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Microsoft Windows Internals (4th Edition): Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, and Windows 2000 Hardcover – Bargain Price, January 5, 2005

38 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mark Russinovich is chief software architect and cofounder of Winternals Software, a company that specializes in advanced systems software for Microsoft Windows. He is a senior contributing editor for Windows IT Pro Magazine where he contributes to the Windows Power Tools column. He and David Solomon deliver public and private seminars on Windows operating system internals and advanced troubleshooting to numerous companies and organizations, including regular deliveries to Microsoft employees. They also created a 12 hour self-paced Windows internals video tutorial which Microsoft licensed for worldwide corporate use. Mark is also a frequent speaker at major industry conferences such as Microsoft Tech Ed, Microsoft IT Forum, Windows IT Pro Magazine’s Connections, and MCP Magazine's TechMentor.

Mark has a B.S. from Carnegie Mellon University and an M.S. from Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute, both in computer engineering. In 1994, he earned a Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University, also in computer engineering. Before founding Winternals Software, he worked at Compuware NuMega Laboratories and IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center.

David Solomon has focused on explaining the internals of the Windows NT operating system line since 1992. He has taught his world renowned Windows Internals classes to thousands of developers and IT professionals worldwide. His clients include all the major software and hardware companies, including Microsoft. He was a recipient of the 1993 Microsoft Support Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award.

This is David's fourth book. His first book was Windows NT for OpenVMS Professionals (Digital Press/Butterworth Heinemann, 1996). It explained Windows NT to VMS-knowledgeable programmers and system administrators. Prior to starting his own company, David worked for nine years as a project leader and developer in the VMS operating system development group at Digital Equipment Corporation. His second book, Inside Windows NT 2nd edition, covered the internals of Windows NT 4.0. His third book, Inside Windows 2000 3rd edition, was co-authored with Mark Russinovich.

In addition to organizing and teaching seminars, David is a regular speaker at technical conferences such as Microsoft TechEd and Microsoft PDCs. He has also served as technical chair for several past Windows NT conferences. When he's not researching Windows, David enjoys sailing, reading, and Star Trek.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 976 pages
  • Publisher: Microsoft Press; 4 edition (January 5, 2005)
  • ISBN-10: 0735619174
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 2 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,484,746 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

71 of 76 people found the following review helpful By Charles Oppermann on April 6, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I've always been a bit twiddler - whether it's writing 16-bit drivers for Windows 3.1 or doing Windows Server 2003 storage related development, I've never shied away from getting into the meat of the system.

In 1992, I got "Inside Windows NT" by Helen Custer to discover how Windows NT was structured. I purchased at least one of the other editions as well, which were authored by David Solomon and Mark Russinovich. The fourth edition has a hard cover and a new name, "Windows Internals, fourth edition".

Solomon and Russinovich are well known for their knowledge of how Windows works deep under the covers. Russinovich produces a number of very cool tools, many of them free at his Sysinternals web site.

This book does not cover details of Win32 API or the .NET Framework. It does cover the kernel, memory management, I/O sub-system including ACPI and Plug and Play, and storage. The fourth edition covers low-level changes in Windows XP and Windows Server 2003.

This is not a book with coding examples. Developers working this level already have excellent API references from the Microsoft developer kits. This book is heavy on concepts and implementation, with exercises in practicality. However, its best feature is the great number of sidebars with various "experiments" you can do, often featuring unique ways of using the Sysinternals tools.

While obviously system level developers will gain the most benefit from this book, there is a ton of information for IT professionals as well - particularly for system performance tuning. I was able to use the information regarding Event Tracing for Windows (ETW) in my current project. Sadly, the final chapter, on Crash Dump analysis, seems incomplete and ends rather abruptly. Being a Microsoft Press author myself, I wonder if schedule pressures were involved.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As an experienced UNIX device driver developer, I was looking for reference material on writing drivers for Windows. Recent books on Windows device driver development seemed much more sparse than I was expecting. After using this book, I think it may simply be due the fact that "Microsoft Windows Internals" is such an excellent reference.

The chapters are segregated in such a way that makes it easy to obtain the specific information you are looking for. If you're a novice and are just looking for a How-To book, you would probably do better to consult the MSDN library. However, even for a beginner this book would be good as a reference, and it is phenomenal as a reference for the experienced developer. For myself, I found it very easy to transition into the Windows world from my UNIX universe with this read.

If you aren't particularly familiar with Windows systems development, the first couple of chapters are quintessential, actually. They do an excellent job of pointing to references for tools and reading material which will help your comprehension of the material and your ability to use it. For example, even one of the later chapters pointed me to the exact DDK I needed for the problem I was trying to solve. At the point I read the book, I had no idea there was a separate DDK for that particular problem. This is one of the few books where the informational sidebars are truly informational.

All in all, if you're doing any kind of Windows system internals development, whether device driver level or just trying to understand how parts of the kernel work, this is an excellent reference. Highly recommended!
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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful By David Sharpe on January 19, 2005
Format: Hardcover
For owners of a copy of the third edition, there is enough of an incremental improvement from the third edition to justify buying this one. If you don't already have the third edition, then you must get a copy of the fourth. The book contains information on several subjects that you just can't get any where else. Personally, I found the material on 64-bit hardware, Wow64, etc to be enlightening. The chapter on system crash/hang debugging was helpful, but left me wanting more detailed coverage.

On the down side, not having a CD with at least an electronic copy of the book is a problem. The index in the book isn't comprehensive enough to find small details that you remember reading, but don't recall what chapter that detail was in. A searchable electronic version of a reference book like this is simply a must.

Also, there seem to be too many editing errors in the fourth edition, especially in the newer material. Unfortunately, just like the third edition, you are going to have to mark the fourth edition up a bit.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By G. Robb on January 19, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I read a LOT of "computer books" and this doesn't even fall into the same category! This is required reading if you want to get a glimpse at what Windows is truly all about.

Mark E. Russinovich and David A. Solomon have once again put together a true masterpiece. This book is very well written and has information that you just can't get anywhere else. I think one of the best things that this book does is actually gives you real world ways you can apply this knowledge - not just a bunch of theory.

To see a little more about the level of expertise behind this book check out Mark's site at [...] - you will also find some VERY helpful tools at that site, both free and for sale. If you do anything in Windows support you recognize that site!
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