Get Plugged In to Windows 10 Pro Power Tools with New E-Book

Ed T Figure 1a 5 13 2016

Ed Bott has been covering Windows stuff longer than I have, and I go back to the mid-1990s, when Windows NT 3.51 was giving way to Windows NT 4 in the professional realm, and when Windows 95 ruled the desktop world. He's always been an intelligent, useful, and canny observer of Windows platforms, tools, and technologies.


That's why I was delighted to learn that Ed is the author of a recent e-book from Microsoft Press that the company is giving away entirely free at the moment. This new reference work is a must-have for practicing IT pros who work with Windows on the desktop. And while some of its content is for Windows 10 only, many of the tools covered in the book work equally well for Windows 7 and 8/8.1.


The title of the book is Windows 10 IT Pro Essentials: Top 10 Tools. Here's the rest of its bibliographic data: Microsoft Press, � 2016, 164 pp, ISBN: 978-1-5093-0278-9. You can grab the download in either standard or mobile PDF format, straight from the Microsoft Press blog.


It's as simple as clicking over to the post titled Free e-book: Windows 10 IT Pro Essentials: Top 10 Tools. As noted by Microsoft Press blogger Kim Spilker, "This eBook contains descriptions and hands-on advice to help IT pros work faster and smarter. Some of these tools are for everybody — end users and experts alike — whereas some are strictly for professionals."


As is often the case with stories of this kind, it took some creative counting to come up with a total of 10 as the number of top tools in this excellent little book. I can't help but see the enduring impact of David Letterman and his famous Late Show Top Ten lists that always worked their way up backwards from 10 to 1.


As I count the tools covered in this book — not to mention variations on each of those items, such as covering file history and the range of Windows 10 backup options under the heading of File Explorer, as Mr. Bott does in Chapter 1 — there are somewhere between 11 and 20 (or more) of them under discussion amidst its pages.


Here's a top-level list to show detours, digressions, and elaborations on the primary tools discussed throughout:


Chapter 1
Performance and troubleshooting tools (Also mentions Reliability Monitor, MSConfig.exe)
The Microsoft Management Console (MMC)(Includes Device Manager, plus a complete list of snap-ins)
Management and Deployment tools (Includes Local Group Policy Editor [Gpedit.msc])


Chapter 2 File Explorer
? Syncing with OneDrive
? File History and other backup options


Chapter 3 Registry Editor (regedit.exe)
? Using Local Group Policy Editor
? Editing the registry on a remote PC


Chapter 4 Event Viewer


Chapter 5 Task Manager
? Using Resource Monitor


Woman with tablet on stairs

Chapter 6 Disk Management (diskmgmt.msc)
? Diskpart
? Other useful storage-related tools (Includes Drive Optimizer [dfrgui.exe], Storage Spaces)
? BitLocker Drive Encryption


Chapter 7 Sysinternals Suite
? Autoruns
? Process Explorer
? Process Monitor
? PSTools
? BgInfo
? Active Directory Explorer
? TCPView
? Disk2vhd


Chapter 8 Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset (DaRT)
? DaRT Explorer
? DaRT File Search
? Disk Commander
? Disk Wipe
? Locksmith (change password for any local account)
? DaRT Recovery Image Solution Wizard
? Using Crash Analyzer


Chapter 9 Windows PowerShell and the Command Prompt
? Commands: systeminfo, driverquery, Icacls, shutdown, sc, tasklist, taskkill
? PowerShell: Get-Help, Show Command Window use


Chapter 10: Hyper-V


Chapter 11 Microsoft Azure
? Running a VM in the cloud
? Azure Active Directory


This is a terrific tome that any Windows Power User or admin should download and read cover-to-cover immediately (download links on the blog post page).


I merely skimmed it to write this blog post, and found myself getting sucked into interesting details, tips, and tricks all over the place. Kudos to you, Ed, on a job well done, and thanks for creating such a great (FREE) resource for the rest of us to share and use!


Would you like more insight into the history of hacking? Check out Calvin's other articles about historical hackery:
About the Author

Ed Tittel is a 30-plus-year computer industry veteran who's worked as a software developer, technical marketer, consultant, author, and researcher. Author of many books and articles, Ed also writes on certification topics for Tech Target, ComputerWorld and Win10.Guru. Check out his website at, where he also blogs daily on Windows 10 and 11 topics.