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Windows 7: Need installation monitoring program

18 Oct 2010   #1
micnolmad

windows 7 home premium 64
 
 
Need installation monitoring program

As the title says, I need a program to log what files are put where and so on when installing random software which will work on win7 64.

Thanks


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 Oct 2010   #2
zzz2496

Windows7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

Windows already has one, it's called "Windows Installer" service, and the "report module" is the "Programs and Features" control panel applet... For 3rd party installer, there always be some kind of log left out in the installed application's folder ("install.log" is the most common log filename). Then there's the HUGE database that Windows use to keep track of everything, called "The Registry"...

zzz2496
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18 Oct 2010   #3
micnolmad

windows 7 home premium 64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by zzz2496 View Post
Then there's the HUGE database that Windows use to keep track of everything, called "The Registry"...

zzz2496
Sorry but when has the registry ever logged files installed by exe files?

For this applet you talk about, where would I find that?

And are you saying win7 keeps track on every single file installed by malicious installers?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 Oct 2010   #4
zzz2496

Windows7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

Ahh... You're chasing the malicious files... Hmm, for that matter, I don't think there is a way to track in Windows world as is. See, "install" is just another way of doing a lot of file copies, putting registry entries, making logs of what goes where, and registering files (like audio video filters and such) automagically. You can "install" firefox by decompressing the software package, put it in "Program Files" folder, and make a short cut of Firefox's binary and put the shortcut in your profile's start menu folder.

What you can is to create a smart folder (or whatever it's called) that is composed of a windows search query result and make it as if it's a folder. But that's just the part where Windows will list files that matches your search query. Say you make a search query of files that are created in the last 3 days in "Windows" folder, and make it a smart folder (I don't really know the exact name, but you get the idea). If you open the smart folder, it will list all files that are created in the last 3 days in "Windows" folder, by then you can scroll and watch the file one by one if you need.

Other than that, there's no way to track anything that is/was copied to any of the volumes on your computer... Remember, "install" is just another way of doing a lot of file copying and some other additional things (registering filters, putting entries in the registry, making logs, and such). Unless you have a way to monitor your entire filesystem as if it's a filing cabinet that understand it as "file per file", then there is no way to track what went where... And there's still the issue of rootkit...

zzz2496
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Oct 2010   #5
Orbital Shark

 
 

Another thing with malicious software is that it wont leave a log of anything that's installed/run and will block ALL attempts that Windows may make to log anything...

Your best option is to have an up-to-date Antivirus and Anti-Malware program running concurrently
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Oct 2010   #6
micnolmad

windows 7 home premium 64
 
 

So are you saying 3rd party install managers are BS?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Oct 2010   #7
Orbital Shark

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by micnolmad View Post
So are you saying 3rd party install managers are BS?
Not at all, but you'd be hard pushed to find 1 that can actively track malicious software. That's what AV software is for
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Oct 2010   #8
zzz2496

Windows7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

Most 3rd party install managers are just front-end for what's already written in "The Registry", since that's what keep track of just about anything in Windows... Maybe they will look for any log files that aren't accounted for, but I don't think they'll do anything more than that...

zzz2496
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Oct 2010   #9
micnolmad

windows 7 home premium 64
 
 

What I mean by tracking malicious sw is only that it must be possible to somehow log what a process is doing in terms of "installing". I am not talking about viruses or trojans. Only bad installers which does not clean up after itself when uninstalling or which does not take versions into consideration before overwriting. I'd like to know these things when testing random programs. This must be possible...
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 Need installation monitoring program




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