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Windows Sysinternals Administrator s Reference – PDF Free Download

At a minimum, you must have symbols for Ntoskrnl. The search is case insensitive. Figures and Tables from this paper. Choose Clock Time from the Options menu if you prefer that the local clock time be displayed instead. User Mode and Kernel Mode To prevent user applications from accessing or modifying critical operating system data, Windows uses two processor access modes: user mode and kernel mode. In fact, because of working with Mark on both the Windows Internals books and later on the Windows Internals courses we authored and taught together, I often get thanked for the Sysinternals tools something that irks Mark! Skip to search form Skip to main content Skip to account menu.


Windows sysinternals administrators reference pdf download.Windows Sysinternals Administrator’s Reference (PDF)


View 4 excerpts, cites background and methods. Run-time resource management for component-based systems Ionut David Computer Science.

View 2 excerpts, cites background. Laurenson Computer Science. View 2 excerpts, cites methods and background. Identification of malware activities with rules B. Jasiul , J. Sliwa , K. Gleba , M. Szpyrka Computer Science. Modern debugging D. We customize your eBook by discreetly watermarking it with your name, making it uniquely yours. Get in-depth guidance—and inside insights—for using the Windows Sysinternals tools available from Microsoft TechNet.

Download the sample content. We’ve made every effort to ensure the accuracy of this book and its companion content. You can install and use any number of copies of the soft- ware on your computers and the computers owned by your company. However, your use of the software is subject to the license terms displayed when you launch a tool and at the Software License page linked to from the Sysinternals home page.

The first time a user runs a particular utility on a computereven a console utilitythe utility displays a EULA dialog box like the one shown in Figure The user must click the Agree button before the utility will run. For these utilities, you might need to manually set the flag indicating acceptance. There is no limit to the number of times you can install and use the software on your devices or those you support. Can I distribute Sysinternals utilities in my software, on my Web site, or with my magazine?

Microsoft is not offering any distribution licenses, even if the third party is distrib- uting them for free. Microsoft encourages people to download the utilities from its download center or run them directly from the Web where they can be assured to get the most recent version of the utility. Can I license or re-use any Sysinternals source code? The Sysinternals source code is no longer available for download or licensing. Will the Sysinternals tools continue to be freely available?

Microsoft has no plans to remove these tools or charge for them. Is there technical support available for the Sysinternals tools? All Sysinternals tools are offered as is with no official Microsoft support. This chapter offers an overview of select Windows concepts relevant to multiple Sysinternals utilities that can help you better understand these sometimes- misunderstood topics. The best and most comprehensive reference available today about Windows core operating system components is Windows Internals Microsoft Press, 1.

The Usage Guide of the book you are holding can offer at most only brief descriptions about aspects of complex subjects such as Windows memory management. After all, this book is about the Sysinternals utilities, not about Windows, and clearly cannot include all the rich detail provided by Windows Internals. It is also not a comprehensive overview of Windows architecture, nor does it cover basic concepts its assumed you already understand, such as What is the registry?

Within this model, user accounts are typically given Administrator rights or User rights. Administrators have complete and 1 The latest edition as of this writing is Windows Internals, 5th Edition, by Mark E. Russinovich and David A. Solomon with Alex Ionescu Microsoft Press, The 6th Edition, by the same authors, is in progress at the time of this writing. For historical reasons, however, until recently end users on Windows computers were frequently granted administrative access, so many people have remained unaware that these distinctions exist.

Even today, the first local user account created on a Windows 7 computer is a member of the Administrators group. Note Users can have effective administrative control over a computer without explicit member- ship in the Administrators group if they are given the ability to configure or control software that runs in a more powerful security contextfor example: granting users control over systemwide file or registry locations used by administrators or services as Power Users had before Windows Vista ; granting users admin-equivalent privileges such as the Debug, Take-Ownership, Restore, or Load Driver privileges; or enabling the AlwaysInstallElevated Windows Installer policy, under which any MSI file launched by any user runs under the System account.

