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Operating Systems Windows IT

Ask Slashdot: Good Technical Guide To Windows 10? 199

An anonymous reader writes: Back 'in the day' you could easily find books on NT, Windows 2000, or Slackware that went into painstaking detail about every functional aspect of the operating system (think Slackware Unleashed). They covered the interplay between BIOS, boot sector, crash dumps, every command-line option, etc. Past about Win 2000 I fell way behind focusing on finishing my EE degree. Now when faced with a complex issue, I just end up at Google, but would prefer a good comprehensive book on recent Win8/Win10 architectures. Any suggestions? Are these books all but limited to course-prep now?
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Ask Slashdot: Good Technical Guide To Windows 10?

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  • It's Soviet U.S.A. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by U2xhc2hkb3QgU3Vja3M ( 4212163 ) on Tuesday February 23, 2016 @01:06PM (#51568067)

    Windows 10 searches technical guide to you.

  • by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Tuesday February 23, 2016 @01:07PM (#51568075)

    Back in the days of NT and 2000, Internet connections were still primarily dialup Google while around, wasn't a dependable source to get info.

    Today it is far more convenient to get this info from the internet from multiple sources. So there isn't much of a market in all encompassing technical books.

    • Books that get out of date even before getting printed.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 23, 2016 @01:24PM (#51568235)

      Today it is far more convenient to get this info from the internet from multiple sources. So there isn't much of a market in all encompassing technical books.

      TechNet: Windows 10 [microsoft.com], for example.

    • There's still a use case. Knowing what to search for is valuable, and an all-encompassing book uses that as its glue. True, just having the table of contents for free from Amazon might be the most valuable part. But someone has to write it for that to be available.

      • I agree with this. In Example: There is a registry black box, which may not be well google able, with lots of keys.
        Now, you can guess what a lot of keys do, and googling will occasionally yield forum posts or similar that lists them for some change. But rarely is there any explanation. A lot of keys have values of 0 to 4 for instance, or may accept hexanumerical input. The end result is something undocumented.

        So the OP question is still a good question: Where do one acquire good sourced reference documentat

        • Where do one acquire good sourced reference documentation beyond the surface?

          I am tempted to create a hierarchical, user-editable, web-based database of registry keys with commenting enabled... Could this be the next Wikipedia for IT people?

          I'm probably too lazy. But the SEO you could manage with whatever.com/HKLM/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/ would be pretty powerful.

    • Back in the days of NT and 2000, Internet connections were still primarily dialup Google while around, wasn't a dependable source to get info.

      Today it is far more convenient to get this info from the internet from multiple sources. So there isn't much of a market in all encompassing technical books.

      Dejanews was a hell of a lot more useful than a modern day Google search of seas of blogs and web forums littered with ads and clickbait. Or try looking something up on answers Microsoft site. There is almost always someone from Microsoft offering an incoherent wrong answer with whole threads of complaints about the obvious. If not for stackexchanges and Wikipedia the Internet as judged by myself would be a total loss vs. late 90's.

      Today even the flicking yellow pages are more useful than Google.

    • I've always found this [wikimedia.org] tells me almost everything I need to know about Windows 10.
  • Windows internals.. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 23, 2016 @01:08PM (#51568107)

    The Windows Internal books are really good for that kind of detail

    • Totally agree with this comment and I am not sure but I think Mark Russinovich still write it? (not 100% sure anymore) but it is pretty much the most indepth to Windows in book form. I had a copy for Win 7 back in the day and it was great. Just not my learning style though. Otherwise you have to hunt and peck online for what you need (my preferred method).
      • Totally agree with this comment and I am not sure but I think Mark Russinovich still write it? (not 100% sure anymore) but it is pretty much the most indepth to Windows in book form. I had a copy for Win 7 back in the day and it was great. Just not my learning style though. Otherwise you have to hunt and peck online for what you need (my preferred method).

        Mark Russinovich's write up on the Sony Rootkit a don't miss piece https://blogs.technet.microsof... [microsoft.com]

        While not a book the Systernal programs: Process Explorer, Process Monitor, and Autoruns are a must have, Process Monitor while not easy can follow a program to spot your query.

        Autoruns is pry the most important program you can run on a windows OS, it show everything that loads on boot up; Must set Options > Filter Options > unhide Microsoft entries as you can't trust MS anymore.

        The GWX entries can be l

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 23, 2016 @01:16PM (#51568157)

    Paul Thurrott has published a Field Guide to Windows 10 that you can purchase through his site at https://www.thurrott.com/store. He has been writhing Windows guides for a long time and i find them to be very helpful. With the ever changing nature of OS delivery these days, it is hard to keep current and so I think most gudes have migrated to the Internet. Another source is to look for books written by Mark Russinovich, I believe he is a fellow at Microsoft, but his books and software are highly regarded as well.

  • by Scholasticus ( 567646 ) on Tuesday February 23, 2016 @01:21PM (#51568197) Journal
    Between the Missing Manual and some books Microsoft has announced (but not yet published), might find more-or-less what you're looking for.

