Whenever I install a new application, I always archive the installer. This is for a number of reasons, including
- I like knowing I can update and go back to any version I prefer
- On occasion, I've tinkered with a script and had to re-install it
- I've been known to enjoy applications that lose their best features or capabilities (too often to DMCA threats)
- I keep getting fed up with x64 and going back to x86, only to give the 64-bit environment another chance a few months later
- Regular clean installs restore speed and force me to maintain storage discipline —
C:/for system files and applications; dedicated external drives for video, installation files, and other data
Anyway, my problem is this: more and more installers are just dummy files that download real installers to hidden temp folders. I'm guessing the temp files are usually erased immediately after installation, because I'm having a hard time tracking them down.
Here are my questions:
- What are the most common locations for the temporary folders where the real installer files are being downloaded?
- In case some of these downloaders write to uncommon locations, what utilities can I use to keep track of the activity of these pseudo-installers?
I appreciate that it can be convenient to set up a single link that always points to the most recent version; that aggregators sometimes have file size restrictions that necessitate further downloading; and that some apps that have complex dependencies that are best met by downloading them as a group. None of these are recent developments, and in each case I would still like to know where the real, local installer file is. ProcessExplorer generates too much information for me to use it effectively as a filter.