Recently, organizations wishing to improve security and reduce costs have begun moving toward a non-admin model for their end users. And with Windows Vistas introduction of User Account Control UAC , most programs run by usersincluding those who are members of the Administrators groupexecute with user rights, not administrative rights.

However, it sometimes becomes necessary to run a program with administrative rights. While many people didnt know how to do this in Windows XP, Windows Vista changed those methods significantly. Many of the Sysinternals utilities always require administrative rights, while many have full functionality without them. Some, however, are able to work correctly with standard user rights but have features that need administrative rights, and thus operate in a partially degraded mode when executed with standard user rights.

Running a Program with Administrative Rights on Windows XP and Windows Server If you log on to a Windows XP or Windows Server computer with an account that is a member of the Administrators group, no special steps are required to run a Sysinternals util- ity with administrative rights.

Every program you run has full administrative rights. But if you log on to that same computer with an account that does not have the required privileges to run a particular Sysinternals utility, you will need to get the administrative rights from a different user account. The Secondary Logon Seclogon service enables programs to start a new process as a different user on the current desktop by supplying alternative cre- dentials.

Two programs that expose this functionality are Explorers Run As dialog box and the Runas. Chapter 2 Windows Core Concepts 17 To use the Run As dialog box to start a program with administrative rights, right-click on any program or shortcut in Explorer or the Start menu and choose Run As from the context menu. In the Run As dialog box, choose the second radio button The Following User as shown in Figure , type the credentials for an administrative account, and click OK. You can make Run As the default for a shortcut by opening its Properties dialog box, clicking the Advanced button, and selecting the Run With Different Credentials check box.

To start a program with administrative rights with the Runas. You must type the password at the prompt; Runas. While this behavior is convenient, note that the standard user under whose account the administrators password is saved can now use Runas.

You will be prompted for a smartcard PIN instead of a password. It invokes Runas. Note that you must have credentials for an administrative account to make this work. Running as a standard user is now the default state for users programs, even when run by a member of the Administrators group.

If you log on to a computer running Windows Vista or newer with an account that is a member of Administrators the first account is the only one that defaults to Administrators group membership on computers not joined to a domain or another powerful group such as Backup Operators or that has been granted admin-equivalent privileges, the Local Security Authority LSA creates two logon sessions for the user, with a distinct access token for each.

The LogonSessions utility enumerates these sessions and is described in Chapter 8, Security Utilities. One of these tokens represents the users full rights, with all groups and privileges intact. The other is a filtered token that is roughly equivalent to one belonging to a standard user, with powerful groups disabled and powerful privileges removed.

This filtered token is used to create the users initial processes, such as Userinit. Starting a process with the users full token requires UAC eleva- tion, mediated by the Application Information Appinfo service. The Runas. If you start a program with Runas. By default, UAC token filtering and admin approval mode does not apply to the built-in Administrator account.

Anything run under that account always runs with full administrative rights. However, the built-in Administrator account is disabled by default. Chapter 2 Windows Core Concepts 19 UAC elevation can be triggered for a new process in one of several ways: The program file contains a manifest that indicates that it requires elevation.

You can view an images manifest with the Sigcheck utility, described in Chapter 8. The user explicitly requests that the program run elevatedfor example, by right-click- ing it and choosing Run As Administrator from the context menu. Windows heuristically determines that the application is a legacy installation program. Installer detection is enabled by default, but it can be turned off through a security policy.

The application is associated with a compatibility mode or shim that requires elevation. If the parent process is already running with an administrative token, the child process simply inherits that token and the UAC elevation sequence is not needed.

By convention, console utilities that require administrative rights for example, Sysinternals LogonSessions do not request UAC elevation.

Instead, you should start them from an elevated command prompt or Windows PowerShell console. Once triggered, UAC elevation can be accomplished in three ways: Silently The elevation occurs without end-user interaction. This option is available only if the user is a member of the Administrators group.

