Sysinternals Freeware - Mark Russinovich & Bryce Cogswell

Windows Internals

Last Updated: May 25, 2005


Order the standalone version from
Order the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit version from

Note: The stand-alone version of the book does not include the e-book, but the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit version does. Another way to get the e-book is to get it through O'Reilly's Safari Bookstore.

Windows Internals, 4th edition replaces Inside Windows 2000, 3rd edition. With 25% more content than the previous edition, it has been updated to cover Windows XP and Windows Server 2003, including 64-bit support, while also still covering Windows 2000. This new edition is even more valuable to the IT professional/system administrator as it takes the internals information and applies it to advanced troubleshooting, such as taking advantage of Sysinternals tools like Filemon, Regmon, and Process Explorer. It also has a new chapter on crash dump analysis.

Download the PDF version of Chapter 4, Management Mechanisms, which includes sections on the Registry, Services and WMI, as a preview: Windows Internals Chapter 4 PDF.

" I can't think of many technical books where I've gone out and bought multiple editions and there certainly isn't another where I'd consider buying 4 editions but for this particular book it just has to be done. The definitive guide to how things work in Windows and understanding how things work is 90% of the battle in my view. "

--Mike Taulty

This review from the January 2006 issue of MCP Magazine has glowing things to say about the book and the crash analysis chapter in particular:

"The Internals book is worth its weight in gold just for the crash dump analysis information it provides. As a first step in the chapter, a tool named Notmyfault is discussed. This tool is ideal for performing basic crash dump analysis and allows you to crash your system in various ways to obtain certain information from your system. The crash options represent the most common ones that are seen by the Microsoft product support team. "

Here's another nice review and there are several on Amazon. Please consider adding a review yourself if you buy the book.

Description of the Book

Windows Internals book cover

Delve inside the Windows kernel with noted internals experts Mark Russinovich and David Solomon, in collaboration with the Microsoft Windows product development team. This classic guide-fully updated for Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, and Windows 2000- describes the architecture and internals of the Windows operating system. You'll find hands-on experiments you can use to experience Windows internal behavior firsthand, along with advanced troubleshooting information to help keep your systems running smoothly and efficiently. Whether you're a developer or a system administrator, you'll find critical architectural insights that you can quickly apply for better design, debugging, performance, and support.

Get in-depth, inside knowledge of the Windows operating system:

The book has a foreword by Jim Allchin, Group Vice President of Platforms at Microsoft, and a historical perspective by David Cutler, Microsoft Senior Distinguished Engineer and lead architect of Windows NT.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Architecture
  3. System Mechanisms
  4. Management Mechanisms
  5. Startup and Shutdown
  6. Processes, Threads and Jobs
  7. Memory Management
  8. Security
  9. I/O System
  10. Storage
  11. Cache Manager
  12. File Systems
  13. Networking
  14. Crash Dump Analysis

Ordering the Book

You can order the book from in two forms: as a stand-alone book or as part of the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit. The Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit includes the book in e-book form, while the stand-alone does not.

Order Windows Internals stand-alone edition from

Order the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit from

Order Windows Internals from O'Reilly's Safari Bookstore

Book Tools

Tools referenced in the book, but that are not available through other links on Sysinternals:


If you have general feedback for us, find an inaccuracy, or have a suggestion for the next edition, please send e-mail to [email protected]. We'll post corrections and tool updates to this page.

This Microsoft Knowledge Base article lists errata:

892212: Microsoft Windows Internals 4th Edition Comments And Corrections

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