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I'm currently running a 64-bit version of Windows, but I have some old games with 16-bit installers that no longer run. I've set up a VM running 32-bit Windows XP on VMWare Workstation, and the games install fine in the VM, but I'd really like to install them on my actual desktop.

Is there a way to watch for filesystem/registry/settings changes in VMWare? Basically, I'm just looking for a list of new or edited files and new or edited registry keys. In the past, I've copied files and registry entries over manually, but some installers put files or keys in odd places and I can't easily find them.

The end goal is to write a new installer for the games (preferably in .NET) so that I can install them more easily and "properly".

Edit: I'm running the VM on VMWare Workstation.

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Wouldn't you need the capture utility to run at the VM's OS level? VMware isn't monitoring the OS itself, it provides the "hardware" on which the OS runs. In addition, regardless of what files you capture, 16-bit programs will not work on 64 bit Windows. – jscott Nov 5 '10 at 16:00
The installers are 16-bit. The programs they install are 32-bit. I'm aware that 16-bit programs will not run on 64-bit Windows. I figured that if VMWare can take snapshots, then it should be able to compare the contents of a filesystem between the two snapshots. Since the registry files are stored on the hard drive, I assumed VMWare could compare the registry states as well. – Ethan Nov 5 '10 at 16:04
VMWare is a company not a product, can you update your question with actual details please. – Chopper3 Nov 5 '10 at 16:15
up vote 4 down vote accepted

You would need to run the capture/monitor utility at the VM's OS level. VMware Server provides the "hardware" on which the VM runs.

SysInternals provides a comprehensive monitoring utlity named ProcMon which logs process, file, registry and network operations. Alternatively, you may be able to extract the installer's contents with a utility such as Universal Extractor. Beyond that you may want an install capture utility, such as Kace Repackager, which will capture the install and package the delta for deployment.

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ProcMon appears to be exactly what I'm looking for. I'll need to work with all this data, but it's much easier to deal with extra data than not enough. The Repackager looks nice, but my goal is actually to write my own program that will automatically mount the required virtual disks and apply patches with the single press of a button as part of a personal project. – Ethan Nov 5 '10 at 16:44

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