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Windows Internals, Part 1: Covering Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 [Paperback]

Mark E. Russinovich , David A. Solomon , Alex Ionescu
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Windows Internals, Book 1: User Mode Windows Internals, Book 1: User Mode
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Book Description

April 8 2012 0735648735 978-0735648739 Sixth Edition

Delve inside Windows architecture and internals—and see how core components work behind the scenes. Led by three renowned internals experts, this classic guide is fully updated for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2—and now presents its coverage in two volumes.

As always, you get critical insider perspectives on how Windows operates. And through hands-on experiments, you’ll experience its internal behavior firsthand—knowledge you can apply to improve application design, debugging, system performance, and support.

In Part 1, you will:

  • Understand how core system and management mechanisms work—including the object manager, synchronization, Wow64, Hyper-V, and the registry
  • Examine the data structures and activities behind processes, threads, and jobs
  • Go inside the Windows security model to see how it manages access, auditing, and authorization
  • Explore the Windows networking stack from top to bottom—including APIs, BranchCache, protocol and NDIS drivers, and layered services
  • Dig into internals hands-on using the kernel debugger, performance monitor, and other tools

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Windows Internals, Part 1: Covering Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 + Windows Internals, Part 2 (6th Edition) + Inside Windows Debugging: A Practical Guide to Debugging and Tracing Strategies in Windows®
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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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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Required reading for serious Windows programmers Sept. 5 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have spent hours poring over previous editions of this book. Essential reading, written excellently with lots of examples and practical demos, using the amazing SysInternals suite of tools.
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  26 reviews
37 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still the Authoritative Reference, but... April 13 2012
By James Taylor - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Having been a fan of Mark Russinovich's for some time now, I always look forward to new editions of the Windows Internals book. I own the fourth and fifth editions, and a week ago I purchased the sixth edition, which is now released in two parts. Part 1 is the subject of this review.

Since I also own the fifth edition of this work, I was able to review both editions side-by-side and the differences are not significant. The sixth edition expands a little more on some topics, but IMHO there is not a whole lot of new information considering the incremental nature of the upgrade from Windows 6.0 to 6.1, and the minor differences between the Windows 6.0 (Vista and Server 2008) and Windows 6.1 (Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2) kernels.

Part 1 prepares the reader by explaining basic concepts and giving an overview of Windows system architecture. It then addresses System Mechanisms, such as Trap Dispatching and the Image Loader, and Management Mechanisms, such as the Registry, and Windows Services. It then deals with Processes, Threads and Jobs in detail, before concluding with treatments of Security, and finally Networking. Additionally, to enhance understanding, explanations are bolstered by practical, hands-on experiments.

Part 2, however, contains some of my favorite topics, but this volume won't be available until later this fall. These topics include Input/Output, Storage Management, Memory Management, File Systems, and the Startup and Shutdown Process. I guess I will have to wait for the release of Part 2 to review these.

As far as ratings go, I give this sixth edition of Windows Internals the same five-star rating as its predecessor. Although not a ground-breaking work, it is a well-researched and well-presented technical reference, worthy of the highest commendation. However, my issue is not with the technical merits of this reference, but with the protracted nature of its release, and its subsequent release in two parts, likely half a year apart.

Considering that Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 are only incremental upgrades to Windows Vista and Server 2008, and much of the fifth edition of Windows Internals applies to the current versions of these operating systems as well, I am baffled by the length of time it is taking to complete the sixth edition.

The only thing I can speculate is that Russinovich's new career as a successful novelist (with his second novel due out in September) leaves him little time to complete this current project.

Maybe it might be time to consider reducing the scope of the Windows Internals books to something less ambitious so they can be released in a timelier manner. Because, let's face it, by the time Part 2 of this book is released, Windows 8 will already be upon us, and then this work, no matter how authoritative, will have markedly less significance. Nevertheless, this book is still recommended.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mind blowing detail March 16 2013
By Frustrated - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Context for this review:

I'm not certain that I am the target audience for this book. I think it's more for programmers who require an intimate knowledge of the Windows OS for their work. I am not a programmer, but I do work in IT.

So, maybe this is light reading if you already know the difference between a spinlock and pointer. I am no stranger to difficult technical reading (I have a BS, CCNP and MCSA), but this book was like the mental equivalent of hiking up a freaking mountain. Rugged.

That said, I recommend it. I was frustrated because after years of working in IT and earning several Microsoft certifications, I still ran into whole sections of the OS that I'd never heard of before and had no idea what they did (What the hell is DCOM?).

I'm not aware of any other books that go into this level of detail regarding the Windows OS. I'm glad I read it and I'm working my way through the second book now.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars As Advertising Feb. 25 2013
By Chuckles - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book delivers as advertised. It is a deep dive into the Windows architecture and as advertised is targeted toward developers. I am not a developer but was looking for a book that might give me insight into the things I see as a computer technician. Much of what is in this book is beyond my understanding and need. However, there is enough that hits home that I'm glad that I purchased it.

A main feature of the book is examples. The author does a very nice job of providing examples so you can see how the architecture blocks function and relate to each other. I have only read about 100 pages so far but am glad that I bought the book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Windows Internals- 5 stars Dec 1 2013
By R. S. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you like to troubleshoot and fine tweak Windows, this is your book. The in-depth knowledge along with very broad topic coverage make it a must have for anyone working with Windows.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended July 22 2013
By Alexey Ivlev - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very good contents, most of needed topics covered. I can find answers in less than an hour. Especially useful for me when I do not use it constantly, but need to refresh memory time to time and find details of something.

Digital edition has ugly pictures. That's not good that book is split into 2 parts EVEN FOR DIGITAL EDITION.
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