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Compare System Changes

Posted on 2000-03-21
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Last Modified: 2013-12-28
Hey i'm looking for one of those "watching" programs to exam the differences in a system over the change of days or running software.  Is there any program that you can use to "see" all the differnces in a system: differneces IN files (especially the registry and ini files) as well as new or deleted files and folders?

I'm hoping there's one for free (Microsoft or one with Norton, which I own) but I'm willing to pay a few bucks for it.
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Question by:Kilo5
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Expert Comment

by:bertchen
ID: 2643533
you can check out for INCTRL4, this will monitor the changes made by an installation. Regsnap is the program that can snap a copy of your existing registry then a copy later(u specify) and list the changes made within this period.
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by:canali
ID: 2645025
there is also Regtrk.exe (norton utilities) that take a snapshoot of your registry, ini files etc. and then you can compare the difference between snapshoots.
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Expert Comment

by:sassy062897
ID: 2645055
You say you already have Norton... Norton Utilities and SystemWorks have for at least four versions included Registry Tracker.

It tracks and displays all changes to the registry, and allows you to restore previous settings up to several iterations ago. It will also track _changed files_ in folders you select (selection is not automatic), and though it does not track changes _within_ those files, you can at least restore earlier versions of them.

Like most recent Symantec programs, it tends toward the problematic at times, and can cause crashes of its own, much as CrashGuard does. For that reason it isn't something you want to run all the time, but rather just long enough to find and fix a problem. Particularly if your system is complex and/or has large drives with many files, the tracking database updates are both horribly frequent and interminably time-consuming. They'll drive you nuts. But Registry Tracker will show you exactly which changes were made to what when, and let you change them back if you don't like them.
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Author Comment

by:Kilo5
ID: 2647471
well forget that then, i'll try out these other programs right quick, and my Norton Registry Tracker keeps telling me that I have files that to long, possibly a binary file, so I guess it will have to be another third party utility
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Accepted Solution

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tafederek earned 50 total points
ID: 2651514
Try Complete Program Deleter and What Changed. http://members.aol.com/Leithauser/

Or try Rosenthal Uninstall utility, this tracks all files added to your system since it was last run, and can delete them and restore your system.ini, win.ini, system.dat and user.dat files.  http://slonet.org/~doren/
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