Free Sysinternals Windows utilities now available online, 24/7

May 28, 2008 – 7:30 PM

If you troubleshoot Windows PCs for fun or profit, then chances are you’ve used one or more tools from Sysinternals. Microsoft bought the company and its amazing library of diagnostic, troubleshooting, and management utilities in 2006, and the collection has been continually updated ever since. It’s also still completely free.

A few weeks ago, I ran into Sysinternals co-founder Mark Russinovich at a technical conference, where he told me about a new Sysinternals service that was in private beta testing. Today, I can finally break the news that Sysinternals Live is now open to the public.

The new service enables you to execute the most recent version of any Sysinternals tool directly from an Internet-connected PC, without having to hunt for the executable file and manually download it first. To access the complete library of tools, use either of these methods from a Windows-based PC:

  • Go to the Sysinternals Live directory and click the name of the tool you want to run. Because the directory listing is a bare-bones HTML file, it can be used in any browser.
  • If you know the name of the executable file for the tool you want to use, enter it directly, using the syntax \\\tools\<toolname>, where <toolname> is the name of the executable file. (Note the UNC syntax uses backslashes, not slashes, as in a URL. Start with a pair of backslashes to indicate that is the remote server, and don’t include the angle brackets with the tool name.)

If you’ve never used Sysinternals tools before, you’d do well to start at the Sysinternals home page, which includes descriptions of each tool, along with download links and installation instructions. But if you are already familiar with one or more tools in the library, you can create direct shortcuts to those tools on your desktop or on the USB flash drive you keep with your emergency toolkit.

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