By default in Windows 7, silent elevation is enabled for certain Windows commands. Silent elevation can be enabled for all elevation requests through security policy. See Figure This option is available only if the user is a member of the Administrators group and is the default for elevations other than the default silent elevations of Windows 7.

Prompt For Credentials The user is prompted to provide credentials for an adminis- trative account. This is the default for nonadministrative accounts and is the only way that UAC elevation can be achieved by a nonadministrative user. You can also configure this option for administrative users with a security policy setting. You can then right-click on the icon to display the Capture pop-up menu, where you can choose to enable or disable various Capture options.

Double-click the icon to display the DebugView window again. Select Always On Top from the Options menu to keep DebugView as the topmost window on the desktop when it s not minimized. Capturing User-Mode Debug Output DebugView can capture debug output from multiple local sources: the current terminal services session, the global terminal services session session 0 , and kernel mode. Each of these can be selected from the Capture menu.

When Capture Events is off, no debug output is captured; when it is on, debug output is captured from the selected sources. By default, DebugView captures only debug output from the current terminal services session, called Capture Win32 on the Capture menu. A terminal services session can be thought of as all user-mode activity associated with an interactive desktop logon. It includes all processes running in the window stations and Win32 Desktops of that session. Session 0 is the session in which all services also execute and in which global objects are defined.

When DebugView is executing in session 0 and Capture Win32 is enabled, it will capture debug output from services as well as the interactive user s processes. Administrative rights are not required to capture debug output from the current session, even that from services.

Also, beginning with Windows Vista, session 0 isolation ensures that users never log on to the session in which services run. When enabled, this option captures debug output from processes running in session 0. DebugView must run elevated on Windows Vista and newer to use this option. Administrative rights are not required to enable this option on Windows XP.

Capturing Kernel-Mode Debug Output You can configure DebugView to capture kernel-mode debug output generated by device drivers or by the Windows kernel by enabling the Capture Kernel option on the Capture menu. Process IDs are not reported for kernel-mode output because such output is typically not related to a process context. Kernel-mode capture requires administrative rights, and in particular the Load Driver privilege.

Kernel-mode components can set the severity level of each debug message. On Windows Vista and newer, kernel-mode debug output can be filtered based on severity level. If you want to capture all kernel debug output, choose the Enable Verbose Kernel Output option on the Capture menu.

If this option is not enabled, DebugView captures only debug output at the error severity level. DebugView can be configured to pass kernel-mode debug output to a kernel-mode debugger or to swallow the output. You can toggle pass-through mode on the Capture menu or with the Pass-Through toolbar icon. The pass-through mode allows you to see kernel-mode debug output in the output buffers of a conventional kernel-mode debugger while at the same time viewing it in DebugView.

Because it is an interactive program, DebugView cannot be started until after you log on. Ordinarily, to view debug output generated prior to logon, you need to hook up a kernel debugger from a remote computer. DebugView s Log Boot feature offers an alternative, capturing kernel-mode debug output during system startup, holding that output in memory, and displaying it after you log in and start DebugView interactively.

When you choose Log Boot from the Capture menu, DebugView configures its kernel driver to load very early in the next boot sequence. When it loads, it creates a 4-MB buffer and captures verbose kernel debug output in it until the buffer is full or DebugView connects to it. When you start DebugView with administrative rights and Capture Kernel enabled, DebugView checks for the existence of the memory buffer in kernel memory.

If that is found, DebugView displays its contents. Configuring boot logging requires administrative permissions and applies only to the next boot. If DebugView is capturing kernel debug output at the time of a bugcheck also known as a blue-screen crash , DebugView can recover the output it had captured to that point from.

This can be helpful if, for example, you are trying to diagnose a crash involving a kernel-mode driver you are developing. You can also instrument your driver to produce debug output so that users who experience a crash using your driver can send you a debug output file instead of an entire memory dump.

