Checking changes with Microsoft's sysdiff


Sysdiff is a nifty utility provided by Microsoft to take snapshots of a host so you can see what changes were made to it after installing an application for instance, whether they involve installing/changing files, or changes in the Registry.


  1. Customize the required sysdiff.inf to tell sysdiff to ignore certains directories for instance
  2. To create a pre-change snapshot of the host, run sysdiff /snap before.txt
  3. Perform changes on the host
  4. Create an after-change snapshot using sysdiff /diff before.txt after.txt
  5. View the changes using sysdiff /dump after.txt dump.txt





Sysdiff will stop dead in its track if any file is open (error 32). Considering that a bunch of apps add stuff under eg. \WINDOWS\, it's pretty useless to use sysdiff if you have to ignore this most important directory...