One way to ensure that files do not get modified is to monitor certain directories for changes and write those changes to a log. It would then be easy to see if a file had been changed in the past since the monitoring was started. It does not really prevent file modifications but can provide valuable information nevertheless.
Directory Monitor is a simply application that can monitor folders for one or multiple of the following four events: File additions, file modifications, file deletions and file renames. The user basically selects at least one folder to monitor and the events that he wants monitored in that folder.
The software supports local folders, network folders and even hidden shares. Specific file patterns can be excluded from being monitored. Text files can be excluded for instance by adding the *.txt filter in the application options. The main issue with text filters is that excluded patterns are global, meaning they are active for all monitored folders.
The interval that is used to check directories for changes can be changed in the options as well. The default value is 180 seconds. One interesting feature is the import and export feature which makes it possible to export monitored folders to import them on the same or another computer at a later point in time (lets you configure rules for all systems once to save time).
Programs can be executed when an event occurs, which can be another interesting option for advanced users.
Update: Directory Monitor is no longer available at Codeplex. We have changed the download link which is now pointing directly to the developer website. There you find full and web installers, a portable version as well as video tutorials that demonstrate the program's functionality. Please keep in mind that the software requires the Microsoft .Net Framework 3.5 SP1 to be installed on the system.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.