Log file access in XP Home
February 9, 2010 2:54 PM   Subscribe

Any way to keep track of when certain files were accessed and for how long in Windows XP Home Edition?

My company uses several individual computers running Windows XP Home Edition. Not everyone is great at logging hours worked on a specific project, so I want a way to go back in time and check when certain files were accessed, how long they were open, when they were closed, etc. I know there's a way of logging this in XP Pro, but can't seem to find any programs to monitor this in XP Home.

To be more specific, here's what I'd like to do ideally:

An employee has a folder on his computer that contains several subfolders with various projects. Inside those subfolders there are several files that get attention during the course of the project. When the project is over, I'd like to be able to go to that file, see all the times it was opened, how long it was open, and when it was closed. The file may have been opened and closed a dozen times throughout the course of the project.

Is there any program available that would log this for me?
posted by chitlin to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
What program is being used to open the files? Is it just one app or a whole suite of unrelated software?
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 3:01 PM on February 9, 2010

Look into a keylogger like SpyAgent or Spector Pro. This is pretty much what they do. But,

1: You're likely in violation of your XP Home license, and
2: You may be breaking employee privacy laws by running any monitoring software if you don't notify the employees first.
posted by Jairus at 3:01 PM on February 9, 2010

Process monitor can log any file activity, but may be overkill for this task.
posted by zsazsa at 3:23 PM on February 9, 2010

Response by poster: Winsome, The files I want to track would only be used by one program.

I'll look into the keylogger. Thanks for the tip.

I have used Process Monitor before, but didn't know about that functionality. Thanks, zsazsa.
posted by chitlin at 5:50 AM on February 10, 2010

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