DebugView will search the file for its debug output buffers. If it finds them, DebugView will prompt you for the name of a log file in which to save the output. You can load saved output files into DebugView for viewing. Note that the system must be configured to create a kernel or full dump not a minidump for this feature to work. DebugView saves all capture configuration settings on exit and restores them the next time it runs.

Note that if it had been running elevated and capturing kernel or global session 0 debug output, DebugView displays error messages and disables those options if it doesn t have administrative rights the next time it runs under the same user account, because it will not be able to capture output from those sources. Searching, Filtering, and Highlighting Output DebugView has several features that can help you focus on the debug output you are interested in.

These capabilities include searching, filtering, highlighting, and limiting the number of debug output lines saved in the display. Clearing the output also resets the sequence number and elapsed timer to 0. If the text you specify matches text in the output window, DebugView selects the next matching line and turns off the Autoscroll feature to keep the line in the window. Press F3 to repeat a successful search.

Filtering Another way to isolate output you are interested in is to use DebugView s filtering capability. The Highlight group box is used to color-code selected lines based on their content.

Filter and Highlight rules can be saved to disk and then reloaded at a later time. Highlighting is discussed in the next section of this chapter. Figure The DebugView Filter dialog box. Enter substring expressions in the Include field that match debug output lines that you want DebugView to display, and enter substring expressions in the Exclude field to specify debug output lines that you do not want DebugView to display.

You can enter multiple expressions, separating each with a semicolon. Do not include spaces in the filter expression unless you want the spaces to be part of the filter. As shown in the example in Figure , say that you want DebugView to display debug output only if it contains the words win, desk, or session, unless it also contains the word error.

Set the Include filter to win;desk;session without the quotes and the Exclude filter to error. Filtering is applied only to new lines of debug output as they are captured and to comments appended with the Append Comment feature. New text lines that match the rules that are in effect are displayed; those that don t match are dropped and cannot be unhidden by changing the filter rules after the fact. Also, changing the filter rules does not remove lines that are already displayed by DebugView.

If any filter rules are in effect when you exit DebugView, DebugView will display them in a dialog box the next time you start it. Simply click OK to continue using those rules, or change them first.

You can edit them in place, click Load to use a previously saved filter, or click Reset to remove the filter.

DebugView supports up to 20 separate highlighting rules, each with its own foreground and background color. The highlight rule syntax is the same as that for the Include filter. Use the Filter drop-down list in the Highlight group box to select which filter numbered 1 through 20 you want to edit. By default, each filter is associated with a color combination but no highlight rule. To set a rule for that filter, type the text for the rule in the drop-down list showing the color combination.

In Figure , Filter 1 highlights lines containing the word Console. Lower-numbered highlight filters take precedence over higher-numbered rules.

If a line of text matches the rules for Filter 3 and Filter 5, the line will be displayed in the colors associated with Filter 3. Changing highlight rules updates all lines in the display to reflect the new highlight rules. To change the colors associated with a highlight filter, select that filter in the drop-down list and click on the Colors button. To change the foreground color, select the FG radio button, choose a color, and click the Select button.

Do the same using the BG radio button to change the background color, and then click OK. Saving and Restoring Filter and Highlight Rules Use the Load and Save buttons on the Filter dialog box to save and restore filter settings, including the Include, Exclude, and Highlight filter rules, as well as the Highlight color selections.

DebugView uses the. Note that Reset does not restore default Highlight colors. History Depth A final way to control DebugView output is to limit the number of lines that are retained in the display. Enter the number of output lines you want DebugView to retain, and it will keep only that number of the most recent debut output lines, discarding older ones.

A history depth of 0 zero represents no limit on the number of output lines retained. You do not need to use the History Depth feature to prevent all of a system s virtual memory from being consumed in long-running captures. DebugView monitors system memory usage, alerts the user, and suspends capture of debug output when it detects that memory is running low.

