To the uninitiated, the title may sound a bit ultra-geeky and scary. Particularly the “Huh?” word “Sysinternals.”
But this book may benefit you “whether you manage the systems of a large enterprise, a small business, or the PCs of your family and friends,” Mark Russinovich and Aaron Margosis contend.
The Sysinternals Suite, it turns out, “is a set of over 70 advanced diagnostic and troubleshooting utilities for the Microsoft Windows platform” written by one of the book’s authors, Mark Russinovich, plus Bryce Cogswell.
The 70+ Sysinternals tools can be downloaded free from Microsoft TechNet at http://www.sysinternals.com.
The book’s goals are to make you more familiar with the Sysinternals Suite and learn how to use the Sysinternals to “solve real problems on Windows systems.”
Russinovich’s and Margosis’s Windows Sysinternals Administrator’s Reference is well written and has a good number of illustrations that provide amplifying “how-to” information. The book has a hefty 25-page index, as well, to help you find your way through the Sysinternals’ maze of available features, capabilities, verifications, files, drivers, states, fixes and more.
The Sysinternal tools work with the following versions of Windows: Windows XP (with Service Pack 3); Windows Vista; Windows 7; Windows Server 2003 (with Service Pack 2); Windows Server 2003 R2; Windows Server 2008; and Windows Server 2008 R2. The authors note: “Some tools require administrative rights to run, and others implement specific features that require administrative rights.”
Following its introduction, the book is divided into three parts, containing a total of 18 chapters:
Part I: Getting Started
- 1. Getting Started with the Sysinternals Utilities
- 2. Windows Core Concepts
Part II: Usage Guide
- 3. Process Explorer
- 4. Process Monitor
- 5. Autoruns
- 6. PsTools
- 7. Process and Diagnostic Utilities
- 8. Security Utilities
- 9. Active Directory Utilities
- 10. Desktop Utilities
- 11. File Utilities
- 12. Disk Utilities
- 13. Network and Communications Utilities
- 14. System Information Utilities
- 15. Miscellaneous Utilities
Part III: Troubleshooting – “The Case of the Unexplained”
- 16. Error Messages
- 17. Hangs and Sluggish Performance
- 18. Malware
The book is aimed mainly at “Windows IT professionals and power users who want to make the most of the Sysinternals tools.” And it includes real-world case studies to illustrate several tough problems.
If you are not yet a power user, but wrestle with Windows on a frequent basis (as many of us do) and are ready to tear into it, the Windows Sysinternals Administrator’s Reference can help you learn how to diagnose and troubleshoot your system and also optimize it.
If you work in a small business where there is little or no tech support, or if you are tech support in your small business, add this book to your library. You’ll likely put it to good use.
– Si Dunn