The Case of the Crashed Phone Call

David Solomon, my coauthor for the Windows Internals books, was recently in the middle of an important VOIP call on Skype when the audio suddenly garbled. A second later the system blue screened. He called back after the reboot, but a half hour later the person on the other seemed to stop talking mid-word and…


The Case of the Phantom Desktop Files

A few weeks ago, my wife mentioned that she sometimes saw files in her desktop folder that didn’t appear on the actual desktop. She brought it up not only because she was confused by the discrepancy, but because she wanted to move some of these phantom files to other folders and wanted to delete others….


Pushing the Limits of Windows: Virtual Memory

In my first Pushing the Limits of Windows post, I discussed physical memory limits, including the limits imposed by licensing, implementation, and driver compatibility. Here’s the index of the entire Pushing the Limits series. While they can stand on their own, they assume that you read them in order. Pushing the Limits of Windows: Physical…


The Case of the Slooooow System

A few weeks ago my wife complained that her Vista desktop was not responding to her typing or mouse clicks. Given the importance of the customer, I immediately sat down at the system to troubleshoot.  It wasn’t completely hung, but extremely sluggish. For example, the mouse moved and when I clicked on the start button…


Where in the World is Mark Russinovich?

I haven’t had a chance to write a new post in a while because I’ve been busy working on Windows, new Sysinternals tools and enhancements to existing ones, and the 5th edition of Windows Internals, so I thought that I’d update you on my speaking schedule, book status, and what’s going on at Sysinternals. My…


Pushing the Limits of Windows: Physical Memory

This is the first blog post in a series I’ll write over the coming months called Pushing the Limits of Windows that describes how Windows and applications use a particular resource, the licensing and implementation-derived limits of the resource, how to measure the resource’s usage, and how to diagnose leaks. To be able to manage…


The Case of the Random IE and WMP Crashes

When I experienced a crash in Internet Explorer (IE) on my home 64-bit gaming system one day, I chalked it up to random third-party plug-in memory corruption. I moved on, but a few days later had another crash in IE. Then, Windows Media Player (WMP) started crashing every third or fourth time I used it:…


Guest Post: The Case of the FrontPage Error

Welcome to the first guest “Case Of” blog post! I’ve received numerous great troubleshooting cases over the last two months and have selected this one, submitted by Troy Wolbrink, a corporate web master, as the first to share with you.   Troy ran into a problem with his web server and instead of rebooting, reinstalling, or calling…


The Case of the System Process CPU Spikes

As you’ve probably surmised by my blog posts and other writings, I like knowing exactly what my systems are doing. I want to know if a process is running away with the CPU, causing memory pressure, or hitting the disk. Besides keeping my computers running smoothly, my vigilance sometimes helps me spot performance and reliability…


Inside Vista SP1 File Copy Improvements

Windows Vista SP1 includes a number of enhancements over the original Vista release in the areas of application compatibility, device support, power management, security and reliability. You can see a detailed list of the changes in the Notable Changes in Windows Vista Service Pack 1 whitepaper that you can download here. One of the improvements…