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Windows Internals (5th Edition) [Hardcover]

David Solomon , Mark Russinovich
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

June 17 2009 0735625301 978-0735625303 5

See how the core components of the Windows operating system work behind the scenes—guided by a team of internationally renowned internals experts. Fully updated for Windows Server(R) 2008 and Windows Vista(R), this classic guide delivers key architectural insights on system design, debugging, performance, and support—along with hands-on experiments to experience Windows internal behavior firsthand.

Delve inside Windows architecture and internals:

  • Understand how the core system and management mechanisms work—from the object manager to services to the registry
  • Explore internal system data structures using tools like the kernel debugger
  • Grasp the scheduler's priority and CPU placement algorithms
  • Go inside the Windows security model to see how it authorizes access to data
  • Understand how Windows manages physical and virtual memory
  • Tour the Windows networking stack from top to bottom—including APIs, protocol drivers, and network adapter drivers
  • Troubleshoot file-system access problems and system boot problems
  • Learn how to analyze crashes

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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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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
The most in depth Windows platform book on the market. Windows Internals shows you the how (and why) each part of the operating system functions, from the Kernel to what you see on screen, this book gives you an incredibley detailed look at all parts of the operating system.

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).
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  29 reviews
50 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the great, great Windows resources available in print July 13 2009
By Ed Tittel - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Late last week (around 7/2/2009), a small but heavy box showed up at my door. I'd long since forgotten bugging Mark Russinovich last December for a review copy of the latest edition of his Windows internals book: Windows Internals: Including Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista, 5th edition, co-authored with David A. Solomon and Alex Ionescu, but there it was in my hot little hands. In my odd free moments since then, I've been plowing through this 1,260 page book to see what's new and interesting -- though I obviously haven't had time to read it in its entirety. Keep that caveat in mind as I extoll this book's many treasures.

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.
31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Windows architecture July 4 2009
By H. Weisskopf - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Windows Internals is one of two "foundation" books that should be on the bookshelf of every sysadmin and win engineer. The other is Windows Server 2008 Inside Out. Between the two you have everything you'll likely want to ever know about the core of Windows.

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.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gift from the software gods Feb. 19 2010
By Richard Sveyda - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The authors have taken an extremely complex subject and cut it up into little bit-size pieces. Laid out, a huge, complex system is there to take in as small chunks of manageable topics.

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.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Open the hood and get your hands dirty in the engine Aug. 21 2009
By Jason Fossen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
You don't have to be a C/C++ developer to enjoy this book, it's for anyone who wants to dig into the guts of Windows. The book provides a guided tour of Windows internals using the Sysinternals tools and other free utilities from Microsoft's web site. If you're worried that this material doesn't apply to Windows 7, don't worry, most of it does, and there are nice videos on the Channel9 page of the MSDN site which go over some of the differences between Vista and 7 to fill the gaps. Importantly, this is a hands-on book with lots of tool walk-throughs to bring the abstract material to life, so start with the topics which interest you the most (security, networking stack, I/O, whatever) and jump around the chapters while sitting at a test computer, you don't have to read it cover to cover like a textbook.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Windows Internals (not just for geeks) Sept. 3 2009
By Martin Drenovac - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I ordered the book on the basis of my admiration of Mark Russ.. brilliance & in his layman speak about matters as intense & technical as an O/S kernel. However, when i received the book I found it just as crisp in its detail, very low key on the techno speak & abundant with detailed easy to understand technical material.

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.
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