How can I get a log of all programs that ran since boot in Windows 7?

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QUESTION :

In Windows 7 is there a list with all the processes that were executed? Or a program that can create such a list by tracking all executed processes? Or a way to make Windows log the execution of all processes?

My computer has been running for a couple of days now but this only started happening today: I keep seeing a flicker in my taskbar. Every few dozen seconds or few minutes something starts and then it immediately stops. I can’t see what it is. I looked in the Task Scheduler and it’s empty, so it’s not that. Is there something that I can do to find out what process is being executed?

ANSWER :

This answer does not “log” startup programs, the following application allows you to view and diagnose any and all startup applications.

Download and Run Autoruns tool from Sysinternals:

This utility, which has the most comprehensive knowledge of
auto-starting locations of any startup monitor, shows you what
programs are configured to run during system bootup or login, and
shows you the entries in the order Windows processes them. These
programs include ones in your startup folder, Run, RunOnce, and other
Registry keys. You can configure Autoruns to show other locations,
including Explorer shell extensions, toolbars, browser helper objects,
Winlogon notifications, auto-start services, and much more. Autoruns
goes way beyond the MSConfig utility bundled with Windows Me and XP.

AutoRuns allows you to disable/delete ANY application that will run at startup/logon. But you must be very careful, deleting or disabling an application can cause major problems. Search the web for items shown in Autoruns, research them and make sure the item is nefarious or not. And please disable first, before you delete.

You can create a batch script that will run tasklist over-and-over while you use the computer. Just double click the batch script at startup to run it, and close the command prompt when you want it to stop. It will write to txt file that you can examine later. The txt file will become quite large if you run it for long periods of time.

Open Notepad, paste the below in, save as all files with the name logger.bat.

:start
tasklist >> "C:usersyourusernamedesktopoutput.txt"
goto start

Obviously you will need to replace yourusername with your user name.

The Text file will look like this, except much longer, and repeated over-and-over for each time the script ran.:

Image Name                     PID Session Name        Session#    Mem Usage
========================= ======== ================ =========== ============
wininit.exe                    792 Services                   0      3,344 K
csrss.exe                      808 Console                    1      5,464 K

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