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Windows® Internals: Including Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista, Fifth Edition (Developer Reference) 5th Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0735625303
ISBN-10: 0735625301
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Editorial Reviews

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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Product Details

  • Series: Developer Reference
  • Hardcover: 1232 pages
  • Publisher: Microsoft Press; 5 edition (June 17, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0735625301
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735625303
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 2.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #950,739 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Ed Tittel on July 13, 2009
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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Format: Hardcover
Windows Internals, 5th Ed (WI5E) by Mark Russinovich and David Solomon, with Alex Ionescu, is a remarkable technical achievement. I read the book to better understand Windows to improve my security knowledge. I am not a Windows programmer, but I thought WI5E would provide context for some of the exploit and vulnerability information I occasionally encounter. I absorbed as much of WI5E as I could, but quickly found the scope and depth of the material to be incredible. While there is no substitute for reading source code, the explanations in WI5E come close! So many aspects of Windows are described, to such a deep level, that you might find yourself wanting to use Windows just to see WI5E's descriptions at work.

One of the best aspects of WI5E is the demonstration of "Experiments." Dozens of times per chapter the authors explain a key concept or detail by showing it at work in Windows. Sometimes they use a Sysinternals tool, sometimes they use a debugger, and sometimes they use other Windows utilities. I thought this was a great way to get readers to learn more about Windows in a hands-on environment.

Another unique feature of WI5E is the 30-page glossary. While not covering every item I might have wanted to see, it was truly helpful. I also liked the figures and tables. For example, Figure 12-2, OSI Model and Windows Networking Components, offered a great overview of how Windows components provide networking services, while Table 3-25, Components Protected by KPP, addressed a security topic that interested me.

My only suggestion for future improvement would be to give readers like myself more opportunities to see the big picture. I often felt overwhelmed and sometimes lost when reading WI5E.
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