System shot

This method is suitable for small programs or tools. During package creation, the program will be installed locally. By analyzing two system shots (before and after the installation) TSD determines the changes made in the system and saves them for future deployment. The method may accidentally record changes made by the system or another background application or service. Therefore, take care when using this method.

This method is only recommended for professional system administrators, because using an incorrect system shot for deployment may cause irreparable damage to target systems.

TSD developers assume no responsibility for attempts to deploy the following using System shot:

  • System drivers, codecs, system libraries;

  • Other software that interacts with particular hardware.

Recording a method

Installation context must be set in the Software passport. Before recording, make sure that the program isn’t already installed locally. Also, close all background and foreground programs.

Proceed to the System shot tab and click Record

The TSD window will be minimized and the System shot recording window will be displayed.

System shot monitors system folders and saves a list of changes to important registry keys. The monitored folders can be enabled, disabled or added from Settings accessed by pressing the gear icon.

After pressing Record, wait for the first system shot to be taken and install the program as usual. The second system shot will be made automatically and the results will autosave.

During recording, additional installers will automatically start after the main installer. Both the main installer and its add-ons will be packaged together.

Monitoring installer processes

It’s important for TSD to know when the installer completes its operation (for example, in order to provide all the necessary automatization when recording the package).That’s why the main installer process is monitored when recording a system shot, and the recording proceeds to another stage when this process ends. If the main installer leaves behind any child processes, TSD will prompt the user to ask whether the installation is complete.

Answering ‘no’ effectively means that the recording of the first system shot is over.

Following the negative answer, the second system snapshot will be taken, the two snapshots will be compared and the method saved. Such a scenario may occur if, for example, the installer finished by opening the developer’s website page in the browser.

When the answer is ‘yes’ – for example, if the basic process was a self-extracting archive, and installation will be performed by a child process – a list of all the monitored child processes will be displayed. The second system snapshot will be taken automatically when all processes from this list close, or after pressing the Installation is complete, stop monitoring button.

Installers often have an option to run the installed program. If you continue to monitor this process, it’s possible to make changes to program settings before stopping recording. These changes can be deployed along with the program on the target nodes if they were saved into one of the monitored folders.

Editing the deployment package

After the deployment package is compiled, TSD will display the result in the form of a list with all the changes that have occurred in the registry and in the file system during the recording. The list can be edited to eliminate the changes made by system services or by background programs.

The System shot editor contains:

  1. The header;
  2. Package display settings;
  3. The list of changes in the registry and file system.

The recorded System shot package displays the following information in the header:

  • The date and time of recording;
  • Operating system it was recorded on, and its architecture;
  • The number of changes in the registry and file system;
  • The filesize of the deployment package.

To the right are two buttons: Rerecord and Delete.

The list with results contains 2 main elements: Files and Registry keys.

The first one shows what changed in the file system of the monitored folders, which can be edited in TSD Settings.

The second one displays the changes that occurred in important registry keys.

Each change or group of changes can be disabled/enabled by ticking the corresponding box.

The deployment package is saved after every operation.

To set up the display rules for enabled/disabled changes, use the Show filters.

Enabling the first (default) option makes all changes visible.

The second option hides the “enabled” changes.

The third option hides the “disabled” changes.

To highlight the changes made by the installed program, enter its title into the Search string field.

Press Save to copy the entered text into the Software name search field of the Software passport.

To the left of the list of changes is the vertical bar where the Expand button appears in front of every folder where a match with the Search string was found. Click the button to expand the list to the node that matched the query.

After recording the deployment package, the installed program may be uninstalled.