PowerShell for Windows Admins

Jul 13 2011   2:55AM GMT

Windows SysInternals Administrators Reference

Richard Siddaway Richard Siddaway Profile: Richard Siddaway

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:

Process Explorer

Process Monitor



Process and Diagnostics Utilities

Security Utilities

Active Directory Utilities

Desktop Utilities

Network and Communications utilities

System Information utilities

Miscellaneous Utilities

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

Error messages

Hangs and sluggish performance


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.


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