Windows Internals 5th Edition is Available!

I’m proud to announce that Windows Internals, 5th Edition is now available. It’s been a long road, but a writing a book of this scopeimage is an incredibly detailed endeavor. This new edition covers Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 (32-bit and 64-bit) and besides revisions and enhancements to existing content, adds an additional 250 pages, bringing the total page count to over 1200 (25% longer than the previous edition). Besides new experiments highlighting the Sysinternals tools, new topics covered include Hyper-V, the image loader, debugging infrastructure, Kernel Transaction Manager, Code Integrity, Thread Pools, Mandatory Integrity Controls, Windows Driver Framework, and Bitlocker, to name a few.

We decided not to keep coverage of Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 because describing the commonalities and differences in certain areas where there have been significant changes across versions would have been complicated and confusing. However, 99% of the book applies directly to Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, so you can get a jump start while we work on the 6th edition, which will add coverage of these new versions of Windows. We anticipate adding another 75-100 pages of content (and not making any significant changes to existing text) and are shooting to have the book completed by the end of the year.

You can watch me and David Solomon talking about the book and our history of collaboration in this Channel 9 interview we recorded a couple of weeks ago. David and I coauthored the previous two editions alone, but this time around we add a third contributor, Alex Ionescu. Alex came to our attention back when he was a primary contributor to the kernel of the ReactOS project, an attempt to develop an open source clone of Windows. Alex now teaches Windows internals training classes with David Solomon, including on campus here at Microsoft like I used to do before I joined Microsoft. Needless to say, Alex was a valuable addition to our team on this revision of the book.

Be sure to visit the official Windows Internals book page, where you can find more information on the book’s contents, errata (there is none at this point), and the downloads for the book’s demonstration programs like Testlimit, a tool that I’ve used in some of my Pushing the Limits of Windows blog posts to highlight various resource limits in Windows.

I have one more thing I want to share with you, a video that the Windows marketing team put together as part of the Talking About Windows campaign that has elementary school students Sam and Trevor talking about Sysinternals. I didn’t know about the video until they sent it to me, and I have to admit that besides being flattered, I laughed out loud.

Comments (29)
  1. Anonymous says:


    I have ordered the book and should have it soon, however, seems like the link for the video made by The Windows marketing team seems to not be up. I am so excited and can’t wait to get the book.

  2. Windows 6th edition will be pure Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008R2. All information pertaining to prior versions will be removed.  The book will still get bigger due to the new feature descriptions.

    The best approach (and what MS Support does) is to use the version of the book that matches the OS being investigated.  Thus if you are looking at NT4/2000/2003/XP reference the 4th edition, if it is Vista/2008 reference the 5th edition, and if it is Win7/2008R2 reference the 6th edition.

  3. usasma says:

    Ordered it from Amazon yesterday – should have it tomorrow!


  4. Sven says:

    Congrats on getting the book released. I received it yesterday, it’s officially the thickest book I own (in terms of dimensions, not page count) except for the New Nelson Japanese-English Character Dictionary. 🙂

    I’m looking forward to digging in. Keep up the good work!

  5. Kirill says:

    I’ve pre-ordered this book in the end of 2008-th. Nice to hear I’ll get it in a few days.

    Already ready to pre-order 6th edition 🙂

  6. dvy says:

    Windows 7 kernel almost is same with Vista Kernel,very very good book!but I’m chinese ,I can’t buy this book at this instant.

  7. BB says:

    Congrats for getting the book out! I think I’ll wait for 6th edition though, to get Win 7 coverage. Hope you can get that out by the year’s end. 🙂

  8. justin says:

    Best books i’ve ever laid my hands on! keep it up.

    why no kindle?! this book is a bit of a workout!

  9. Doncho says:

    Congratulations. I hope it’s in the corp store for TechReady9 :).

    I also hope you already started working on the next edition, since R2 and W7 are just around the corner 🙂

    Keep up the good work!

  10. Paul Grinchenko says:

    Thanks a lot for a great work! I already got my copy.

