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I've been using InControl5 for 10+ years to take snapshots of Windows folders and registry while testing software installation packages. It takes a snapshot of the system before running the install program and then takes another snapshot when the install is complete. It compares the two snapshots and generates a report which shows files, folders and registry values created, modified or deleted.

It seems to me there might be a newer/better tool out there by now. Does anyone use anything else for this kind of purpose?

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4 Answers 4

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There's Sandboxie combined with an additional utility called SandboxDiff that might be able to do what you need. The author of SandboxDiff mentioned he had also previously used InControl5.

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Have a look at RegShot !

"Regshot is an open-source (LGPL) registry compare utility that allows you to quickly take a snapshot of your registry and then compare it with a second one - done after doing system changes or installing a new software product."

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I gave it a go, and although the UI is rather minimalistic, it does its job. The report actually looks rather fine - and having it as an open source could mean it will remain relevant and non-bloat. Thanks –  akauppi Jul 15 at 11:23
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You might have a look at Total Uninstall. I've been using it for years and it's a very efficient uninstaller that compares snapshots before and after installation. Very reliable and highly configurable.

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Note: their trial is restricted, it's not the Pro version. Means one cannot do comparisons or run it in a virtual machine. Obviously, such trial policy harms them themselves. –  akauppi Jul 15 at 11:25
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Well PC Magazine has updated InCtrl5 itself, but since they started charging for utilities several years ago, InCtrlX is not free.

An alternate programs is ZSoft Uninstaller. I’ve tried a lot of these kinds of programs and ZSoft’s was the next best one to InCtrl; it works pretty well, is fairly effective at catching changes to both the file-system and registry without cluttering with too many false-positives, and unlike most programs in the category is actually free.

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