Monday, June 04, 2007

Sysinternals tools

Recently Microsoft has bought the company Winternals. Winternals also supplied the excellent Sysinternals tools. A lot of people worldwide thought that this would be the end of those tools. Fortunately, this is not the case. They are still available and will be in the future.

During a session, given by Otto Helweg, the current situation and plans for the future passed the scene. The tools still are and will remain free. Available via the site, as a one by one download or by downloading the Sysinternals Suite and getting all tools at the same time. By average, the tools are downloaded 50.000 times a day, with the Process Explorer being the absolute number one.
Some changes to the lold Sysinternals icensing model are:
  1. You are not allowed to redistribute the tools yourself
  2. They are free to use on every pc you own.
This last change is very anoying for Service Providers. Fortunately, it is possible for them to contact Microsoft and work out a way to solve this licensing issue.
Since 2007, Microsoft has added a EULA approval to the Sysinternal tools. This caused lots of automated scripts to stop functioning, waiting for an acceptance to the EULA. Microsoft has added an "/accepteula" option to the tools to get around it.
One thing that I did not know is that the Process Monitor is a replacement for the FileMon and RegMon tools. Both tools are still available for download, but why use it if you have one integrated tool.
An issue I ran into in a project where we tried to use PSExec, is that it is not possible to start a remote PowerShell script. Somehow PowerShell does start, but is not running the script. Otto mentioned the new Windows Remote Shell, which is available in Vista, Windows Server 2008 and as seperate download somewhere over the next 6 months for XP and Windows Server 2003 to solve this issue. Too bad that we are running W2K3 at the moment :-)
Anyway, the goal of Microsoft is to expand the number of tools and functionalities in the future. Maybe even create PowerShell commandlet equivalents.

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