  11. javier says:

    Had three copies pre-ordered since 2008.  I’m very pleased with the book, but somewhat disappointed that it did not cover Windows 7, given its imminent release–I thought the additional time for the book was due to Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.  For some reason I feel I’ll have to get a 6th edition to get up to date, even with the 99% compatibility guarantee.

  12. John says:

    Excellent work (I own the 4th edition).  But what is the point of buying the 5th edition now if the 6th edition is right around the corner?  I think it would be nice if buyers of the 5th edition could get some kind of discount on the 6th edition.  Barring that, I think I will just wait the extra couple of months.

  13. Jason K says:

    Ordered it on September 26, 2008 through Amazon. It should be here next week.

  14. Chris says:

    received it last week, and starting to read the new parts. Seems very good as usual. I own every versions of the book, and also plan to buy version 6 🙂

  15. Dave says:

    >But what is the point of buying the 5th edition now if the 6th edition is right around the corner?

    I assume the book has now reached its working set maximum, so that the addition of material about Windows 7 will cause other material to be evicted.

    Besides, you have to collect the set!  (I’m missing the 2nd ed.)


  16. Dave says:

    By the way, Mark et. al. – thanks for your efforts on the various editions of this book.

  17. Kung Fu. says:

    Wishing there was a electronic version of the book, its too big to carry around as I travel and I would like to be able to search it quickly.

  18. Darren says:

    Hey Mark,

    Any chance we’ll be able to get a PDF version in the future? I love this reference and would love to be able to search it online!

  19. Sreejith. D. Menon says:

    Mark and David are my virtual Gurus(The original Indian version of Guru means teacher – remember the word is seldom used for someone except with utmost respect!!!)..I went beyond my month’s budget to buy this and I am the first buyer in the city’s library – because I read through Inside 2K, 4th Ed and now am reading 5th…Looking for more such "research"…btw congratulations to Alex, he deserves as well as is lucky too to be a contributor to this compendium…

  20. acq says:

    I also vote for a possibility to buy a PDF version only.

  21. dashesy says:

    I bought the book a few days ago and it seems to be what I was looking for in a long time!

    I am just interested to know how Windows 7 fits into this book? Is it possible to get an update describing Windows 7?

    Thanks for the great book on Windows, finally

  22. @dashesy:

    From the post:

    "However, 99% of the book applies directly to Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, so you can get a jump start while we work on the 6th edition, which will add coverage of these new versions of Windows. We anticipate adding another 75-100 pages of content (and not making any significant changes to existing text) and are shooting to have the book completed by the end of the year."

  23. Sad idiot says:

    "Alex now teaches Windows"

    Now I understand why ReactOS development has stalled.

    Too bad MSFT does not use all these talents to make better products. Crunching the competition to stay the only one will not survive the crisis.

    When you see that TrustLeap *in user-space* is beating IIS *in the kernel* you understand how inefficient MSFT is at developing technologies.

    Having spent 20 of my life with Windows, I am just sad.

  24. Trees says:

    @Mark: Firstly thanks for all your fantastic work with sysinternals and related work over the years. You are a fantastic asset to the community.

    I don’t mean to apply pressure with the 6th edition, but since I am considering purchasing shortly I wondered how far down the path you were to releasing?

  25. Ben says:

    Excellent book, but I can't wait for the 6th edition covering Windows 7 and Win 2008 R2.

    Any news of roughly when we can expect this? e.g. will it be this year (2010)?

  26. Sumit Gupta says:

    I am also interested in knowing the release date for 6th edition.

  27. fan says:

    Will the 6th Edition be targeted at Windows 7? When will it be available. I can't wait to dig in but don't want to spend the money and time on potentially outdated information. Please write the book better and faster than ever before for half as much money with twice the content and all the answers but no typos.

  28. Thiyagu says:

    Any idea , when the 6th Edition will be released?

  29. jim says:

    I'm going to upgrade 3 hosts from XP to 7 as soon as the 6th edition comes out. 🙂

    Windows Internals:  Don't Boot Up Without One.

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