Many software programs have to be installed on a computer system before they can be used. The installation itself is not a transparent process because the user is not informed about the Registry and file changes that the installer initiates. Most users would probably skip those information anyway but monitoring software installations is a reliable way of determining if a software program is making changes to a computer system that it should not.
SpyMe Tools is a software program that can monitor both file and registry changes caused by software installations. This is done by creating snapshots before and after the software installation. These snapshots are then compared to each other and the differences are shown to the user. The program does require some manual work before it can be used effectively. The first step is to create a snapshot of the Windows Registry before the software installation.
After that it is necessary to switch to file mode and select the hard drives that should be monitored for changes. This usually includes the partition with the Windows operating system and the partition that the software gets installed to. The program will create another snapshot of the hard drives which also has to be saved to the local hard drive.
After both snapshots have been created start the software installation normally. Once the software installation has been completed run a second scan of both the file system and Windows Registry. A click on the Compare button makes it then possible to compare both snapshots with each other to display the changes to both the file system and the Windows Registry that the installation has caused.
The software installation monitor will display the information in a tree like view in the left window of the software program. If you compare the file system it will list all folders that have been changed in the file system since the creation of the first and second snapshot. The right window will contain the actual file information including name, type and size.
SpyMe Tools are also providing access to a real time monitor that can either monitor the Windows Registry or the file system in specified locations. The real time mode is a bit harder to work with as all changes will be listed in one quickly growing table.