    Missing Manual:

    http://www.amazon.com/Windows-... [amazon.com]

    Microsoft Books:

    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/micros... [msdn.com]

    • Yeah, I did a quick search on O'Reilly & found it. Given how good O'Reilly books have generally been, I'd probably pick that one
  • by EndlessNameless ( 673105 ) on Tuesday February 23, 2016 @01:21PM (#51568201)

    That book market no longer exists. The vast majority of books are exam prep now.

    Now it's all about finding the right resources online.

    A proper search targeted at technet.microsoft.com (for admin issues) or msdn.microsoft.com (for dev issues) will usually be helpful.

    I've found technet to be more frequently helpful, and Stack Overflow or Stack Exchange are good alternatives to MSDN. Technet has an exhaustive, option-by-option descriptions of the modern CLI commands. This is the closest thing you'll probably find to those old books.

    If you are interested in scripting, you should probably familiarize yourself with PowerShell, as it is far more powerful and flexible than the traditional Windows CLI.

    • That book market no longer exists.

      Sure it does. Here's a list I pulled from one of my usual haunts. Just search Amazon or wherever on any of the titles.

      The Inside Guide To Windows 10 - For Desktop Computers Laptops Tablets And Smartphones

      Windows 10 Beyond the Manual

      Windows 10 - How to Solve 99 of the Biggest Problems in 10 Minutes 2015

      Windows 10 The Missing Manual

      Windows 10 Beyond the Manual - YOUR DEFINITIVE REFERENCE GUIDE TO MICROSOFT'S NEW OPERATING SYSTEM

      PC World - Windows 10 Super Guide

      Windows 10 All The Tips You Wish You Knew To Maxi

      • None of those cover architectural details, the workings of EFI, etc.

        In the above list, you'll be amazed as it gives you WIN+A to bring up the Action Center or how to use the Refresh Your PC feature.

        Or maybe you're joking.

      • The old school books covered the architecture in much more detail than any of those.

        The old books would cover things like which subsystems require the new credential providers, how many and what types of credentials are stored in LSASS, the boot process from BIOS/EFI initiation until user session creation, etc.

        In-depth technical guides like OP wants are almost impossible to find. Current guides---and especially the "For Dummies" series---are not even interesting to the same audience. I'm sure they sell more

  • by Phusion ( 58405 ) on Tuesday February 23, 2016 @01:22PM (#51568205)
    Hi there, It's a shame everyone is just telling you not to use it, instead of being somewhat helpful. I am but a simple sysadmin and am too much of a burnout to do any development work, but have you checked out Microsoft's online resources? It looks like the Microsoft Virtual Academy at least has some info on the subject: MSVA [microsoft.com] The SDK is available on Windows Dev Center [windows.com] -- I don't know what you've looked through yet, but I don't think there's going to be a silver bullet for this one. Try to hobble along with MS Virtual Academy and the Devel blogs until someone releases a book/guide with everything you need.
    • They *are* being helpful. Windows 10 is completely unusable because of its UI and because of its spyware. There's only way to deal with that, and that's not to use it.

      If someone bought a car with no seatbelts, no brakes, and a big spike in the middle of the steering wheel and asked how to make it safer, the answer is obviously to get another car. This is no different.

  • You need to know that it's corporate-grade spyware and malware, and that you shouldn't use it at all. Beyond that, look to the documentation for DBAN [dban.org], which is the way I recommend to correct the mistake of installing it in the first place, to ensure not a single byte of it remains. From there please Google 'linux distributions' and find one that suits your needs.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 23, 2016 @01:24PM (#51568229)

    You don't need to know anything technical about Windows 10! Windows 10 is designed to be so friendly and maintenance free, you will never have to do anything technical. Being technical is hard. You don't want life to be hard, so we're making it easy for you.

    Everything from remote updates to resetting your default apps is handled automatically so you don't have to waste your valuable time on it. We understand how important your time is to you, after all! We know you'd rather be out vlogging your night out with friends or Skyping with family than tinkering with your operating system.

    So, just sit back, relax, and enjoy Windows 10! It was designed just for you!

    • by g01d4 ( 888748 )

      we're making it easy for you

      The incredibly sad part is that Microsoft can't see the sarcasm. It's frustrating now to have to "Search" for things you used to easily be able to find. And that's where books come in. The internet is fine when you're looking for a specific solution but it doesn't provide an overview of where things are at. It's like using a smart phone to get directions to an address whereas a book's like opening a map.

      • When you encounter an error in Windows Event Viewer, there is a nice little link in the details window so you can look up this particular error on Microsoft's TechNet. Unfortunately, so far, with every error I have encountered on Windows 10, it just brings me to a technet page that says "Page Not Found". It seems that Microsoft doesn't even know the meanings of it's own error codes anymore.

        I guess they just forgot that when writing Windows 10....
    • We know you'd rather be out vlogging your night out with friends or Skyping with family than tinkering with your operating system.

      A lovely funny quote, right up until this line here. Yes! YES! I really would like to be doing stuff other than tinkering with the OS.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I also need the schematics for my CPU.

