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Quickie Book Review: Sysinternals Admin Reference

I’ve known Mark Russinovich for over 10 years, thanks to some work I did for his company back in the early 2000s. I’ve known of Mark Russinovich for twice that long, thanks mostly to his fantastic work on a series of Windows Administrative tools. These days Mark still does much of the same things he’s been doing since way back when, but he now does them for Microsoft, and Microsoft continues to give his Sysinternals admnistrative utilities for Windows away for free. In fact Sysinternals has its own subdomain inside Technet: It’s called Windows Sysinternals and everybody who works on Windows computers should have it in his or her favorites list.

Finally a good book digs into the Sysinternals utilities

The Sysinternals Web pages used to the best place to look for information and guidance on using these tools, along with the occasional blog from Mr. Russinovich himself (and in fact, his latest blog is entitled Troubleshooting with the New Sysinternals Administrator’s Reference). That blog shares with this blog a primary subject — namely, the book depicted in the preceding screen cap. Entitled Windows Sysinternals Administrator’s Reference, by Mr. Russinovich and Aaron Margosis (Microsoft Press, July 20, 2011, ISBN-13: 978-0735656727, list price $49.99, $31.17 at Amazon) it not only presents and discusses all of the many tools that Sysinternals makes available to Windows admins, it distills some incredibly valuable wit and wisdom on how best to put these tools to work, straight from one of their key developers.

Nobody who works with Windows Servers should be without a copy, and anybody who works on Windows Desktops will find this book equally useful. It akes you through analyzing CPU behaviors, memory leaks, and helps demystify the many vexing and sometimes baffling problems to which Windows systems occasionally fall prey. You will also understand how to use the Sysinternals tools to look deeper into the Windows registry than you may have thought possible, and how to use memory dumps to troubleshoot not just BSODs and system hiccups, but also application or service issues as well.

At just over $31 at Amazon, the book is a steal. Even at the $45 full retail price it’s still worth every penny. If you work with Windows systems I have three words of advice: Buy. This. Book.

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