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File Report Help

The File Analysis Report combines a analysis of all files that use the same filename. Typically all these are various versions of the same file. Occasionally, different vendors use the same filename for different purposes. A good example is Setup.exe, a common name for many different installation programs.

  What each Sections Means  

Description - The basic description of the file along with our expanded details.

Facts (one of two categories)

A) When more than one file: Common Facts from Tracked Files - Shows common details from the group of files including the range of versions encountered.

B) When only a single file found: Key Facts - This are the raw data extracted from the file. The values are specified by the file's developer and while normally accurate, may have minor errors and/or some fields may have been left blank.

Variant and Default Locations - The default path for each file encountered and may be followed by a brief description of the path. It should be noted that we show the paths of a default installation, such as C:\Windows. In rare situations, the OS may be installed in different directories and/or disks.

Under each path is a grouping of files for each Windows version. For example:

file info sample

The OS version "R" is the first release for the series, called "Release to Manufacturing". SP stands for "Service Pack", which are significant releases made after the RTM release. After the dash, it shows the OS bit version(s) as 32, 64 or All (both 32 and 64-bit editions).

Hover over the size for size in bytes, or date for the full file modified date and time.

The capture from category indicates the system configuration used for the file capture. For example, Core without updates is a OS installation without any updates (and no third-party applications). Updates on Core indicate all updates available were applied to the Core installation.

To the far right is a details button for each file. Select this to view more information for this specific file. Depending on the file, it can include command line help along with resources such as icons, cursors, strings and dialog titles.

For 64-bit OS installations, the 32-bit versions of system files are under the \Windows\SysWOW64 directory, while 64-bit applications appear under the \Windows\System32 directory. To make it more confusing when the 32-bit system file runs it will think it's running from the \Windows\System32 directory! We only show the actual file locations.

Security - Our analysis of the safety of each file. We only test with systems that are Virus-free and Malware free, so do not expect to find problem files.

In some cases a file with the same filename is placed in another directory for nefarious purposes. We've connected data from Paul Collin's excellent startup list to give you a simple risk assessment of the specific filename and to dig deeper if you wish. The counts shown are the number of different reports for each category of startup for this filename.

Requires - This section shows required files needed to when this program runs. Keep in mind that these references may in turn require additional files, and it is possible the program requires other files not listed. If there are no required files, this section will not appear.

Since the Analysis report handles multiple versions of the same file, we've marked any required files with an asterisk "*" when the file is not required in every version.

Additional Analysis - It may include the language it was written in, the type of file encountered and a count of programs we've identified that use this file.

Vendor Summary
- Here are the basic contact information for the vendor. In many cases the publisher information within the file is missing or wrong, in which case the FaultWire team has located the actual vendor. Click on the Vendors name for expanded information on this vendor.

Research This File - We've built an immediate search for this file. For this section, you can select different tabs to check results for the entire web, or narrow your search to Microsoft's site. You can also search Blogs, which may have a different view on the issue.

  Windows Installations Tested  

For each major OS version, we use the most complete variant available. For XP, this is the Professional variant. For Windows Vista and Windows 7, we use Ultimate. While doing this should include the files from all of the other variants, it is possible a sub-variant includes a different version of a file with features removed or a file not in the Professional/Ultimate variant.

Within each Major version, we also analyze every major sub-release starting with the original RTM, and each service pack made available. The analysis is performed without any updates applied. This is the installation you would get if there was no internet connection. For the last released service pack in every major version, we also perform a separate analysis after downloading and installing all of the latest updates. We typically re-run the update and analysis every 6 months.

For each Windows Update run, we skip installing new major versions of Internet Explorer and Windows Media Center to show the latest updates to these older versions. Otherwise we select all recommended and optional updates.