Italian security vendor NoVirusThanks has just made four of its previously commercial 32-bit system monitoring tools available as freeware.
And while there’s nothing here to compete with the troubleshooting power of, say, Sysinternals Process Monitor, the new freebies are lightweight, portable and (for the most part) very easy to use.
Have you ever wondered what files an installation program has added to your system, for instance? The File Extension Monitor makes it very easy to find out. Simply launch the program, and it’ll run in the background, logging files as they’re created, along with the date and time, and the process which created them.
PE Dropper Monitor is a variant on the same program, which this time tracks only the creation of executable files (EXE, SYS, DLL and so on).
And Deletion Extension Monitor – well, you’ve guessed it – records files as they’re being deleted on your system, again with the process responsible.
Each of the programs can be customised, so that for instance you’re able to choose exactly which file extensions you’d like to be tracked. And you can have them launched when Windows starts for more complete logging (which won’t drain your system resources, as typically they only require around 2MB of RAM and minimal CPU time).
The fourth option, Driver Radar Pro, is rather different, as it’s all about providing a way to control exactly which drivers may be loaded on your system (as with all of these tools, it applies to 32-bit Windows only). Secure whitelisting techniques allow you to permit some drivers, while blocking everything else, perhaps useful if you’re looking to really lock down a PC.
Unless you end up not whitelisting something particularly important, of course, which will then be blocked by Driver Radar Pro, so causing all kinds of potential problems.
The program is strictly for experienced users, then – even the authors say that. But if you know what you’re doing then Driver Radar Pro does provide some additional controls over driver installation which you won’t find elsewhere, and for a freeware tool that’s not bad at all.