Do it the Microsoft way – The Sysinternals Suite

by Niteen Autade on October 28, 2012

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SOFTWARES!!!

Tired of searching and downloading softwares from various sites to tweak your Windows OS???
Well, then Sysinternals Suite is what you need!

Be it defragmentation, looking out for some system information, task killing, registry editing, networking or whatever! Microsoft has designed and packaged all such tools into one zip file!

Let us see what this Microsoft tool has in line for us.
Sysinternals suite is a set of freeware tools which can be used for various purposes like network monitoring, file and disk management and security purposes. This Suite is available for free download at its official site.

 

These set of tools is categorized into 6 parts depending on the type of use of the tools.

  1. File and Disk Utilities
  2. Networking Utilities
  3. Process Utilities
  4. Security Utilities
  5. System Information Utilities
  6. Miscellaneous Utilities

 

Certain commonly used tools of each category have been described below

1.File and Disk Utilities

  • AccessChk: A tool created to help the administrator be aware of the accesses for a particular user or a group to the resources  like files, directories, windows services, registry keys.
  • Contig: It is a single file defragmenter perfect for quickly optimizing files that are continuously becoming fragmented.
  • DiskView: It shows you a graphical map of your disk.
  • MoveFile: A tool which helps you to schedule the renaming or deletion of a file.
  • PendMoves: A tool that helps you to see which files have been scheduled for renaming or deletion.
  •  Process Monitor: It shows you the process activities and registry activities. It can be thought of as a combined file monitor and a registry monitor.
  • SDelete: It is used to securely overwrite or clean the free space on the computer.

 

2.Networking Utilities

  • ADExplorer: This tool is used to explore AD database and also take a snapshot of the same.
  • PsFile: This tool is used to see which files are opened remotely.
  • ShareEnum: This tool is used to scan all the shared files on the computer and view their security settings to close the security holes.
  • TCPView: This tool gives you a list of all the TCP and UDP ports used by a program and also the certain other important details like the remote address it connects to, sent bytes, received bytes, etc.
  • Whois: This command line utility is used to fetch the registration record of an IP address or a domain name.

 

3.Process Utilities

  • Autoruns: This utility is used to manage all the applications that open up with the system boot. It also provides a list of registries available for autorun.
  • Handle: Handle is command line utility is used to see which files are opened by a program.
  • Process Explorer: This is an advanced GUI version of the handles utility. It lists the program that has a file or directory open, and also the DLL’s that are opened.
  • Portmon:  This utility monitors the serial and parallel port activities on the computer.
  • ShellRunas: ShellRunas is a command line utility that functions similar to the run as option you get after right clicking on a “.exe” file.
  • VMMap: This tool provides a physical and virtual memory map and helps the developers to see the usage of memory eaten up by the application.

 

4.Security Utilities

  • Autologon: Autologon is a utility that allows you to prestore your login credentials and thus allowing you to login without making you enter your username and password during logon.
  • LogonSessions: When you logon on to a computer, there isn’t just one logon session active. Use this utility to find out all the active logged in sessions.
  • Sigcheck: Use this utility find whether your files are digitally signed or not.

 

5.System Information Utilities

  • ClockRes:  ClockRes allows you to find out the resolution of your system clock.
  • RAMMap: RAMMAP helps you understand how your RAM is allocated.
  • Coreinfo: This utility gives you a logical to physical processor map allowing you to understand your processor.

 

6.Miscellaneous Utilities

  • BlueScreen:  Scare your friends with this amazing Blue Screen Of Death (BSOD) screensaver.
  • Hex2dec: Use this utility to convert Hexadecimal numbers to Decimal numbers and vice versa.
  • Desktops: Create up to four virtual desktops on the same computer and work on all of them simultaneously.
  • ZoomIt: A zooming utility that can be used for many purposes like making videos, during presentations  etc

 

 

Using command line utilities:
Here,I have my suite extracted on my desktop in a folder named SysinternalsSuite.

Suppose I want to use the command line utility named hex2dec.exe . How do I use it?

  1. Open your command line window (cmd.exe from Start>Run>cmd.exe or *Start>search for cmd if you are on windows 7)
  2. Type the path of the .exe
    (Mine is C:\Users\niteen\Desktop\SysinternalsSuite\hex2dec)

 

After you press enter it shows you the details about the utility.

Usage: hex2dec [decimal|hex]

Include x or 0x as the prefix of the number to specify a hexadecimal value.

e.g. To translate 1233 deciminal to hexadecimal: hex2dec 1233

e.g. To translate 0×1233 hexadecimal to decimal: hex2dec 0×1233

So, if I wanted to convert say 10 from decimal to its equivalent in hexadecimal I write hex2dec 10 as shown below.
And voila! There it gave me its equivalent which is 0xA.

 

If you still find a trouble using the utilities, you can either check out http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb545027 for more information about each tool or drop a comment in the box below.

 

Note:

  1. BlueScreen isn’t available in the zip anymore. But,it can be downloaded as a individual file from http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb897558
  2. Some virus scanners flag the Bluescreen screen saver as a virus. If this is the case, you may not be able to use this screen saver.

 

Happy Windows Management!! :)

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