System Upgrade Tools

These are some of the tools which I use when loading new software. Unfortunately, I don't remember to use InControl EVERY time I add software. (Life would be a lot easier if I did.)
InControl - inctrl3 (239K), inctrl4 (823K), inctrl5 - no longer available for free
Reports all file and registry changes. Must be run before installing software.

This operating system program allows you to view and edit registry values. regedt32 may also be available, but its search capabilities are terrible.

Registry Monitor - Regmon v4.32 (63K zip)
A registry spy tool - shows you what a program is looking for.

This free program comes with Microsoft Office. Use it to determine which applications and DLL's are currently running on your system.

Shows changes in your registry. Available from the Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 Workstation Resource Kit. (I use InCtrl for this capability.)

DLL Dependency Walker
This program comes with Microsoft programming (Visual Studio) products, such as Visual Basic and Visual C++. On the product CD, locate and execute depends.exe. (Try x:\common\VB\UNSUPPRT\DEPEND\DEPENDS.EXE) It automatically adds a selection to the context menu for all executables. Just right click an exe or dll file and select View Dependencies. This will show all the DLL's called by that program. Version 2.0 Beta 3 can detect dynamically loaded modules which are not statically linked.

Microsoft DLL Help database
Just type in the name of a dll (with extension) and find out which versions are/were distributed with which products. This is a great tool for chasing down compatibility problems.

Using DUPS.exe to Resolve DLL Compatibility Problems
This is the utility described in The End of DLL Hell. Basically, it builds a database of existing dlls and can be scheduled to run once a day to track any changes. Using this tool, you can track several machines via a network.

Start / Settings / Control Panel / System / Device Manager
With Windows 95 and 98, this is your primary debug tool when new hardware does not work. It is not available with NT. (It may be available with ME and 2000.) Microsoft's Explanation of Error Codes Generated by Device Manager should help to understand the problems.

Helmig's Trouble Shooting Center
This archive is great and has helped me solve many network problems not documented elsewhere.

System File Checker (sfc)
Most MS Windows systems provide C:\WIN98\SYSTEM\SFC.EXE (System File Checker) which scans existing files and determines which ones have been changed. On my system, the checksums appear to be stored in C:\WIN98\Default.sfc; a log of the changes is stored in C:\WIN98\SFCLOG.TXT. You will be provided an option to fix (replace) changed and corrupted files.

tasklist (Windows XP)
Run this from a command prompt to get a list of running *.exe files (similar to what you get with Alt-Ctrl-Del on the Processes tab). Use tasklist /svc to see the associated services (may be useful). Use tasklist /m to see the associated dll's.

For Win2000, use tlist -s.

PortQry.exe (free)
This Microsoft utility tests whether or not a port on another machine is listening.

Cable Modem Troubleshooting Tips
This is a great page, for example

Author: Robert Clemenzi -
URL: http:// / user / clemenzi / technical / Upgrades / UpgradeTools.html