Audiogalaxy is a kickarse music swapping system that I have been really getting into of late. I just recently upgraded to the latest version of the client software ("Satellite") which by default installs a bit of spyware called webHancer.
It's designed to measure certain performance- related characteristics of your internet connection (like RTT, DNS lookup time, etc).
[Aside: They go to great pains to point out that webHancer only send anonymous information, but at the same time they make it difficult to verify this (ie you need to packet sniff). Contrast this with the anonymous usage info requested by Eudora, which lets you review the information to be sent. Guess which goes a lot further at earning the trust of the average punter?]
This thing is supposed to be unobtrusive, but it turns out to conflict with Rational ClearCase. I found this out the hard way.
[Another aside: Lots of people dislike the complexity of clearcase, instead preferring CVS. Whilst this is nice, there is no source code control system out there with as much power as Clearcase. It really is an amazing product, albiet annoying at times.]
Anyway, the story is that my clearcase albd_server wouldn't start. This is bad, because it's the equivalent of 'init' for clearcase; the parent which starts all the clearcase child processes and manages communications etc. It started and then exited straight away with mysterious "file not found" and "UDP socket" error messages in the windows event log.
I initially investigated this as a problem with the UDP port opened by another process. Not so. The FPortNG tool is a handy way of mapping open sockets to processes (something that netstat can't do BTW). Using this I quickly found which processes were using the open UDP sockets and eliminated them as causes of the problem.
So, changing tack, I looked at the file not found error. To do this, I used the excellent ntfilemon utility from sysinternals. Set this up with a filter on "albd_server.exe:" (note the colon), and it quite happily spewed out all the file accesses for this process every time I started it from the services control panel (actually a MMC thingy in Win2k but who cares?).
Initially I was stumped because I was looking for error messages, and most of the file access showed successful completion. However purely by chance I happened to notice that the albd_server.exe process was accessing files in the webHancer directory (!). A quick uninstall, reboot, and all of my clearcase problems went away. Problem solved, at least as far as I am concerned.
Of course, after successfully tracking down the source of the problem, I report my results to the Rational support person I had been corresponding with. Naturally he response with "oh yes this is a known problem, here's the technote that describes it". Grrrr!
I also reported it to webHancer using their feedback form, but heard nothing back. Of course.