How to identify files used in a program?

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  1. Posts : 222
    Windows 10 Pro
       #1

    How to identify files used in a program?


    Is there a monitoring program that keeps a record of which files were actually used by a program when it ran?

    I want to delete or compress files that are not being used by the program. Thank you.
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 1,196
    Windows 10
       #2

    Process Explorer or Handle.

    https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/

    - - - Updated - - -

    Things you can compress without fear,

    - .ini
    - .cfg
    - .txt
    - Any images or icons

    Delete

    - readme.txt/MD
    - locale files

    Things to avoid messing with.
    - .DLL
    - .exe

    - - - Updated - - -

    You can compress everything but its not really worth it most application are not really that big to begin with its other media that takes up space like video and games and other formats.

    I think its easier and better to just not do this but if i was to do something like this then the above is how i would go about it.
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  3. Posts : 222
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #3

    Malneb said:
    Process Explorer or Handle.

    https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/

    - - - Updated - - -

    Things you can compress without fear,

    - .ini
    - .cfg
    - .txt
    - Any images or icons

    Delete

    - readme.txt/MD
    - locale files

    Things to avoid messing with.
    - .DLL
    - .exe

    - - - Updated - - -

    You can compress everything but its not really worth it most application are not really that big to begin with its other media that takes up space like video and games and other formats.

    I think its easier and better to just not do this but if i was to do something like this then the above is how i would go about it.
    Thank you. I followed your link. Process Explorer is the GUI version of Handle apparently. Process Explorer has three *.exe's with no explanation on each. Would you know how these are different and which one should I run on my Win10 Pro machine?
      My Computer


  4. Posts : 1,680
    X
       #4

    If you're trying to conserve disk storage ... don't.
    Chasing problems caused by insufficient storage is painful and unproductive.

    Instead, get a bigger drive.
    Cheap. Reliable. And much easier than figuring out which files to compress.
      My Computer


  5. Posts : 8,093
    windows 10
       #5

    Its not staright forward as a progam may only use certail dlls when some action is done and may not run all the time
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  6. Posts : 1,196
    Windows 10
       #6

    i agree and also you would only be seeing what it is using at that given time not what it was using before that. You would have to debug the program properly to see what it is doing fully.

    I think overall its hard work for very little gain. Application are not that space intensive unless they are games.

    I think logic also says that files come with any app because it needs those files. Some can of course be removed like readme text files and some other files but those are some pretty slim savings too.
      My Computer


  7. Posts : 1,223
    W10-Pro 22H2
       #7

    bofhlusr said:
    Thank you. I followed your link. Process Explorer is the GUI version of Handle apparently. Process Explorer has three *.exe's with no explanation on each. Would you know how these are different and which one should I run on my Win10 Pro machine?
    I see a procexp.exe and a procexp64.exe. It doesn't seem to matter which I launch, the appearance appears to be the same. If you have a 32-bit W10, then I would think the *64 would not work.
      My Computer


  8. Posts : 222
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #8

    Samuria said:
    Its not staright forward as a progam may only use certail dlls when some action is done and may not run all the time
    I'm going to avoid those types of files ie. dll, bin, ini, cfg, etc. I'm just interested in primarily identifying and zero-ing out unused files in an app which has over 170,000 files.

    - - - Updated - - -

    mngerhold said:
    I see a procexp.exe and a procexp64.exe. It doesn't seem to matter which I launch, the appearance appears to be the same. If you have a 32-bit W10, then I would think the *64 would not work.
    I have Win10 Pro 64 and ran procexp64.exe. My initial impression in a word: information overload. Procexp64.exe looks like it needs an easy to use manual.

    How do I ignore currently running programs (eg.windows explorer) and limit the monitoring to just one program .exe and keep a record of what files the .exe called (used) when it ran? Anyone know? Thank you.
      My Computer


  9. Posts : 1,748
    Windows 10 Pro (+ Windows 10 Home VMs for testing)
       #9

    mngerhold said:
    I see a procexp.exe and a procexp64.exe. It doesn't seem to matter which I launch, the appearance appears to be the same. If you have a 32-bit W10, then I would think the *64 would not work.
    IMO neither are the right tool. The OP asked about files, not handles and processes.

    Process Monitor will provide this information from the monitored program's startup to it's closure.

    Hope this helps...
      My Computer


  10. Posts : 222
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #10

    RickC said:
    IMO neither are the right tool. The OP asked about files, not handles and processes.

    Process Monitor will provide this information from the monitored program's startup to it's closure.

    Hope this helps...
    Thank you. I downloaded and installed Process Monitor. As an example, how do I monitor "notepad.exe" and get a text record of the files opened and closed by "notepad.exe"? When I go to Process Monitor's menu: File/Open... it only allows the opening of *.pml and *.pmb files.
      My Computer


 

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