Installation Page

vbimport

#1

I know that some where on the computer is a page that has all of the programs that has ever been installed on a computer with the install date and also possiabley the serial numbers, Even the programs that have been deleted. Not talking about control panel> programs and features. Someplace hidden on the computer is the information. does anyone know where this is stored. It is not a general knowledge page. would appreciate any help anyone can give me Thanks

Marty


#2

I don’t think there’s an actual utility or place in Windows that does this, although I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a utility that can be downloaded to build such a page.

For software that uses the Windows Installer, you can find a log of what was installed along with the date and time in the event viewer:

[ol]
[li]Go into the Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Event Viewer
[/li][li]Go into Windows Logs -> Application.
[/li][li]Go into the Action menu and click ‘Find…’
[/li][li]Type in ‘Completed Successfully’ and click ‘Find Next’
[/li][/ol]

Most other software installers either store their logs elsewhere or don’t keep a log. For example Firefox does not place any installation entries in the Event Viewer.

For other software, you can try checking if they have an application data folder. Most software leaves one or more data folders behind even with a full uninstallation, so if one of their data folders is present, then this is a pretty good indication that the software was installed in the past.

To bring up the application data folder:

[ol]
[li]Press the Windows Key + ‘R’.
[/li][li]Type in “%appdata%” and click ‘OK’.
[/li][li]Go into ‘View’ and select ‘Details’.
[/li][li]Right click on a column title and tick ‘Date created’.
[/li][/ol]

If you don’t see the title, look for the software brand, then go into that folder and in there you should see the software title. For example, for Firefox, you would go into ‘Mozilla’ and then you’ll see Firefox listed. The dates in the ‘Date created’ indicate when the software was first installed. You may need to bring up the ‘Date created’ list again when going in and out of folders.

Two other places to check are “%programdata%” and “%localappdata%”, which can viewed by repeating the steps above and entering these locations for step 2.

Then there is the Registry - Have a look at the following locations:

[ol]
[li]HKEY_CURRENT_USER -> Software
[/li][li]HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE -> Software
[/li][li]HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE -> Software -> Wow6432Node
[/li][/ol]

Quite often you’ll get a clue of the versions installed and even the product installation key from there.

For troubleshooting a software installation such as where a product that was previously installed keeps failing to install properly, usually what I do is go into all the above locations and rename their folders. This way the software installs like it has never been installed before. Of course there is some software that stores data in obscure locations, particularly trial software to make it difficult to restart the trial period.



#3

It’s not part of Windows but I used to have a program similar to SiSoft’s Sandra that would identify and enumerate all the resources (hardware and software) of a windows PC. It would list versions and serial numbers too.

EDIT: The program is Belarc Advisor: http://www.belarc.com/free_download.html


#4

Thanks for the replys, I will try them,

(Of course there is some software that stores data in obscure locations, particularly trial software to make it difficult to restart the trial period. ) this is the spot that I was looking for. I have a program that I can not completely uninstall and therefore it will not do a fresh install.

Thanks again

Marty


#5

It might not help you with that because a lot of ‘trial versions’ store an undocumented obscure string of hex digits in the registry to indicate expiration.


#6

Maybe try this:
http://securityxploded.com/product-key-decryptor.php


#7

Thanks Chef I will try it