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Windows Internals, Part 1 (6th Edition) (Developer Reference) [Paperback]

by Mark Russinovich, David Solomon, Alex Ionescu
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 25, 2012 0735648735 978-0735648739 6

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

Frequently Bought Together

Windows Internals, Part 1 (6th Edition) (Developer Reference) + Windows Internals, Part 2 (6th Edition) (Developer Reference) + Windows Sysinternals Administrator's Reference (Inside Out)
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

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.


Product Details

  • Series: Developer Reference
  • Paperback: 752 pages
  • Publisher: Microsoft Press; 6 edition (March 25, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0735648735
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735648739
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 7.4 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,275 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still the Authoritative Reference, but... April 13, 2012
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.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars As Advertising February 25, 2013
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Windows Internals- 5 stars December 1, 2013
By R. S.
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended July 22, 2013
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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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mind blowing detail March 16, 2013
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.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive Windows guide August 27, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I think this book (which I already knew from previous editions) is specially interesting to administrators and security managers of corporations running Windows machines. I think it is of paramount importance to understand the complexities of a OS in order to really solve the problems that might arise. The book, in addition to presenting the kernel architecture and all the inner details about Windows workings, it also gives pointers to useful tools that help in debugging the kernel and really understanding what's happening under the cover. For a person just interested in computer science and OS (as it is my case), I think this kind of reading is essential, although it might be a bit confusing some times because of the huge complexity of such piece of software, what in turn might turn it a bit boring from time to time. But in general, if you're really interested in OS and software engineering, this book is highly recommended. Hope that Windows 8 doesn't change too many things...
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not sure why the book got so many 5 star ratings April 11, 2014
Format:Paperback
The biggest drawback to the book is its authors assumptions about the readers' level of technical experience. Right off the bat, one is bombarded with info that would only make sense to someone with a PhD in electrical engendering and about 10 years of OS kernel development experience. That said, I realize how many obstacles someone has to go through to document millions of lines of closed source code. For that effort alone I give the authors 2 instead of 1 star(s).
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
Real good information contained in this book. Helped me to troubleshoot some problems I was having on my computer. Thanks
Published 8 months ago by James R Cosier Sr
4.0 out of 5 stars Poor paper and printing quality
Poor paper and printing quality.
Not a hardcover as it was in previous edition of the books.

Think before order.
Published 9 months ago by Dhiran
5.0 out of 5 stars Lot of detail
If you are interested in how things work this is the book series for you. Parts 1 & 2 cover different areas and probably should be purchased as a set but I haven't noticed that... Read more
Published 10 months ago by L. Zuhlsdorf
4.0 out of 5 stars Excelent Book on Windows
Windows Internals is a very good book about Microsoft's Operating System. I recommend it to anyone that's interested in learning what's under the hood of the Windows OS.
Published 14 months ago by Richard Augelli
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book!
This book is an excellent book and probably the best one for people who want to delve into Windows Operating System architecture and debugging. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Anupam Kumar
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
Am reading this book and find it fascinating. Mark Russinovich is a great tech author, and all his books are well written. looking foward to part2.
Published 16 months ago by Thomas Rinehart
4.0 out of 5 stars Not sure about format
I want to start by saying that I am not a Windows programmer although I do have an MS in Computer Sciences and have some background in Computer Architecture. Read more
Published 18 months ago by My Opinion
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Windows book anywhere for the serious IT admin
This and its corresponding part 2 are the best there is for serious IT admins and techs. There is nothing better anywhere.
Published 18 months ago by OoThought
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Only paperback? What about hardcover?
Why is the 6th edition in two parts?
Jan 14, 2012 by Todd Gilbert |  See all 3 posts
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