This article discusses the Change Analysis Diagnostic tool for Microsoft Windows XP. This tool provides an easy way to track changes to certain parts of the operating system. The tool lets support professionals better understand the modifications to users' computers that may have caused problems. Support professionals can then suggest troubleshooting steps.
As computer programs grow more complex, extensible, and connected, users have more trouble understanding what makes their computers behave differently. Network connectivity lets computers download programs automatically. Then, the computers can install the programs automatically. Because of browser extensibility, components can be added to the browser in sophisticated ways that change the browsing experience. Users cannot always understand the programs and their interactions. Therefore, troubleshooting can be a very difficult task.
The Change Analysis Diagnostic tool is especially helpful because of the following issues:
• Users may not be aware of recent changes to their computers.
• Users may not understand the relevance of recent changes.
• Users may be frustrated when support professionals ask them for detailed system information.
• Users may be unable to provide accurate information about recent changes.
• The user takes a long time to read computer information over the telephone.
The Change Analysis Diagnostic tool helps solve problems that users experience because of changes to their computers. These problems may be the result of updates, new software, or changes to hardware. These problems could lead to issues that include slow performance and crashes.
The Change Analysis Diagnostic tool scans the computer and displays recent changes to the following areas:
• Software programs: The software programs that are listed in the Add or Remove Programs item in Control Panel.
• Operating system components: Hotfixes and downloads from Windows Update.
• Browser Helper Objects (BHOs): COM components that Internet Explorer loads when it starts. BHOs can intercept browser events, access Internet Explorer controls, create windows, and install add-ins that monitor messages and actions.
• Drivers: Kernel-mode device drivers and file system drivers.
• ActiveX controls: COM controls that have been downloaded by Internet Explorer or that are used in some Web pages.
• Other Auto-Start Extensibility Points (ASEPs): ASEPs let programs start without action from the user. An ASEP may accept one or more ASEP hooks, each of which is associated with a program.
The tool also displays changes to loaded applications and startup objects.
The Change Analysis Diagnostic tool queries the System Restore data for the number of days that the user selects. The tool finds the changes to the registry and to the file system that are relevant to these categories. Then, the tool presents the changes together with contextual information. Finally, the tool lists the changes in an XML file that can be sent to a support professional.
Typically, this process starts when the user calls a support professional. The user reports that the computer has started to behave differently. For example, the computer may be running slower or crashing. The support professional directs the user to a Microsoft Web site to download the latest version of the Change Analysis Diagnostic tool. When the user runs the tool, information about the categories that are mentioned earlier is written to an XML file. Then, the user can view the file or use e-mail to send the file to the support professional for more analysis. The support professional can use the file to help the user troubleshoot the issue.
The support professional guides the user through the following steps:
1. The support professional asks the user to install the Windows XP Change Analysis Diagnostic tool by visiting the Microsoft Download Center Web site.
2. The support professional asks the user to run the diagnostic tool.
To run the diagnostic tool, click Start, click Run, type statechangediag.exe, and then click OK.
3. The tool asks the user for a time frame in which to search.
4. The tool detects system changes. Then, it saves the data to an .xml file.
5. The user either clicks View Report or finds the file on the computer. Then, the user uses e-mail to send the file to the support professional for more analysis.
Note Typically, the .xml file is stored in the Drive:\Documents and Settings\User folder.
6. The support professional reviews the output to determine what may cause the problem.
How to obtain the Change Analysis Diagnostic tool
Save the WindowsXP-KB924732-x86-ENU.exe file to a folder. Then, run the file to install the tool.
The following file is available for download from the Microsoft Download Center:
DownloadDownload the Change Analysis Diagnostic (KB924732) package now.
Release Date: March 27, 2007
Change Analysis Diagnostic tool for Windows
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