Finding where programs write during and after installation

Posted on 2007-10-09
Last Modified: 2010-03-05

I am not to sure how to word this, however here goes,

I wish to find out where a install program writes to on my drive when i install a program. So (in a perfect world) i get a list of all the folders that have been changed/accessed or created. Some of the installations are web based, some install from a network share (exe).

The reason for this is so i can use permissions more effectively in a network environment so users can change and update various systems with compromising the security of the rest of the computer by allowing them as local administrators.

I have before relied on the vendors of the programs or them being fairly simple, however this is becoming more and more difficult and wasting alot of my time moving from computer to computer when it could in theory be done by group policy and scripts (I hope)


Question by:marky1984
    LVL 26

    Accepted Solution

    Greetings Mark,

    I would use 'DiskMon' Its is an application that logs and displays all hard disk activity on a Windows system.

    More Info:

    Hope this helps!

    LVL 4

    Assisted Solution

    If you're just looking to get a list of the disk accesses during an installation, you can use FileMon, which is a free download from Microsoft. It works really well for this purpose.
    LVL 1

    Author Comment

    Yes that does look about right thanks,

    I just tested it with one of my more complicated web apps that requires .net 2.0, in 1 minute there were 120,000 entries and the install was only 20% done.

    I guess its just a case of setting the filters and then alot of wading through logs, but it will make my life a hell of alot easier so worth it.

    Any other programs, something has just clicked and i relised i could probably do this using windows performance and alerts, any ideas on how to do this and if its a good idea?
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    >> i could probably do this using windows performance and alerts, any ideas on how to do this and if its a good idea?

    I'm not aware of a good way to accomplish this using Windows perf.
    LVL 1

    Author Comment

    no worries, think these tools will help me enough

    thanks for your help

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