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first test of a created new *.paf.exe

- February 14, 2011 - 10:04am
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After I create a *.paf.exe for the first time ( as described in this thread ), I now want to check this *.paf.exe on my local pc or in a virtual machine. Due to the Creation of the *.paf.exe I assume, that now exist some registry entries and/or some stuff in the file system. For this check I now start Regshot for the second time. But before I start Regshot, I think it's necessary to delete all registry entries and the stuff in the file system, which arise through the creation of the *.paf.exe.

When I delete all this stuff, must I do all that manual or exist here another method to do it?

( categories: )

Pafing an app should not

Pafing an app should not create registry entries as running the PAInstaller does not install the app, it just puts it into the correct format for later installation.

If you are that worried about it, run Regshot before and after running the PAInstaller. The only registry entries you should get are Windows automatically generated entries.

It's not a bug, its a feature.

detailed explanation

Let me explain it in more detail. I look for a Appname.exe (=setup.exe), which I want to make portable. At first I extract it with 7-zip and get now the folder named Appname, which contains among other things the actual program.exe file. Now I start Regshot before and after running the program.exe file.

Due to running of the program.exe file will created some registry entries and stuff in the file system ( as I described in my original post). Now I configure the AppnamePortable.ini accordingly the results of Regshot. And as last step I create now the desired *.paf.exe.

Due to a mistake of myself it can be, that this *.paf.exe isn't entirely portable. For that reason I now want to check this *.paf.exe. Necessarily I must now start Regshot over again before and after running the AppnamePortable.exe. But when now exist some registry entries and stuff in file system due to the previous running of the original program.exe file, I don't get exact results in case of running AppnamePortable.exe.

Therefore I think, that it's necessary to delete all registry entries and the stuff in the file system, which arise through the running of the original program.exe file. And my question is, if I delete all this stuff, must I do that manual or exist a more convenient method to do it?


there is no quick way around it. You litterally have to go through with regedit and delete the entries. I usually run regshot before and after AppNamePortable.exe before "cleaning" the registry. Then I delete the registry entries, and re-run it. I don't worry about files because Sandboxie usually tells me when stuffs are still created.

But be careful, you might miss an entry in the regshot, then the beta testers will come after you with an iron fist! Sticking out tongue

Problem with Sandboxie

You mention following:

I usually run regshot before and after AppNamePortable.exe before "cleaning" the registry. Then I delete the registry entries, and re-run it

But assumed that there exist a registry entry named A before "cleaning" the registry.
Now you run AppNamePortable.exe. Supposed now, that AppNamePortable.exe would also create the same registry entry named A. What do you now? Therefore I think, it's the best at first to delete all registry entries and the stuff in the file system, which arise through the running of the original program.exe file.

By the way you also mention the utilization of Sandboxie. I also want to use Sandboxie on my machine. But after I start Regshot in Sandboxie, it run and run and run without terminate anytime. Do you have a advice for me?


yeah, I know, regshot doesn't work in sandboxie, that's why I run it outside of the sandbox.

no difference

It's make no difference, if I start Regshot inside or outside of a sandbox. Then in both cases I must apply Regshot on the sandbox. And in both cases Regshot don`t finish.

Yeah, Manually

The only way around doing it manually is to only run the program in a sandbox (try SandBoxie) then you can copy out your Portablized version delete the sandbox, and run it in a blank sandbox to check it out, but since you didn't use a sandbox before, the entries are there, and you will have to get rid of them all manually.

I've been busy IRL for the past month or two, but I'm back.

very good idea

Wow. It´s a nice idea to use a second sandbox. Smiling But I have a problem to use Regshot in the sandbox, because it after start never end.


I have the same problem *, thus I don't use RegShot, I use ProcessMonitor (Portable Version Here) this allows me to see what's being accessed and/or changed as it happens and thus I don't even use Sandboxie all that often. (I mainly use Sandboxie when I am going to try out some software which I don't fully trust)

Also I didn't mean to use a second sandbox, I meant to delete your first sandbox and then use it again (this will recreate the sandbox from scratch since it no longer exists)

* Footnote: I believe the problem is that RegShot goes through the registry entry by entry and Sandboxie copies each of those entries to its sandboxed registry hive one by one and thus it takes forever to finish, I've never tried just letting it go and seeing if it ever finishes (see the paragraph for how I generally work).

I've been busy IRL for the past month or two, but I'm back.

