Hack 72 Track and Restore Registry Changes with RegSpy


Protect your Registry and track changes to it made by programs with this downloadable goodie.

An excellent way to keep your Registry safe is with RegSpy, which watches the changes programs make to the Registry, tracks and reports on those changes, and then lets you restore your Registry or use your knowledge about the changes the program makes to fine-tune the way the program runs. One of the program's more useful features is the way it lets you undo changes on a program-by-program basis by building a RollBack script for that program. When you roll back the Registry, you'll roll back only changes made by that one program, not by any others. This is far superior to XP's System Restore, because System Restore makes changes en masse; there's no way to use it to save some changes and delete others.

My favorite RegSpy feature is its SnapShots, which creates files in JavaScript or Visual Basic format and lets you review all the Registry changes and repeat all the Registry changes that took place, step by step. That way, you can get a better understanding of the changes programs make during the installation process, and you can better undo or customize any changes made. It's also a great way to learn more about the Registry; watching the changes made by several different programs gives you insight into its inner workings.

RegSpy is shareware and free to try, but it costs $19.95 if you continue to use it. It's available from http://www.utils32.com/regspy.htm.

7.6.1 See Also

  • RegCleaner and Registry First Aid (shareware from http://www.rosecitysoftware.com), both will clean up your Registry by deleting old and unneeded Registry entries that clog up your system.

  • Registry Commander is a free utility that gives you a host of features that the Windows Registry Editor leaves out, such as a history list that lets you jump to recently edited keys, the ability to copy and paste entire keys and bookmark keys, and advanced search tools. Get it from http://www.aezay.dk/aezay/regcmd.

  • Resplendent Registrar is shareware that includes even more tools that the Registry Editor leaves out, such as search-and-replace, a Registry defragmenter to reclaim wasted disk space, an activity monitor that tracks all Registry activity, and a tool that lets you compare the contents of two Registry keys, among other features. Get it from http://www.resplendence.com.