| By Ryan Russell |
I’m finishing my Process Monitor (PM) series with a couple of examples of the kinds of behind-the-scenes information you can get by using it.
Remember that the best feature of PM is that it catches transitory events that you might never see, even if you time things perfectly with some tool that only shows you your PC’s current state.
A bit of fun: snooping on Apple’s Software Update
This column is the third in my series on Process Monitor, a free utility by Mark Russinovich and Bryce Cogswell, which was acquired by and is now being distributed by Microsoft. My previous two columns appeared on Jan. 17 and Feb. 7, 2008.
I mentioned Apple Software Update briefly in my Apr. 26, 2007, column on QuickTime. Software Update is the tool that Apple provides for updating its Windows software, including Safari, iTunes, and QuickTime. Like many self-update programs and tools, it’s designed for use on one machine at a time, by someone sitting in front of a PC. That’s fine, if that’s your situation, and if Software Update is working correctly.
Other people may have slightly different needs. For example, you might have three machines in the house, and you don’t want to download 100MB or so more than once. Apple Software Update gets you halfway there.
If you select Tools, Download Only, it will download the files and not install them. This is fine if you want to predownload a large file or set of files to install later on one machine — but something is missing. The tool doesn’t tell you where it put the files it downloaded.