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Is there an application that watches the registry in real time, and tell me which registry keys got modified when I install a program?

This is useful as I don't want my program, downloaded from the Internet, simply change crucial registry and in the worse case, render my OS unusable.

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There is a tool called regmon. It's pretty good for what you are trying to do.

You can also use its spin off called Process Monitor.

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Yes! The Sysinternals tools are the way to go! Regmon has actually been retired and replaced by Process Monitor, which is a much more flexible and powerful tool. –  heavyd Sep 16 '10 at 14:39

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