure out which parameter is which.


Now – I realized, since I rebuilt my main Terminal Server with Server 2008, this rule isnt alerting anymore.

It is apparent that the new security event is now this:


So – off I go to update my rule.

I will use Event ID 4624, that part is easy…. but now – which parameter is the logon type of “10” now?

I can certainly use LogParser… and it will tell me, but in Server 2008 – there appears to be a shortcut:  Choose the Details Tab of the event you want, and all the parameters are listed, in order… and you simply have to count down:


Counting down from the top – that is Parameter 9.  So my new data source expression for the rule looks like this:


So – I will ONLY get alerts on those specific events.  But wait – I need to customize my Alert description!  I can use the same “cheat”.  In my alert description – I want to state something like “Username logged on to ServerName from IPAddress”.  I can get all of that right, and the parameters – right from this event:


Counting down – I can see this is parameter 6, 12, and 19.  So I make my alert description look like so:


And my alert?



Use this method to quickly figure out which parameters you want for your rule criteria, and your alert descriptions.

UPDATE – 2-25-2009

I have to update this post – based on the comment from Raphael Burri  (

In addition to the easy way to find out parameters in Server 2008 – he commented on an even better way to bring rich alert descriptions in… without much work.

So for this example – I will create a new rule – which will alert me when someone types a bad password while accessing my Terminal Server:

The event in question – has changed from EventID 528 on Server 2000/2003 – to EventID 4625 on Server 2008:


Now – instead of using event parameter numbers in my Alert Description – I will use the event XPath name straight from the event!  Open the event… and choose the details tab.  Then choose the XML view.  It looks like this:


Now – to capture ANY of these “Event Data” fields… we could use parameters – counting down like the example I posted above.  OR – we can simply pull the parameter name – which is given to us right from the event:

Simply use this format:


For instance… I want my alert description for this alert to state:

(Username) typed a bad password accessing directly from computer: (computername) from IP: (IP Address)

So from above – I can simply use the “Data Names” listed in the event data:




My alert description now looks like this:


The alert comes in as:


Thanks for the tip Raphael!

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