Windows SysInternals

Wow! Where to begin?

Windows SysInternals is a free set of command-line and Windows utilities from Microsoft. There are so many of them, and they are so varied, that it’s impossible for me to cover all of them here. So, I guess I’ll pull out a few of my favorites to talk about. But, you should really go get the entire set of the tools, as soon as possible!

(Much of the text that follows is pinched from the Microsoft site. My comments are in italics.)

File and Disk Utilities


Defragment your paging files and Registry hives! (I use this on all of my VPCs. It runs at boot time. I’m not sure whether it’s compatible with SafeBoot, though.)


Creates Win2K NTFS symbolic links. Think of it like shortcuts within your directory structure.

Networking Utilities

AD Explorer
Active Directory Explorer is an advanced Active Directory (AD) viewer and editor.

See who owns an Internet address.

Process Utilities

Process Explorer
Find out what files, registry keys and other objects processes have open, which DLLs they have loaded, and more. This uniquely powerful utility will even show you who owns each process.

Process Monitor
Monitor file system, Registry, process, thread and DLL activity in real-time.

Security Utilities

AccessChk, AccessEnum, ShareEnum

Tools for determining who has access to what. Quite handy when configuring security.

Securely overwrite your sensitive files and cleanse your free space of previously deleted files using this DoD-compliant secure delete program.

System Information Utilities

Show users logged on to a system. (Use this when you need to TS onto a shared DEV server, but there are already too many sessions.)

Miscellaneous Utilities

This fully-configurable program automatically generates desktop backgrounds that include important information about the system including IP addresses, computer name, network adapters, and more. (We use this on our servers. But, I also use it on my VPCs to remind me which one I’m in.)

This screen saver not only accurately simulates Blue Screens, but simulated reboots as well (complete with CHKDSK), and works on Windows NT 4, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Server 2003 and Windows 9x. (Geek humor.)

You’re still here? Why aren't you downloading these tools? Go! Download them now!

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