In Control of a Test PC

I was told to just run the install the other day when I needed an application loaded on a test PC. I’m sure I winced when I heard this because I can’t just run an install. I need to understand what an install is doing to my test PC. An install can be filled with files and registry settings that just running an install strikes me as a haphazard activity. My previous experience as an install tester has left me cautious of running any install or update without knowing what the update contains.

It’s been awhile since I’ve tested a desktop application but I was able to find my old favorite utility Inctrl pretty easily. Inctrl is a utility application that has been around for several years and is now on version 5. Inctrl5 does an excellent job of tracking every file, folder and registry setting added, changed or deleted during the install. I’ve used the output report to compare what was supposed to be installed against what was actually installed. Install testing aside I’ve used the utility to help me understand the registry settings and dlls an application uses – it helps me to know what an application truly consists of.

So I did run the install the other day but with the use of the utility, I didn’t just run the install, I know the before and after state of the test PC.

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