header image

Windows SysInternals Administrators Reference

Posted by: | July 13, 2011 | No Comment |

Windows SysInternals Administrators Reference

Title: Windows SysInternals Administrators Reference

Publisher: Microsoft Press

ISBN: 978-0-7356-5672-7

The SysInternals tool set – http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/default.aspx  – should be one of a Windows administrator’s best friends. You may not need them every day but when you do they will help dig you out of the hole. The toolset was created, and is still maintained by Mark Russinovich. Originally, offered as an independent set of utilities it is now owned and supplied (as a free download) by Microsoft.  

One of the difficulties, with any troubleshooting toolset, is knowing how to get the best out of the tools, especially if you are only using them now and again. The SysInternals tools can be downloaded as a complete suite or the individual tools (or group of tools) can be downloaded independently. This approach leaves the administrator possibly using, and understanding, part of the toolset because they are used regularly but completely ignorant of the rest of the tools.  Mark Russininovich, and his co-author Aaron Margois, have created the Windows SysInternals Administrators Reference to address that gap

The book is divided into three parts:

·        Part 1 starts with the SysInternals core concepts, including some historical background. Chapter 2 follows on with a look at Windows Core Concepts including administrative rights, process, threads, user and kernel mode, handles, call stacks and sessions.

·        Part 2 is where we dive into the toolset:

o   Process Explorer

o   Process Monitor

o   Autoruns

o   PsTools

o   Process and Diagnostics Utilities

o   Security Utilities

o   Active Directory Utilities

o   Desktop Utilities

o   Network and Communications utilities

o   System Information utilities

o   Miscellaneous Utilities

·        Part 3 looks at using the tools in some real life scenarios

o   Error messages

o   Hangs and sluggish performance

o   Malware

I suspect that many readers will read parts 1 and 3 for the very valuable information. Part 2 is more of a reference which will be dipped into as needed. The breadth of the SysInternals toolset means that you won’t be using all of the tools all of the time but will need the information on using the other tools. I would strongly recommend at least skimming through the chapters in part 2. You may well find something that will help solve an incipient problem. They can also suggest a course of action to help investigate potential problems.

As a very strong advocate of using PowerShell there are some occasions where the two sets of functionality overlap. The SysInternals tools will often take over where the PowerShell functionality finishes so tend to be complimentary rather then competing.

This is a book to which I think every Windows administrator/consultant needs access. I tend to carry a netbook these days with my library of scripts and utilities plus electronic copies of the important reference works I might need. A copy of the latest version of the SysInternals tools plus this book is very definitely included in that content.  

Highly recommended for all Windows administrators and consultants. Don’t leave home without it.


under: Books, Technology, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2