Software Installation Log?

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.configuration_manage,microsoft.public.windowsxp.general,microsoft.public.windowsxp.security_admin (More info?)

Does Windows XP maintain a software installation log?

Typical support call:

Customer: Your product (expletive deleted :-). It doesn't work.

Support: Was it working previously?

Customer: Yes.

Support: When did it stop working?

Customer: Just this morning.

Support: Was anything installed on the box between the time it was last
working and when you noticed the problem?

Customer: No. (Lie #1 :-)

Yada, yada, yada...

Does Windows XP maintain a software installation log which would show date
and time of all software installations?

Thanks for your advice.

- Joe Geretz -
4 answers Last reply
More about software installation
  1. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.configuration_manage,microsoft.public.windowsxp.general,microsoft.public.windowsxp.security_admin (More info?)

    On Fri, 9 Sep 2005 12:34:50 -0400, Joseph Geretz wrote:

    > Does Windows XP maintain a software installation log?
    >
    > Typical support call:
    >
    > Customer: Your product (expletive deleted :-). It doesn't work.
    >
    > Support: Was it working previously?
    >
    > Customer: Yes.
    >
    > Support: When did it stop working?
    >
    > Customer: Just this morning.
    >
    > Support: Was anything installed on the box between the time it was last
    > working and when you noticed the problem?
    >
    > Customer: No. (Lie #1 :-)
    >
    > Yada, yada, yada...
    >
    > Does Windows XP maintain a software installation log which would show date
    > and time of all software installations?
    >
    > Thanks for your advice.
    >
    > - Joe Geretz -

    No it does not maintain a software installation log in the sense that you
    mean. What is available within Windows?

    Some applications that use the newer Windows installer package will
    automatically create a system restore point as part of their setup process.
    This could be used to rollback if a brand new installation of software
    causes problems. Rule of thumb in these situations is to uninstall the
    troublesome program. Then rollback. Then attempt a reinstall.

    In general, System Restore is useful to rollback to a time when everything
    was working fine. Kind of tossup whether it will help in those "I did
    nothing and it stopped working" situations but worth a try if other avenues
    aren't available or have failed.

    Some programs create their own install and uninstall log. The uninstall log
    is pretty common and is used by the program's uninstaller to remove the
    application. The install log - not as common - is created when the program
    is installed and reflects changes to system files, folders and the
    registry. Useful *if* the programmer was nice enough to include this
    feature with their installer.

    There are third party programs that monitor installations and record file,
    folder and registry changes. Fills in the blanks where install logs are not
    provided, are incomplete or don't take subsequent updates into account.
    Caveat: The monitoring tool needs to be installed and active before a
    program is installed.

    Another possible resource: Software vendors sometimes have documentation
    available at their tech support sites for manual removal. On occasion,
    you'll find a "removal tool" that unwinds changes the program's installing
    and uninstalling procedures don't normally touch.

    --
    Sharon F
    MS-MVP ~ Windows Shell/User
  2. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.configuration_manage,microsoft.public.windowsxp.general,microsoft.public.windowsxp.security_admin (More info?)

    Hi Sharon,

    Thanks for your advice:

    > Rule of thumb in these situations is to uninstall the
    > troublesome program.

    Here's the sticking point. In many cases users aren't aware of what's been
    installed. Certainly in many environments where Windows Update is set to run
    automatically, user's won't have any idea of when there environments change:

    Note to Microsoft: How about such a software installation log to help us
    poor sods who have to manage these boxes?

    Thanks!

