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Is there any tool that can summarize Registry and File differences between two VMWARE Windows XP images?

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Jul 16 '09 at 16:19

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I am waiting to try Ashampoo on Tuesday most likely. –  ojblass Apr 26 '09 at 22:50

4 Answers 4

up vote 5 down vote accepted

I'm not aware of any diff tool specifically for VMWare images, but if you can start up the VMs then why not use a standard file & Registry diff from within the guest OS?

For example, Regshot will allow you to take a snapshot of Registry and filesystem information, and compare it with another snapshot taken from a different machine:

  1. Run Regshot on your first VM.
  2. Set scan dir to be your hard disk root folder e.g. C:\ (unfortunately I don't think it can cope with multiple partitions).
  3. Click 1st shot and choose Shot and save. Save the resulting file and move it to your second VM.
  4. Run Regshot on your second VM.
  5. Set scan dir to be the hard disk root folder as before.
  6. Click 1st shot and choose Load - load the file you copied from the first VM.
  7. Click 2nd shot and choose Shot.
  8. Click Compare.

The difference between Registry and file structure on the two VMs will be displayed.

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Assuming the VMs you want to compare are powered off, I would try using the VMware Disk Mount utility to mount their virtual disks and then use diff or your favorite file comparison tool on them. There is a little tutorial on using the utility here: http://www.petri.co.il/virtual_mount_vmware_virtual_disk_without_vmware.htm.

Good luck!


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For generic files you could use md5sum (or whatever GUI alternatives there are) and then diff that and for registry whatever tool that can dump it to a file.

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I can suggest you Ashampoo Uninstaller

It can create shanpshoot of registry and file system, export it to various formats. 2 different snapshots can be visually compared within it, or you can even create installation out of it.

Superb tool, I use it for years even before Ahsampoo bought it, to make portable tools.

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