Wednesday, October 8, 2008

WinXP - Microsoft's Registry Monitor

This is a FYI that Microsoft SystemInternals includes a very good troubleshooting tool. Registry Monitor (aka Regmon) that provides real-time monitoring of what is happening with the Registry.

The contents of the ZIP file are the program files. Just copy them to a folder of your choice, then create a shortcut to the EXE.

It includes an Option to monitor during the next system boot, to troubleshoot boot-time Registry access that may be causing problems.

For clarification, the REGMON.LOG created during a boot will be in C:\Windows folder.

Just remember to allow your boot to fully complete to capture all boot-time Registry access.

Reason for this post:

I was pointed to Regmon by a Microsoft MVP to help in troubleshooting a Registry problem.

In short, a standard Registry entry was missing and would disappear on next boot, after I used the Registry Editor (aka RegEdit) to put the missing data in the Registry.

Finally a MVP mentioned Regmon and noted that the problem could be caused by a Tweak Utility.

Tweak Utilities are for making changes to the look/feel/operation of Windows in a more user-friendly way than normal. In fact, for all versions of Windows (Win95 - WinXP at least) Microsoft has provide a Power Toy called TweakUI (see sidebar list on Power Toy page).

There are 3rd Party Tweak Utilities, and they can be a problem. It turned out that a tweak utility I use had an option Clear Recent on exit. It is supposed to delete all entries in your Recent list when you exit WinXP. The publisher of the utility did this improperly and actually removed a Registry entry.

So be aware that 3rd Party Tweak Utilities MAY cause problems.

OH - Want to clear your Recent list easily, try this:

Copy the following lines (between dashes) and paste into Notepad


@echo off

echo y ¦ del "%USERPROFILE%\Recent\*.*"


NOTE: If you have a problem, replace the ¦ character using your keyboard.

Now save the file, using Save as type: = All Files, and use filename ClearRecent.cmd

This script (cmd) will work for any user, so I suggest you save it to C:\ (root).

Now anyone can create a shortcut to the file to use it. I placed my shortcut directly in my Start Menu folder. Also suggest you run the shortcut as minimized.

Also, if you place a copy of your shortcut in the Startup folder, Recent list will be cleared when you logon/boot.

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