  • Technet is what MS oriented IT professionals [microsoft.com] use nowdays. Detailed and only way to pass the MCSE exams.

  • by wbr1 ( 2538558 ) on Tuesday February 23, 2016 @01:43PM (#51568385)
    Escalating to google can always get you more up-to-date and precise information. Just use common sense and mind your sources.
  • So I know the kinds of books you're talking about. I used them in school, bought them used for reference material, and generally don't mind them as a bookshelf occupant. However as the internet and online documentation have gotten more ubiquitous, I've used them more and more often as they are easier to search and I don't always have access to them.

    Here are two of the books I own:
    Win 2000 Bible [amazon.com]
    Win 2003 Server Bible [amazon.com]

    Now here is a Windows 10 version [amazon.com].

    That took me under 10 seconds to find using goog
  • I recently ordered the ebook version of The Missing Manual for Filemaker Pro 14 and found it almost impossible to use to quickly jump around to a particular topic on my iPad or PC. I returned it to Amazon and ordered the dead tree version. That last time I bought a dead tree door stopper was ten years ago.
  • When I had to learn it I used "Windows 10: The Missing Manual" by David Pogue and published by O'Reilly (who I work for). I also noticed that several other sites listed it as a top book: http://www.techradar.com/us/ne... [techradar.com]
  • by wjcofkc ( 964165 ) on Tuesday February 23, 2016 @02:06PM (#51568603)
    With the broad based yet in depth material you are looking for, you will need several books. I know how you feel though, finding well written and laid out 800 - 1000+ page books that were written for experts is not as simple as it used to be. After first reading your question I went and took a look at a bookshelf I have containing my oldest tech books from fifteen or more years ago. You really can't find stuff like that anymore. I actually left out some Windows 10 books in my list below because 80 out of 800 pages being useful isn't worth it, at least not to me. So as a long time and frequent tech book buyer, here is this best I can come up with:

    The first would be: Windows 10 Inside Out http://www.amazon.com/Windows-... [amazon.com]. It's about 900 pages of too simple for you through very complex concepts and procedures as they apply to that platform. It sounds like you would skip quite a bit, but there is enough in there to make it worth it.

    Then of course there is the Windows 10: The Missing Manual http://www.amazon.com/Windows-... [amazon.com] This is another example where you will likely skip over a lot of material but the good stuff is in fact pretty good.

    Overwhelmingly above and beyond I want to recommend the Windows Internals series. However, I cannot find anything specific to Windows 10. As far as Windows 8 is concerned, this series is a stop here and buy this now kinda thing. If someone else can point in the right direction for Windows 10 coverage by this series, I myself would be grateful.

    Once you've covered broad based expertise which likely won't take you long, you really need to start thinking along the lines of studying a few highly specific topics.

    Oh, and then for either broad or focused based learning there is always the official MS Press series. I'm always a bit leery of that series though. I never purchase an MS Press book, especially recently released, unless I can find a substantial number of reviews across multiple sites for any one book. IMHO MS Press is the worst when it comes to publishing materials riddled with factually incorrect information, and reviews are the best way to get a heads up. Otherwise I think they make some of the greatest tech books. Sorry for not having a perfectly straight answer.
  • ack 'in the day' you could easily find books on NT, Windows 2000, or Slackware that went into painstaking detail about every functional aspect of the operating system

    Back in the day, people released fully-functional things instead of the on-going beta which is Windows 10 which they're developing as they keep pushing more of it out.

    And, back in the day, companies couldn't use the DMCA to claim all this shit was proprietary and deem you not allowed to know it.

    I don't see Microsoft as giving a damn if you have

  • If you want an introductory guide you can sit through the MVA training courses. They are not good reference material and very time consuming but they do provide a decent overview of the technical configuration and get you familiar with the terminology used by Microsoft. Once you understand the Microsoft terminology you can then use google and Technet to do more in-depth research.
  • I've found value on the material from MS Virtual Academy for System Center, SQL, Windows Server, and Windows Client: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/micros... [msdn.com]
  • While the interface is being adjusted to be usable and back-end items change is not a good time to be either reading or writing a hard copy book on a bit of software.
    The three or so hoops you have to jump through just to shut down is probably going to be changed since it's so ridiculous. Other things are likely to change. Vista changed a lot on the way to being usable and I think Win10 will as well even though it has less obvious flaws than initial Vista.
    The hidden icons offscreen from Win8 have already g
  • I started on a Vic20 and found the Programmers Reference Guide most (in)valuable.
    https://archive.org/details/VI... [archive.org]

    I found a Win32 API book useful a dozen (or more?) years ago.

    Now I'm on Debian variants, and Google is most helpful.
    I wouldn't worry about Win10 reference manuals unless you were offline.

  • I remember those types of books fondly and regularly purchased them as well as the academic ones since they were often used to by the developers of the production software themselves. I miss the days of when Mark Russonovich would write entire books about file systems. I miss when Linux programming reference manuals actual were more than just man page dumps. How about when Michael Abrash was rocking the world with graphics books?

    There's a real problem. As a man-whore who used to be a programmer but no makes

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