By Default, Windows offers various tools to help IT professionals to accomplish daily tasks and solve problems. In Vista and Server 2008 versions, these tools were improved, resulting in a more efficient management and monitoring.
One of my favorite tools is Performance and Reliability Monitor. An evolved version of the Performance option from the Control Panel, this monitor group real-time information about the four main subsystems of the PC (Disk, Network, Memory and Processor) in one place. Also, it organizes log entries in reliability graphs.
Although these tools help professionals, there is some technical and specific information that these built-in tools don’t show. For these situations, Microsoft offers a set of advanced utilities for specific tasks, such as show regedit entries. These software are known as Windows Sysinternals.
The Sysinternals web site was created in 1996 by Mark Russinovich and Bryce Cogswell to host their advanced system utilities and technical information. Acquired ten years later by Microsoft, the web site host many advanced system utilities and technical information, helping IT Professionals and Developers to manage and diagnose Windows systems and applications.
Sysinternals offers more than 30 utilities that execute various tasks in areas like registry, network, Active Directory and system. These utilities are divided in six categories:
- File and Disk Utilities: Utilities for viewing and monitoring file and disk access and usage.
- Networking Utilities: Networking tools that range from connection monitors to resource security analyzers.
- Process Utilities: Utilities for looking under the hood to see what processes are doing and the resources they are consuming.
- Security Utilities: Security configuration and management utilities, including rootkit and spyware hunting programs.
- System Information: Utilities for looking at system resource usage and configuration.
- Miscellaneous Utilities: A collection of diverse utilities that includes a screen saver, presentation aid, and debugging tool.
Some of my favorites are AdExplorer, Process Monitor and ZoomIt. All these utilities are fantastic and work in all Windows versions. At the website you can download each utility at time or download the Sysinternal Suite (8MB), a pack that holds the most important utilities. This is a mandatory download for System Administrators and IT Consultants.
And this week, two utilities from Sysinternals were update:
- Autoruns 9.3: This Autoruns update adds support for several additional shell extension points, including copy hook, property sheet, and drag and drop handlers, fixes a bug in the Vista gadget parsing code and better handles malformed paths.
- AccessChk 4.2: AccessChk v4.2 reports non-canonical security descriptors (ones that have access control entries in an unsupported order) and adds a new switch, -a, that dumps account rights and privileges.
You can get more information and download all these “toys” at Windows Sysinternals web site, at the URL: http://technet.microsoft.com/sysinternals/.
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Thu, Aug 21 2008 9:42