    "Sharon F" <sharonfDEL@ETEmvps.org> wrote in message
    news:OxtGDhWtFHA.1472@TK2MSFTNGP15.phx.gbl...
    > On Fri, 9 Sep 2005 12:34:50 -0400, Joseph Geretz wrote:
    >
    >> Does Windows XP maintain a software installation log?
    >>
    >> Typical support call:
    >>
    >> Customer: Your product (expletive deleted :-). It doesn't work.
    >>
    >> Support: Was it working previously?
    >>
    >> Customer: Yes.
    >>
    >> Support: When did it stop working?
    >>
    >> Customer: Just this morning.
    >>
    >> Support: Was anything installed on the box between the time it was last
    >> working and when you noticed the problem?
    >>
    >> Customer: No. (Lie #1 :-)
    >>
    >> Yada, yada, yada...
    >>
    >> Does Windows XP maintain a software installation log which would show
    >> date
    >> and time of all software installations?
    >>
    >> Thanks for your advice.
    >>
    >> - Joe Geretz -
    >
    > No it does not maintain a software installation log in the sense that you
    > mean. What is available within Windows?
    >
    > Some applications that use the newer Windows installer package will
    > automatically create a system restore point as part of their setup
    > process.
    > This could be used to rollback if a brand new installation of software
    > causes problems. Rule of thumb in these situations is to uninstall the
    > troublesome program. Then rollback. Then attempt a reinstall.
    >
    > In general, System Restore is useful to rollback to a time when everything
    > was working fine. Kind of tossup whether it will help in those "I did
    > nothing and it stopped working" situations but worth a try if other
    > avenues
    > aren't available or have failed.
    >
    > Some programs create their own install and uninstall log. The uninstall
    > log
    > is pretty common and is used by the program's uninstaller to remove the
    > application. The install log - not as common - is created when the program
    > is installed and reflects changes to system files, folders and the
    > registry. Useful *if* the programmer was nice enough to include this
    > feature with their installer.
    >
    > There are third party programs that monitor installations and record file,
    > folder and registry changes. Fills in the blanks where install logs are
    > not
    > provided, are incomplete or don't take subsequent updates into account.
    > Caveat: The monitoring tool needs to be installed and active before a
    > program is installed.
    >
    > Another possible resource: Software vendors sometimes have documentation
    > available at their tech support sites for manual removal. On occasion,
    > you'll find a "removal tool" that unwinds changes the program's installing
    > and uninstalling procedures don't normally touch.
    >
    > --
    > Sharon F
    > MS-MVP ~ Windows Shell/User
  3. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.configuration_manage,microsoft.public.windowsxp.general,microsoft.public.windowsxp.security_admin (More info?)

    Joseph;
    There is a log of Windows Updates installed through Windows Update/Microsoft
    Update:
    Open Windows/Microsoft Update.
    On the left side "View Installation History" "Review your update history"

    --
    Jupiter Jones [MVP]
    http://www3.telus.net/dandemar
    http://www.dts-l.org


    "Joseph Geretz" <jgeretz@nospam.com> wrote in message
    news:OrXrfmWtFHA.3328@TK2MSFTNGP11.phx.gbl...
    > Hi Sharon,
    >
    > Thanks for your advice:
    >
    >> Rule of thumb in these situations is to uninstall the
    >> troublesome program.
    >
    > Here's the sticking point. In many cases users aren't aware of what's been
    > installed. Certainly in many environments where Windows Update is set to
    > run automatically, user's won't have any idea of when there environments
    > change:
    >
    > Note to Microsoft: How about such a software installation log to help us
    > poor sods who have to manage these boxes?
    >
    > Thanks!
  4. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.configuration_manage,microsoft.public.windowsxp.general,microsoft.public.windowsxp.security_admin (More info?)

    Have you looked in Windows Explorer/Programs? There is a column that gives the date and time that a file was modified. That should correlate to the date and time the program was installed. You can click on the column to sort by date/time (to get the newest to the top of the list).

    --
    Just my 2¢ worth,
    Jeff
    __________in response to__________

    "Joseph Geretz" <jgeretz@nospam.com> wrote in message news:OrXrfmWtFHA.3328@TK2MSFTNGP11.phx.gbl...
    | Hi Sharon,
    |
    | Thanks for your advice:
    |
    | > Rule of thumb in these situations is to uninstall the
    | > troublesome program.
    |
    | Here's the sticking point. In many cases users aren't aware of what's been
    | installed. Certainly in many environments where Windows Update is set to run
    | automatically, user's won't have any idea of when there environments change:
    |
    | Note to Microsoft: How about such a software installation log to help us
    | poor sods who have to manage these boxes?
    |
    | Thanks!
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