NetWrix-File-Server-Change-Reporter

Michael Pietroforte

Michael Pietroforte is the founder and editor of 4sysops. He is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) with more than 30 years of experience in IT management and system administration.

NetWrix File Server Change Reporter (FSCR) is an easy-to-set-up freeware tool that allows you to monitor file server changes. It audits changes made to files, folders, shares, and permissions. You can create HTML reports manually or let the tool send these by email.

NetWrix-File-Server-Change-Reporter-Task-Scheduler It took me only a few seconds to install and configure FSCR. All you have to do is add the file servers you want to monitor and specify the credentials. The tool adds an entry to the Windows Task Scheduler. By default, it will create a snapshot once a day of each of the file servers.

FSCR doesn't require an agent to be installed. The disadvantage is that creating a snapshot can cause heavy network traffic. In my test environment under VMware Workstation, it took the tool approximately 10 minutes to create a snapshot of a server with 5GB. I think it will take considerably longer in a 100-Mbit network. Of course, you can install the tool on every server you want to monitor if you don't want to strain your network too much. Note that it will also cause significant CPU load. Therefore, I would configure FSCR to create snapshots only during off hours.

NetWrix-File-Server-Change-Reporter-Report The tool compares two snapshots to generate a report. If you try the tool, you can create snapshots manually by running the entry in the Task Manager. To generate a report, you can use FSCR's Viewer, which is a separate utility. The output is an HTML file, which you can access with a web browser.

The report shows what files have been changed. You will also get information about the type of the change, i.e., whether the file was created or modified, the changed size, etc. Only the commercial version displays the account that made the changes, the time of the modifications, and offers detailed permissions tracking.

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5 Comments
  1. Ronin Vladiamhe 9 years ago

    I've been using a few other free NetWrix products, AD Change Reporter and Disk Space Monitor, on 2k/2k3 servers, and they work pretty well. The disk traffic issue has me a little hesitant about File Server Changer. Putting these three products into a single interface would be more ideal. I will definitely give it a look.

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  2. Michael Pietroforte 9 years ago

    I agree, it would be great if there was a version that integrates some of the NetWrix tools. But considering that they are all so easy to install, it is not a big deal to work with separate tools.

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  3. Steve 7 years ago

    Have you guys scene the Change Reporter Suite? It's a single solution that integrates various change reporting products, including File Server Change Reporter, into one comprehensive product. The Enterprise version allows management of all these tools in one single console.

    Take a look: http://www.netwrix.com/change_auditing_solution.html

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  4. RoninV 7 years ago

    The Suite definitely incorporates most of the auditing tools that were separate apps. An evaluation of it might be in order.

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  5. Steve 7 years ago

    Excellent. Let me know if you need any assistance. The suite is the latest in our line of change management tools, so I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

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