How to monitor changes to the Windows Vista registry

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If you want to keep on top of your computer’s performance as well as general computer maintenance, it can be helpful to try to monitor changes to the Windows Vista registry. The Windows Vista registry is one of the most important parts of your Windows Vista computer. In many ways, the registry is the central nervous system for your computer. Keeping on top of the windows registry, keeping it clean, and monitoring changes to the Windows Vista registry are key to making sure your computer is always performing at its best.

Why is it important to monitor changes to the Windows Vista registry? Well, the registry keeps all of that vital information, both about the software and the hardware installed on your computer, in one centralized location. When a program changes the Windows Vista registry, those changes can cause problems with the way your computer performs. In some cases, registry changes can lead to error messages, in addition to those pesky performance problems.

Unfortunately for computer users, Microsoft did not include a program to monitor changes to the Windows Vista registry in the operating system itself. Fortunately, there are ways that you can go about tracking changes on your own.

One way to look for these changes is to use the file change command line function. This program compares two files, and gives you an output file that shows the difference between the two files.

To monitor changes to the Windows Vista registry using this too, you should start by creating an export of the registry file. Name that exported file something like regback1.reg.

Next, once you have made changes to the Windows Vista registry, perhaps by installing a new program, you will repeat the registry export process. This time, name the file something like regback2.reg. Once you have the two files you can compare them. Here’s how you do that:

Open up a command prompt. At the prompt, type the following:

fc /u regback1.reg regback2.reg > regchange.txt

This causes the file compare utility to compare differences between the two different versions of your registry. The utility creates a file named regchange.txt. Inside that file you can see the differences between the two versions of the registry. You can then look at that file to see what changes have been made by the software installed.

Finally, it is worth running a registry cleaner from time to time, in order to remove corrupted or orphaned registry entries. A registry cleaner will help your PC run at its optimal condition.

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