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one of my customers is going to be audited by a Microsoft partner to check if all the installed software is legal.

So far, so good with the software I installed: all the Windows XP machines have their correspondent licenses, all the other applications I installed are freeware (Open Office, 7zip, etc).

But my customer asks me for a pre-auditing revision, to check if any of his employees installed any kind of software or -worse- are using a "portable" version of a copyrighted software with no license.

Is there any freeware tool that can help me with the auditing? I checked WinAudit, which seems good to audit the installed software, but it has no support to scan for registry keys or .EXE names / CRC checksums of possible offending programs.

TIA, Pablo

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closed as off-topic by Mokubai Aug 9 '14 at 8:01

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions seeking product, service, or learning material recommendations are off-topic because they become outdated quickly and attract opinion-based answers. Instead, describe your situation and the specific problem you're trying to solve. Share your research. Here are a few suggestions on how to properly ask this type of question." – Mokubai
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

You won't be able to audit portable apps: the point of them is that they run without impacting the machine or having installation requirements. As well as meaning they'll run "anyware" from just the portable install (on a USB stick or similar) it usually means that they leave no trace on the machine after they have run. – David Spillett Nov 11 '10 at 15:58
@David: some of the "portable" apps leaves traces in the registry; one of my customers was using a -obviously illegal- "Portable Excel / Word" that requires no installation but was saving MRUs and other registry keys that could be easily located on a detailed inspection. – PabloG Nov 11 '10 at 16:09
Even freeware has licensing. Usually it's all fine, but for completeness you might want to check about any restrictions for businesses. – outsideblasts Nov 11 '10 at 19:28
How many computers are you having to audit? – music2myear Dec 9 '11 at 14:34

When it comes to auditing I think Belarc is probably the best out there.

The Belarc Advisor builds a detailed profile of your installed software and hardware, missing Microsoft hotfixes, anti-virus status, CIS (Center for Internet Security) benchmarks, and displays the results in your Web browser.

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It seems that there is no a single super-tool for your case, but let me recommend these two freeware tools:

EMCO Network Software Scanner Free can help you to audit a list of installed software/updates on Windows PCs in your network.

EMCO Remote Registry Exporter Free can help you to check particular registry keys to detect licenses, traces of "portable" applications, etc. It allows to export required keys/values from remote PCs and store them in a file, so then you can check this content manually.

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Have you tried WinAudit from Parmavex Services - Freeware

Also if by any chance you were auditing a PC for non commercial use then EZ-Audits software can be run from the web without any install and provides a very comprehensive list of installed programs.

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yes, I checked WinAudit (is linked on my original post :) ), thx – PabloG Nov 11 '10 at 16:11

I've started to write up a list of open-source software systems for "inventory management", which somehow includes the auditing aspect, because all of the mentioned systems (except for one) are able to extract the list of software installed on a client computer into a central database.

Please let me know if I've missed one.


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