The sea has parted and Microsoft finally released the long awaited “Windows Sysinternals Administrator’s Reference” book. I remember a couple years ago, Mark Russinovich mentioned he was working on a new book that would contain information about all the Sysinternal tools. Now the wait is finally over, so let’s get to it.
Authored by Mark Russinovich and Aaron Margosis, this book contains a high-level overview of the Sysinternals tools. The book also includes dozens of real world issues, and how to troubleshoot these issues with the Sysinternals Tools.
The book is divided into 3 sections
- Getting Started
- Usage Guide
- Troubleshooting – “The case of the unexplained”
The “Getting Started” section contains How To’s on downloading the tools, finding help on the Sysinternals Forum, and an overview of the utilities. This section also includes core concepts of the Windows operating system. If you have never sat down, and read through the 1,500+ page Windows Internals book (Which is a great book by the way), this overview of the core concepts will give you enough information to get you started in the world of Windows Internals. Mark and Aaron did a good job in explaining core concepts in an easy to understand manner.
The next section, “Usage Guide” is where all the meat and potatoes are. It covers the two big boys of the Sysinternals Suite, Process Explorer and Process Monitor. The overview covers the layout of each tool, what button does what, and how to configure the tool for the first time. The author also includes tips and tricks when using these tools. I’m a huge fan of both these tools, but after reading this book, I can honestly say I picked up a couple of new things. The chapter also covers the rest of the Sysinternal tools, but in a lot less detail.
Troubleshooting – “The case of the unexplained”, the third and final section was my favorite. If you have ever seen any of Mark’s “The case of the unexplained” talks you will know why. Mark takes real world issues from the field, and shows how you can solve these issues with Sysinternals. Everything from locked files, AV update issues, hangs, sluggish performance, and even malware. How cool is that?
Over all I feel this is a great book. Sure it could use a little more detail here and there, but this 400+ book gets the job done. If you are a Windows Administrator, then this book is for you!
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