Windows Legacy OS forum

General discussion

software installation tracker

by murman / August 16, 2007 2:11 AM PDT

Is there a program (free preferable), that tracks the location and changes made to a computer when you install a new program? If so what is the name of it. Thanks

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System Information
by Darton Fury / August 16, 2007 4:42 AM PDT

Enter msinfo32 in the run dialog box. Select View, System History, Software Environment. Specify the display date in the upper right corner if desired.

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This may do some of what you want
by JP Bill / August 16, 2007 4:46 AM PDT
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(NT) What exactly are your trying to accomplish?
by caktus / August 16, 2007 3:48 PM PDT
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tracking
by murman / August 16, 2007 9:22 PM PDT

I wanted to find the location of what dll's, registry items etc. that the program put on the computer. Then if, say the program isn't quiet right and I have to delete it I can manually remove those items that the uninstaller missed.

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Probably not possible
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / August 16, 2007 11:00 PM PDT
In reply to: tracking

in the sense you ask.

Software writers are incredibly lazy nowadays. Instead of keeping their dll's and other files within the same program directory, (or folder), they plant them all over the place in Windows. The favorite location is the Windows/System32 folder, and if you have checked that folder on your computer recently you will see why it is so difficult to keep track of any changes, (I have 2475 objects in mine at the moment). The same with the registry, whilst software writers are keen to make entries in the registry to conform with Microsoft requirements, they are not so bothered about deleting them within their uninstall procedure.

Many applications will now include a folder in the Documents and Settings, either for your user name or for All Users, so the best way to keep a lid on this is to set a Restore Point before installing anything. That way, if you need to revert back you restore back to that point. Then you hunt down the Document and Settings folder, and the folder within Program Files, or wherever you installed the application, and delete those folders. I would forget about the System32 folder additions.

Some programmers will include a log of the installation process. You see this some times when during the install you see a "Details" option. that lists the files being extracted and installed. Usually such logs are held in the Application folder, in Program files, or wherever. So you could use that to track down the installed files, but beware, any files you track down in the System32 folder may well be shared files, (by other applications), and so deleting those may be risky.

Mark

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tracking
by murman / August 16, 2007 11:18 PM PDT
In reply to: Probably not possible

Thank you, yes the 32 folder is a nightmare. I'll look around, but you're right about the shared stuff.

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Sometimes another "nightmare"....
by caktus / August 17, 2007 7:35 AM PDT
In reply to: tracking

is that while System Restore is probably one of the best utlities MS ever came up with, it is incapable of backing up the entire Registry, on occasion leaves behind some Registry entries placed by programs that have been uninstalled (Norton a case in point) which can at times reek havoc on the system or other programs. System Restore can also restore or remove folders, files and documents when you didn't want it too. Something that MS did not entend, and appearantly refuses to fix.

These problems can be avoided by first creating a complete backup of the System Registry. This can be safely and quickly accomplished using ERUNT
The Emergency Recovery Utility NT
Registry Backup and Restore for Windows NT/2000/2003/XP/Vista
.
After removing the undesirable porgram, the backup called ERDNT will restore the exact same Registry entries/settings with the exception that it will not restore/remove folders, files and documents. I [have] found that it (and Systen Restore) does change the time in No Frill Timer (NFT). According to the author this is a bug in the program which he once told me how to fix, but it was all Greek to me.

Charlie

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In Passing, Charlie... I Saw Your Other post w/ Erunt ....
by tobeach / August 17, 2007 4:47 PM PDT

suggestion and got the program & installed. Actually used the restore facility for the first time tonight and worked beautifully (as far as I can tell). Just opened my chosen back up date folder & clicked on the exe there-in, ok'd reboot and done. Thanks for the tip!! Sandy Grin

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(NT) Glad it worked out for you.
by caktus / August 20, 2007 3:13 AM PDT
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