The Case of the Installer Service Error

This case unfolds with a network administrator charged with the rollout of the Microsoft Windows Intune client software on their network. Windows Intune is a cloud service that manages systems on a corporate network, keeping their software up to date and enabling administrators to monitor the health of those systems from a browser interface. It…

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Fixing Disk Signature Collisions

Disk cloning has become common as IT professionals virtualize physical servers using tools like Sysinternals Disk2vhd and use a master virtual hard disk image as the base for copies created for virtual machine clones. In most cases, you can operate with cloned disk images unaware that they have duplicate disk signatures. However, on the off…


The Case of the Mysterious Reboots

This case opens when a Sysinternals power user, who also works as a system administrator at a large corporation, had a friend report that their laptop had become unusable. Whenever the friend connected it to a network, their laptop would reboot. The power user, upon getting hold of the laptop, first verified the behavior by…


The Case of the Hung Game Launcher

I love the cases people send me where the Sysinternals tools have helped them successfully troubleshoot, but nothing is more satisfying than using them to solve my own cases. This case in particular was fun because, well, solving it helped me get back to having fun. When I have time, I occasionally play PC games…


Troubleshooting with the New Sysinternals Administrator’s Reference

Aaron Margosis and I are thrilled to announce that the long awaited, and some say long overdue, official guide to the Sysinternals tools is now available! I’ve always had the idea of writing a book on the tools in the back of my mind, but it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that Dave…


The Zero Day Book Trailer

I just got back the finished version of the video trailer for my new cyber thriller Zero Day, which I think came out awesome! It’s not hard to imagine what a Zero Day movie trailer would look like. Let me know what you think. Zero Day Book Trailer


Analyzing a Stuxnet Infection with the Sysinternals Tools, Part 3

In the first post of this series, I used Autoruns, Process Explorer and VMMap to statically analyze a Stuxnet infection on Windows XP. That phase of the investigation revealed that Stuxnet infected multiple processes, launched infected processes that appeared to be running system executables, and installed and loaded two device drivers. In the second phase,…


Analyzing a Stuxnet Infection with the Sysinternals Tools, Part 2

In Part 1 I began my investigation of an example infection of the infamous Stuxnet worm with the Sysinternals tools. I used Process Explorer, Autoruns and VMMap for a post-infection survey of the system. Autoruns quickly revealed the heart of Stuxnet, two device drivers named Mrxcls.sys and Mrxnet.sys, and it turned out that disabling those…


Analyzing a Stuxnet Infection with the Sysinternals Tools, Part 1

Though I didn’t realize what I was seeing, Stuxnet first came to my attention on July 5 last summer when I received an email from a programmer that included a driver file, Mrxnet.sys, that they had identified as a rootkit. A driver that implements rootkit functionality is nothing particularly noteworthy, but what made this one…


Zero Day is Here!

I’m excited to announce that my first novel, a cyber thriller entitled Zero Day, is now available at all major book retailers! Zero Day is a book in the style of Crichton and Clancy, weaving technical fact into the story. If you like the Sysinternals tools, the articles I post on this blog, are interested…