CMTrace.exe (former Trace32.exe) is a must have and probably one of the tools you use most as a Configuration Manager Administrator if you don’t count the Admin Console it self of course. CMTrace is a fantastic tool to view Configuration Manager log files, it is truly a life saver.
In Configuration Manager 2012 it is included in the actual installation of Configuration Manager instead of beeing and additional download.
You find CMTrace.exe in <ConfigMgr install folder>\Tools on the Primary Site server, it is also included by default in the Boot Images, thank you for that! I always copy it to all computers in my environment during OSD so I have it everywhere where I might need it.
One feature that I find extremely useful but still not known/used by that many is the possibility to merge log files in one view. It is really great as it will provide a simple overview of for instance all log files involved in Software Update Management sorted by timestamp so you can see exactly when different steps are completed or what happend just before an error.
You can choose to open multiple log file as the same time and select to merge them.
Then you can follow all events related in the same view, great!!
While writing this I found that Rob Marshall – ConfigMgr MVP put together even more information about CMTrace features, it is a really good article which I recommend reading: