Pro tip for fellow SysAdmins

I know some of you that read this are also fellow System Administrators whether personally or professionally so I thought I might share one of my favorite tips...

Grab an extra flash drive (2GB or higher will be plenty) fill it with it with some of these programs I've found helpful in the past.

Sysinternals Suite:

You can grab the entire 13MB suite from here:

A few of my favorites:

Process Explorer: It's like the Windows Task Manager on steroids - lots of information.

Process Monitor: This one shows real-time file system, Registry and process/thread activity. It came in handy recently when a nasty piece of malware had disabled access to the Task Manager as well as Process Explorer. So I used this to locate the offending exe

PsKill: Command line utility for killing processes in Windows. Used it in conjunction with Process Monitor to disable that malware long enough to delete it.

TCPView: Shows you a detailed listing of all TCP and UDP endpoints on your system.


Portable Apps:

Applications that do not require a traditional install and can be run off of something like a flash drive. You can download and customize your on suite of apps here:

A few of my favorites:

Firefox: Have your favorite browser with you at all times.

Chrome: Ok I know all of you don't love Firefox...

ClamWin AV: AntiVirus you can carry with you.

Foxit PDF Reader: For the random system you come across that DOESN'T have Adobe Reader on it (or doesn't need it for security purposes)

PuTTY: My favorite Windows Telnet/SSH client.


Hiren's Boot CD:

Bootable CD with MANY great tools for diagnosing a system outside of Windows - it even comes with it's own bootable Windows install that runs off RAM. Download it here: and throw it on a CD or USB flash drive.

by Ben Pike