Hidden programs on XP

470 pts.
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Microsoft Windows 7
Microsoft Windows XP
Hello everybody :) from Washington DC. Our organization (govt.) will start moving us from XP to Windows 7 in the near future. I am in the process of verifying deployment check lists (DCLs) for each employee. The list contains programs that can be found and verified from the "add remove program" list. Our PCs are networked and on a domain. My question has to do with programs that may be present but do not show on that list. Can somebody help me with suggesting how I can find other programs on a PC which may not appear on the add/remove list. Thank you very much. Mickey

Software/Hardware used:
Windows XP; IE 8; Firefox 16.0.2; Microsoft Office 2003

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  • TomLiotta
    Most .EXE files that exist on a Windows system won't show on the "add remove program" list. (But perhaps most of those will be removed when the associated listed 'product' is removed.) The list doesn't exactly shows "programs" as much as it shows "products" that have been registered with Windows. Can you narrow down exactly what you're trying to do? -- Tom
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  • Kevin Beaver
    I'm not sure if you're talking about .exe files on disk or ones that are actually doing something on the system at any given time. If you or one of your staff members is fairly technical you can use Process Explorer and related Sysinternals tools to seek out and monitor what's running. The following three articles I've written on this subject may help: http://searchenterprisedesktop.techtarget.com/tip/Sysinternals-tools-A-must-have-for-every-Windows-security-toolbox http://searchenterprisedesktop.techtarget.com/tip/Using-Sysinternals-tools-in-security-management-scenarios http://searchwindowsserver.techtarget.com/tip/The-very-best-Sysinternals-tools-for-Windows-server-security As Tom said, more information will be helpful.
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  • mikidc
    Thank You both for prompt answers. I am not sure that there is a problem, but here is more info. Our fair IT department created these DCL (deployment check list) for every user and will use them when they push new operating system : Windows 7 (we are currently XP) and all other programs found on those sheets. My immediate supervisor discussed this with me and the following is on the notes: "Items of Concern are items that do not appear on the DCL which only pulls from the add/remove programs. We will need items that are on the desktop or other software that people are using to ensure it is approved and provided". I am the only tech liaison for 150 users and have admin rights to install programs for them. If they have any programs on the desktop (shortcuts) or additional programs either I installed them or I requested push from IT dept. Either way, those items should be on the add/remove list so I am not sure what she is talking about. I am aware that there are zillion of exe files supporting this and that as part of operating system or part of any software package - and they will be loaded during the switch to W7. The only thing I could think of are possibly some add ons (for IE or FF engines) that we have now, but may not be automatically loaded... This is as much detail as I can provide. Again, Thank You, and I will make sure to read up on the suggested material. Mickey
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  • TomLiotta
    @Mickey: I figured you knew lots of .EXEs (programs) would be scattered around, because your posting history tells us you have some experience. The general idea, though, does need to be mentioned in order to spark ideas from any possible member. . You know, I might think about simply creating lists of all .EXEs from two or three users' PCs. (I'd pick different kinds of users. The 'supervisor' might be one good one.) The lists would be a basis for a clarification discussion with the 'supervisor'. Ask question like "What about this program?" Perhaps after asking the same question a few dozen times, the situation will be clear. . Can you describe a little about what the duties of a "tech liaison" are in your organization? And how does it relate to the responsibilities of the "IT department"? It sounds like an interesting task for you, but it's not clear if it's the kind of thing you should have strong accountability for. . Tom
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  • mikidc
    Tom, Creating those lists is an excellent suggestion - and I will start on it today. Thank You! Yes, my position is quite interesting. I am independed of 2 IT departments operating in our agency. I report to chief of my direct users. This is Copyright Office of the US, and it has its own IT dept called CTO. Than there is a main "most powerful" IT department (called ITS) overseeing all IT work in the Library of Congress where Copyright resides. The two are not always working in unison (to say the least).. I am the first line of defense for my users (about 150). I do most hardware fixes myself (like "my CD drive is broken", or my printer stopped working, or my computer equipment has to be moved and reconnected). Other problems I am to first diagnose and decide who can do the work: CTO or ITS. Our users use web-based application called Siebel "photoshopped" :)) to do tasks needed by Copyright (it is a donkey with glued wings constantly trying to fly ...) Siebel issues I send to CTO. All other such as : my system is slow, or I can not log in, or I need an access to share drive, or I have a blue screen of death, or I have problem with Adobe, or I can not open files (uploaded electronically from "customers" from all over the US or the rest of the world) - I diagnose first and decide whether I can help or whether I have to send a request to ITS. The "supervisor" I talked about is actually CTO supervisor (not mine). In this W7 project, ITS created, together with CTO, these DCL packets, however, ITS is in charge of all of W7 work and will do the actual push. As you can see, I am sandwiched between the two, but report directly to somebody who is not part of any IT group and is not IT savvy. Anyhow this the scenario... and this project is starting and will go on until Feb. next year! Mickey
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  • Kevin Beaver
    This sounds like a lot of undefined busy work and I'm not real clear of the true need or payoff. Is it for security? For inventory? For software licensing oversight?
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  • mikidc
    Lol, "undefined busy work" is the hallmark of government operation here. I would guess that answer is: software licencing and security. In addition, it is to ensure the smooth transition and avoid like "how come I don't have this...or how come I can not do this in W7.." Being through many other deployments in my work life before I know that there is no such thing as "smooth transition" when you have so many players involved at the same time. (such as 2 IT departments and people like me who are not invited to the meetings directly affecting my users).
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  • TomLiotta
    It can certainly seem to be "undefined busy work", but government workers often have no choice. Voters can demand total accounting of every taxpayer penny that is spent. That can include every piece of computing equipment and every action taken by every user of that equipment. . The IT workers have no real latitude in deciding what to include or leave out. There is little allowance for self-guidance for saying "I can ignore this class of executeable." Accounting for taxpayer funds gets tricky and involves serious consequences for 'work-arounds' that leave holes. . Of course, the flip side is when voters start complaining about wasting money on "undefined busy work"... . I can sympathize with the IT workers and others. There is little middle ground to stand on. . Tom
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