Saved files can be opened and displayed by DebugView at a later time. DebugView also lets you print all or parts of the displayed output. You can save the contents of the DebugView output window as a text file by choosing Save or Save As from the File menu. The file format is tab-delimited ANSI text. The first time you choose that menu item or click the Log To File button on the toolbar, DebugView displays the Log-To-File Settings dialog box shown in Figure , prompting you for a file location.

From that point forward, the Log To File menu option and toolbar button toggle logging to that file on or off. To log to a different file or to change other log file settings, choose Log To File As from the File menu.

The other configuration options in the Log-To-File Settings dialog box are Unlimited Log Size This selection allows the log file to grow without limit. Create New Log Every Day When this option is selected, DebugView will not limit the size of the log file, but will create a new log file every day, with the current date appended to the base log file name.

You can also select the option to clear the display when the new day s log file is created. DebugView will stop logging to the file at that point, unless you also select the Wrap option. With Wrap enabled, DebugView will wrap around to the beginning of the file when the file s maximum size is reached. If Append is not selected and the target log file already exists, DebugView truncates the existing file when logging begins.

If Append is selected, DebugView appends to the existing log file, preserving its content. If you are monitoring debug output from multiple remote computers and enable logging to a file, all output is logged to the one file you specify. Ranges of output from different computers are separated with a header that indicates the name of the computer from which the subsequent lines were recorded.

Logging options can also be controlled by using the command-line options listed in Table Table Command-Line Options for Logging Option Description l logfile Logs output to the specified logfile m n Limits log file to n MB p Appends to the file if it already exists; otherwise, overwrites it w Used with m, wrap to the beginning of the file when the maximum size is reached n Creates a new log file every day, appending the date to the file name x Used with n, clears the display when a new log file is created Printing Choose Print or Print Range from the File menu to print the contents of the display to a printer.

Choose Print Range if you want to print only a subset of the sequence numbers displayed, or choose Print if you want to print all the output records. Note that capture must be disabled prior to printing. The Print Range dialog box also lets you specify whether or not sequence numbers and time stamps will be printed along with the debug output.

Omitting these fields can save page space if they are not necessary. The settings you choose are used in all subsequent print operations.

To prevent wrap-around when output lines are wider than a page, consider using landscape mode instead of portrait when printing. DebugView can connect to and monitor multiple remote computers and the local computer simultaneously.

The active computer view is identified in the title bar and by an arrow icon in the Computer menu. Alternatively, you can open each computer in a separate window and view their debug outputs simultaneously. Figure DebugView monitoring two remote computers and the local computer. To perform remote monitoring, DebugView runs in agent mode on the remote system, sending debug output it captures to a central DebugView viewer that displays the output. Typically, you will start DebugView in agent mode on the remote system manually.

In some circumstances, the DebugView viewer can install and start the remote agent component automatically, but with host-based firewalls now on by default, this is usually impractical. Enter the name or IP address of the remote computer, or select a previously-connected computer from the drop-down list, and click OK. DebugView will try to install and start an agent on that computer; if it cannot, DebugView tries to find and connect to an already-running, manually-started agent on the computer.

If its attempt is successful, DebugView begins displaying debug output received from that computer, adding the remote computer name to the title bar and to the Computer menu. To begin monitoring the local computer, choose Connect Local from the Computer menu.

Be careful not to connect multiple viewers to a single computer because the debug output will be split between those viewers. Make the connection from that new window. To stop monitoring debug output from a computer, make it the active computer view by selecting it in the Computer menu, and then choose Disconnect from the Computer menu.

DebugView displays the Waiting for connection dialog box shown in Figure until a DebugView monitor connects to it. The dialog box then indicates Connected. Note that in agent mode, DebugView does not capture or save any debug output when not connected to a DebugView monitor.

