Windows Internals (5th Edition) Hardcover – Jun 17 2009
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About the Author
Mark Russinovich is a Technical Fellow in the Windows Azure group at Microsoft. He is coauthor of Windows Sysinternals Administrator’s Reference, co-creator of the Sysinternals tools available from Microsoft TechNet, and coauthor of the Windows Internals book series. David A. Solomon is coauthor of the Windows Internals book series and has taught his Windows internals class to thousands of developers and IT professionals worldwide, including Microsoft staff. He is a regular speaker at Microsoft conferences, including TechNet and PDC. Alex Ionescu is a chief software architect and consultant expert in low-level system software, kernel development, security training, and reverse engineering. He teaches Windows internals course with David Solomon, and is active in the security research community.
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Top Customer Reviews
If you are a developer, or work in IT, this book is a must have.
Note: (This book is more for intermediate to advanced users, it may be hard for a beginner to understand due to how detailed it is).
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Here's another caveat: the primary audience for this book is Windows system developers. They're the people who will get the most out of its contents, and my lack of in-depth Windows system programming experience probably explains why my eyes glaze over and my mind goes on vacation as I look at certain sections in the book.
That said, there's a tremendous wealth of information on Windows in here (and from what I can tell, thanks to having recently updated 9 chapters for the upcoming Pearson title "Windows 7 in Depth" it applies nearly 100% to Windows 7 as well as Windows Vista, thanks to relatively little changes in the kernel and other system facilities between these two most recent desktop Windows versions). In particular, these are the topics that I found most interesting and illuminating as I flipped through the book for a first quick pass over its contents (I'll report again from time to time as I dig more deeply into its contents):
Chapter 2 System Architecture: learned a thing or two about device drivers, and how to find them, in this chapter.
Chapter 3 System Mechanisms: the best coverage of the MS Hyper-V Hypervisor I've ever seen anywhere.
Chapter 4 Management Mechanisms: as in previous versions, this chapter provides some of the best information about how the Windows registry is structured, and how it works, that I've ever seen. Worth the price of admission all by itself.
Chapter 5 Processess, Threads, and Jobs: Here's a tour-de-force illustration of Mark Russinovich's knowledge of Windows internals, and how nicely the SysInternals tools work to reveal their inner workings.
Chapter 6 Security: Provides a killer walkthrough of how Windows performs access checks and uses security identifiers (SIDs) for accounts, groups, and logons. Lots of good detail here on security minutae.
Chapter 7 I/O System: includes great sections on Windows Plug and Play (PnP) operation and facilities, and ditto for ACPI/Power Manager.
Chapter 8 Storage Management: Best discussions of both BitLocker Drive Encyrption and Volume Shadow Copy Servive (VSS) I've seen anywhere.
Chapter 9 Memory Management: Another embarrassment of riches, and also worth the price of the book all by itself, especially the sections on physical memmory limits, working sets, and SuperFetch/ReadyBoost/ReadyDrive.
Chapter 11 File Systems is worthwhile because it pulls info on all the Windows file systems together in one place and because it provides lots of great information on NTFS in particular.
Chapter 12 Networking: lots of good information on the Windows IP stack, NetBIOS, MUP, NLA, LLTD, NAT, and more. I need to spend more time with this chapter to savor it more fully.
Chapter 13 Startup and Shutdown: Great excursions into BIOS boot processes, BCD and Bootmgr, EFI boot stuff, plus more on ReadyBoot/ReadyBoost interaction. The great, great section on troubleshooting boot an startup problems is another gem.
Chapter 14 Crash Dump Analysis: the second on "The Blue Screen" includes a list of the top 30 stop codes for Windows Vista, and included all my old familiars, for sure. The in-depth discussion of crash dump analysis includes basic and advanced sections, and is also sure to reward further study.
Anybody who works with Windows regularly and needs to understand its inner working will find their investment in this book amply repaid. It is worth every bit of the $38 to $70 you'll pay for it by shopping online. My only beef about this book is that it's a monster, at over 1,200 pages and 4.4 pounds, it's a bit too heavy to read in your lap or hold in your hands for very long. You'll want to plant this puppy on a table to flip through its many useful bits of information.
I have read Stanek and Russinovich's work for years and have the utmost respect for both. As I imagine with most readers, I don't need to know everything about Windows but I do need to know everything possible about certain issues. In this book, this is the kernel, memory management, I/O sub-system (ACPI/PnP) and storage (ntfs).
Clearly Windows Internals is written for system level developers and they'l get the most benefit from this book, but there is a ton of stuff for IT professionals as well. It is not easy reading, you have to know something more about operating systems to understand it.
This book goes into depth, with real world ways you can apply (like practical exercises). I highly recommend this book to developers, sysadmins and win engineers who needs a very indepth analysis of Windows Vista/Windows Server 2008.
The authors know their subject, and don't try to impress you with their knowledge. Also, they are unbiased about the topic. No operating system is perfect, but after reading the book, at least you'll know why things don't work properly. (For example, why does the OS hang if you put in a blank DVD?)
There is an awful lot of meat in this book. Some topics you'll want to skip, some you'll want to memorize: but it will put you at the front of the pack, because so much of what you learn is vital to being the best IT professional you can be.
Excellent, just excellent.
It doesn't leave you googling for explanation on any aspect that it mentions, all the detailed and inter-related topics are simply there.
I found myself reading aspect of the kernel that in reality are of no interest to me, simply read them there because the explanation was crisp, precise and so easy to follow.
Love the book, excellent value for money via Amazon through which I buy all my technical books even though I'm in Sydney - Aust.