I'm looking for an extremely lightweight VM or virtualization tool for Windows that can be used to safely open installers that may be bundled with potentially unwanted programs (PUPs). (For an explanation of why you should do this, check out https://www.howtogeek.com/207692/yes-every-freeware-download-site-is-serving-crapware-heres-the-proof/).

The tool needs to mock up running the installer in a VM-like window on a virtual file system and registry, monitor all file writes/edits and registry changes, then list them all out and let the user cherry-pick which files and registry changes to apply. It only needs to support unpacking regular .exe installers.

Bonus points for:

  • Free ("gratis"), although I'd be willing to pay for a tool that does this.
  • Built in security software or integration with the host machine's antivirus to flag malicious files, file changes, or registry edits that the installer pops out.
  • Software reputation engine that warns about known problematic registry changes or files.
  • Support for additional common Windows installer formats such as .msi


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