When connected, the DebugView agent always captures Win32 debug output in the current terminal services session. If the monitor disconnects or the connection is otherwise broken, the agent status window reverts to Waiting for connection and DebugView awaits another connection. The icon is gray when the agent is not connected to a monitor and colored when it is connected.

You can open the status window by doubleclicking on the icon and return it to an icon by minimizing the status window. In this mode, DebugView remains active until the user logs off, silently accepting connections from DebugView monitors.

If you choose to allow the access indicated in the warning message, Windows will create a program exception for DebugView in the firewall. Note that connections are anonymous and not authenticated. Therefore, it runs in terminal services session 0, where it can monitor only kernel and global Win32 debug output; it cannot monitor debug output from interactive user sessions outside of session 0.

Also, it listens for a connection on a random high port, which isn t practical when using a host-based firewall. In most cases, the manually started DebugView agent will generally be much more reliable and is the recommended way to monitor debug output remotely. When using the agent automatically installed by the monitor, the state of global capture, Win32 debug capture, kernel capture, and pass-through for the newly established remote session are all adopted from the current settings of the DebugView viewer.

Changes you make to these settings on the viewer take effect immediately on the monitored computer. LiveKd LiveKd is a utility that allows you to use kernel debuggers to examine a snapshot of a live system without booting the system in debugging mode.

This can be useful when kernel-level troubleshooting is required on a machine that wasn t booted in debugging mode. Certain issues might be hard to reproduce, so rebooting a system can be disruptive. On top of that, booting a computer in debug mode changes how some subsystems behave, which can further complicate analysis. In addition to not requiring booting with debug mode enabled, LiveKd allows the Microsoft kernel debuggers to perform some actions that are not normally possible with local kernel debugging, such as creating a full memory dump file.

In this mode, the debugger runs on the Hyper-V host and not on the guest VMs, so there is no need to copy any files to the target VM or configure the VM in any way. LiveKd creates a snapshot dump file of kernel memory, without actually stopping the kernel while the snapshot is captured. LiveKd then presents this simulated dump file to the kernel debugger of your choosing. You can then use the debugger to perform any operations on this snapshot of live kernel memory that you could on any normal dump file.

Because LiveKd relies on physical memory to back the simulated dump, the kernel debugger might run into situations in which data structures are in the middle of being changed by the system and are inconsistent. Each time the debugger is launched, it starts with a fresh view of the system state. If you want to refresh the snapshot, quit the debugger with the q command , and LiveKd will ask you whether you want to start it again. It must be run with administrative rights, including the Debug privilege.

Among the options are the Debugging Tools redistributables, which are the standalone Debugging Tools installers, available for x86, x64, and IA These work well if you want to install the Debugging Tools on other machines without running the SDK installer.

LiveKd requires that kernel symbol files be available. These can be downloaded as needed from the Microsoft public symbol server. If the system to be analyzed does not have an Internet connection, see the Online Kernel Memory Dump Using LiveKd sidebar to learn how to acquire the necessary symbol files.

Running LiveKd The LiveKd command-line syntax is livekd [-w -k debugger-path -o dumpfile] [[-hvl] [-hv VMName][-p]] [debugger options] Table summarizes the LiveKd command-line options, which are then discussed in more detail. The w and k options let you specify WinDbg. LiveKd passes any additional command-line options that you specify on to the debugger, followed by z and the path to the simulated dump file. Note that you can debug only one VM on a host at a time.

With the o option, LiveKd just saves a kernel dump of the target system to the specified dumpfile and doesn t launch a debugger.

This option is useful for capturing system dumps for offline analysis. If the target is a Hyper-V VM, you can also add p to the command line to pause the VM while the snapshot is being captured in order to get a completely consistent snapshot.

If you are launching a debugger and don t specify k and a path to a debugger, LiveKd will find Kd. Refer to the Debugging Tools documentation regarding how to use the kernel debuggers. Note The debugger will complain that it can t find symbols for LiveKdD. This is expected because I have not made symbols for LiveKdD.

