An Introduction to the Windows System State Analyzer

An Introduction to the Windows System State Analyzer

  • Comments 22
  • Likes

There often arises a need to figure out what may have changed on a system, either due to a specific issue or even to compare the difference between two systems. Today I would like to introduce you to the Windows System State Analyzer utility. Unless you are a developer or tester, you probably have never heard of this tool, as it is part of the Windows 2008 R2 Logo Software Certification and Windows 2008 R2 Logo Program Software Certification toolkits.

The basic functionality of the System State Analyzer tool is to allow you to compare two snapshots taken at different points in time. This allows you to compare the state of a machine both before and after an application install for instance. Today I will give you a run-through of what the tool looks like while doing a compare of a system both before and after installing a software package, in this case Virtual PC 2007. The initial UI will look something like this:

image

As you can see, the interface is divided into two panes, each of which is for a separate snapshot that you wish to compare. You start by naming the first snapshot. By default, you are given several default name instances such as Post Install, Pre Configuration or Custom.

The Tools – Options menu is where you can choose what you wish to include in the snapshot for comparison. You can compare drives, registry keys, services or drivers.

image

Once you click OK and come back to the main window, you are all set to begin the first baseline snapshot. This snapshot may take some time to complete depending on which options you have chosen and the amount of data on the drives. By default, it creates a snapshot as a .BIN file under C:\Users\Public\Documents.

Once the first snapshot was done, I installed Virtual PC 2007 and let it complete. This time, I choose the section on the right side, named it Post Install and took the second snapshot. Once this is done, I clicked Compare and the comparison was done. It gave me the option to view the Detailed Report, which is saved as an .HTML file. For now, let’s take a look at the Quick Comparison tab:

image

Looking at the Services section, we can see service state changes as well as any new services that might have been added during the installation. The drivers section looks like this:

image

As you can see, two new drivers were added to the system as part of the Virtual PC 2007 install. Likewise, the Registry section shows any registry changes made between the snapshots:

image

And the Files section also:

image

Below is a quick peek at the Detailed Report; you can see the change summary and details filtered based on file extension and various other file properties:

image

I am sure you can imagine scenarios in which this tool may come in handy. If anything undesirable happens after any system state change, you now have the ability to see what may be related to your issue. You can download the tool at the following locations:

· Server Logo Program Software Certification Tool x86: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=140110

· Server Logo Program Software Certification Tool x64: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=140109

Note: You must have the .NET Framework 2.0 installed for Windows System State Analyzer to work correctly.

I hope this information comes in handy, and thank you for your time.

Sumesh P.

Share this post :


Your comment has been posted.   Close
Thank you, your comment requires moderation so it may take a while to appear.   Close
Leave a Comment
  • If I install "Software_Certification_Toolkit_x64.msi" and then install Cakewalk Sonar Studio X1,

    the install for Sonar crashes with a bugcheck - here is the event list:

    The computer has rebooted from a bugcheck.  

    The bugcheck was: 0x00000135 (0xffffffffc0000005, 0xfffff8800d17ec10, 0xfffff880016d5d58, 0xfffff8a000227750).

    If I uninstall the toolkit, Sonar will install with no issues.

    Cakewalk is supposed to be a Windows 7 Logo product:

    www.cakewalk.com/.../Windows-7-Resource-Page

  • When you uninstall this, you will also need to remove the Systrace service from the registry.

    I wonder if this toolkit passes the Windows Certification?

  • Thank you, it's nice to have this explained in layman's terms.

  • This is a Dream come true !!! Exactly what I needed to make some installation scripts in VBS , and have to know what kind of changes are made during installation :)

    Very nice :)

  • Hi.

    How long did your second snapshot take? Assuming your first one took 1hour

  • Need Help...!!

    When I tried to install this tool on my Windows XP sp3 VMWare machine, it stuck somewhere after creating shortcuts and then rollback the installation process.

    Please help in installation.  

  • @Maddy:  I believe this is only for Vista/Server 2008.