Big thank for your recommendation

I have the app Process Monitor from Microsoft's Sysinternals Suite. But as yet I don`t use this app. Therefore big thank for this second good advice.

Now I want to start my first attempt to portabilize an app. It´s Freeware but not an Open Source program and in zip-format. Furthermore the developer declare it as a portable version. Do I need a permission of the developer before I start?

I understand your explanation of deletion of the sandbox. But after this Deletion you create a new sandbox within of Sandboxie. And I mean, that this new sandbox is the second on. Certainly it's clear, that actual only one sandbox exist after the Deletion of the first sandbox.

EDIT: Your link "paragraph" in the Footnote don`t work. But how you mention, I can use the Process Monitor instead of Regshot or?

Yes & No

You don't need their permission to start working on it, you just can't distribute it to anybody else until you get permission (unless the license it's under says that it can be repackaged and redistributed)

P.S. My paragraph link does too work, it takes you back to the paragraph (at the *)

Edit: I also describe my Process Monitor workflow in slightly more detail here

Edit2: What are you planning on Portablizing?

I've been busy IRL for the past month or two, but I'm back.

Utilization for

That means if I distribute it about, I must discover the precise content of the license (= Permission of Repackaging and Redistributing of the software).

And how is the situation in case of a Open Source app?

The app is called Streamwriter ( It's an app for recording of music and internetradio-stations.

Once again it depends on the license

But most OpenSource Software allows it.

I've been busy IRL for the past month or two, but I'm back.

Request on developer of Streamwriter

Therefore it's seems the best, at first to make a request on developer of Streamwriter.

Again I thank you for your many helpful tips.

Arg, you replied before I finished editing.

Edit: Downloaded it and ran it [In a SandBox ☺] and it says

streamWriter ... is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

Thus I believe you can make a Portable version without the authors permission (also note that the source is downloadable from the bottom of the Downloads page.) But you may find it helpful to communicate with him as there may be undocumented command-line options or he may be willing to add some to aid in the Portablization process.

I've been busy IRL for the past month or two, but I'm back.

Process Monitor vs. System Explorer

I browse over your workflow regarding Process Monitor. After my first impression I think, that it's impossible to get all alterations with Process Explorer (in particular alteration of file system). However I must read your workflow once again calmly.

But I also have the app System Explorer. And how I read in the past, it's also possible the make a snapshot with this app. But I can't say this exactly. To find out it, I must read a little bit more about this app. Sorry Eye-wink

Process Monitor, not Process Explorer

Process Explorer is a Task Manager (like Daphne or Windows' Default Task Manager, but with different features like a tree view, etc.)
Process Monitor "is an advanced monitoring tool for Windows that shows real-time file system, Registry and process/thread activity."

Trying to figure out what Registry and FileSystem changes an app makes would be difficult (though not necessarily impossible) with Process Explorer.
Make sure you're using Process Monitor.

Note: Both Process Monitor, and Process Explorer are made by Sysinternals (bought by Microsoft) and are packaged as PortableApps by Prapper Here.

Never heard of System Explorer before, is This it?
If so I'll probably look at it later tonight or tomorrow to see how useful I find it.

(Note2: I kind of lost this post while typing it, and had to rewrite it from memory, so I'm not sure I said everything I meant to.)

I've been busy IRL for the past month or two, but I'm back.

I mean System Explorer (NOT Process Explorer)

Your link "This" is correct and this is exactly the app, which I mean. I figure out, that it's really possible to make snapshopts of registry + file system with System Explorer. Now I have start my first attempt with System Explorer and a sandbox. And it WORKS Smiling Afterwards I also start streamwriter.exe in the sandbox. And lastly I create a 2. snapshot. Afterwards I compared both snapshots and saved the result in a file named Streamwriter.txt. But this file Streamwriter.txt is very confusing for me Eye-wink
EDIT: System Explorer exist also as a portable app and I use this

Like RegShot then.

So it's like RegShot (Takes two snapshots then compares them)?
I much prefer the way Process Monitor works, as I can look at EVERYTHING that was done (to Registry, and File System), rather than simply what changed (this way I can see what changes happen even if it puts them back to the original state, as it may not put it back to the original state if the original state is different e.g. on another persons computer)

I'll look at System Explorer sometime, but I don't foresee it being any more useful to me than the apps I already have.

I've been busy IRL for the past month or two, but I'm back.