SYS available. The lack of these symbols does not affect the behavior of the debugger. LiveKd Examples This command line debugs a snapshot of the local computer, passing parameters to WinDbg to write a log file and not to display the Save Workspace?

I have had that dubious pleasure far too often, so I decided to write down the process for my future reference. The key problem is that you need to get the correct symbol files for the kernel memory dump. At a minimum, you must have symbols for Ntoskrnl. Just downloading the symbol file packages from WHDC or MSDN for your operating system and service pack version is not quite good enough, because files and corresponding symbols might have been changed by updates since the service pack was released.

Here is the process I follow: Copy Ntoskrnl. Install the Debugging Tools for Windows on the Internet-facing system. Install the Debugging Tools for Windows on the computer from which you require a kernel memory dump, and copy LiveKd.

Add this folder to the PATH. When the WinDbg prompt appears, type the following command to create a full memory dump:. Type q to quit WinDbg and then n to quit LiveKd.

Note This sidebar is adapted from a blog post by Carl Harrison. It can show you all DLLs in use throughout the system or in specific processes, and it can let you search for processes that have a specific DLL loaded.

It is also useful for verifying which version of a DLL a process has loaded and from what path. It can also flag DLLs that have been relocated from their preferred base address or that have been replaced after they have been loaded. It does not require elevated permissions for processes running as the same user and at the same integrity level or a lower one.

If ListDLLs has the necessary permissions to open the process, it then displays the full command line that was used to start the process, followed by the DLLs loaded in the process. The base address is the virtual memory address at which the module is loaded. The size is the number of contiguous bytes, starting from the base address, consumed by the DLL image. The version is extracted from the file s version resource, if present; otherwise, it is left blank. The path is the full path to the DLL.

Figure ListDLLs output. A difference indicates that the DLL file was replaced on disk after the process loaded it. The r option flags DLLs that have been relocated to a different virtual memory address from the base address specified in the image. The following example output shows webcheck. If you specify a process name, ListDLLs reports only on processes with an image name that matches or begins with the name you specify.

For example, to list the DLLs loaded by all instances of Internet Explorer, run the following command: listdlls iexplore. To identify the processes that have a particular DLL loaded, add d to the command line followed by the full or partial name of the DLL. For example, to search for all processes that have loaded Crypt ListDLLs reports a DLL as relocated only if it is loaded in a process to a different address from its preferred ASLR address in that boot session because of a conflict with another module.

Handles represent open instances of basic operating system objects that applications interact with, such as files, registry keys, synchronization primitives, and shared memory. You can use the Handle utility to search for programs that have a file or folder open, preventing its access or deletion from another program. You can also use Handle to list the object types and names held by a particular program. For more information about object handles, see Handles in Chapter 2.

Because the primary purpose for Handle is to identify in-use files and folders, running Handle without any command-line parameters lists all the File and named Section handles owned by those processes. Handle s command-line parameters in various combinations allow you to list all object types, search for objects by name, limit which process or processes to include, display handle counts by object type, show details about pagefile-backed Section objects, display the user name with the handle information, or although generally ill- advised close open handles.

Note that loading a DLL or mapping another file type into a process address space via the LoadLibrary API does not also add a handle to the process handle table. Such files can therefore be in use and not be able to be deleted, even though a handle search might come up empty.

Process Explorer is described in Chapter 3. Handle List and Search The command-line syntax to list object handles is handle [-a [-l]] [-p process PID] [[-u] objname] If you specify no command-line parameters, Handle lists all processes and all the File and named Section handles owned by those processes, with dashed-line separators between the information for each process.

For each process, Handle displays the process name, PID, and account name that the process is running under, followed by the handles belonging to that process. The handle value is displayed in hexadecimal, along with the object type and the object name if it has one. File handles can include folders, device drivers, and communication endpoints, in addition to normal files.


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