'Bout a decade and a half ago, PC Magazine published a VB (v3.0, I think) app called inctrl.exe. It tracked all changes to a PC whenever new software was installed. It had to be run before and after any given software installation, and was - to me - abominably slow. But it did find any and all changes made as a result of the tracked installation. The results could be logged to HTML, and the result reviewed at any later time. (When I say any and all changes, I mean that it tracked file replacements (e.g., different .dll files), registry changes (both from and to entries, as I recall), new information written to disk, information deleted from disk - or registry, or start menu, or ... - basically, it recorded every single change made on the system. I even caught a few malware installs in the process of using it.)
I'm trying to find something similar that will work with Win7, preferably both 32- and 64-bit versions - maybe two different app versions, but that won't matter.
The only thing I can find to date is some sort of uninstall software. Unfortunately, a lot of such software does not create a reader-friendly change log. And I'm not really looking for uninstall information, per se. (I'm about to try Total Install - last free version - to see if it will perform to my needs.)
I've been using Dimio's Task Manager (DTaskManager) for ages. When I switched to Win7 (32-bit), it quit working - gave an error on startup. Then something I installed made it start working again. OK, 1st thought is that some .dll was altered, a different version installed. Then I installed something else and it started to error out again. If I had installation tracking logs, I might be able to discern what file was altered that DTaskManager needed to use, and try reverting that file.
There are caveats here, in that the newly installed software might require the version(s) choking DTaskManager, but at least I'd be able to check that, ya know? Then I'd have to decide which app was more useful to me <groan />.
So, then, I'm not looking for removal capability so much as for any and all changes any given installation makes.
Does that make sense?
Any recommendations? (BTW, I'm not nearly so concerned with free vs. paid as with functionality: cost, within reason, is not a significant concern.)