Windows Essentials Before We Start

Windows Essentials Before We Start

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7628-0.ch003


This chapter summarizes the basic concepts related to the most targeted and widely used Windows operating system. The chapter explains Windows architecture and authentication process along with different Windows operating system tools including Windows management instrumentation command-line (WMIC), recycle bin, msinfo32, netsh (network shell), Windows services console, Windows registry, event viewer, NBTSTAT (NetBIOS over TCP/IP Status), system file checker, group policy editor, Windows firewall, Windows task manager, MSCONFIG utility, netstat (network statistics) utility, Attrib command, diskpart utility, etc. The chapter provides details of Windows powershell, an integrated scripting environment (ISE) for executing the commands at runtime as well as for developing and testing PowerShell scripts along with net commands and netsh commands. These tools are useful for diagnosing and testing the security level or condition of existing Windows installation. The Windows virtual machines created as part of experimental setup discussed as in first chapter of this book can be used to exercise the windows commands and utilities mentioned in this chapter.
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Windows operating system is popular in novice users for their personal desktops/laptops due its user friendliness characteristics. Hence, it has become a primary target for attackers and malware writers. The flexibility in use also leads windows open to more security vulnerabilities and less reliable/stable operating system when compared to the Linux OS. In most of the windows server/workstation installations, changing any configuration typically requires a reboot, causing inevitable downtime. Any mis-configuration in the system or running many processes simultaneously may also affects the reliability. The OS must be defragmented frequently and also requires frequent hardware upgrades to accommodate its ever-increasing resource demands. The proprietary nature of windows OS besides adding cost, allows no freedom to choose the software modules which will work best for our business. But, as it is highly installed desktop operating system and written in high-level languages C/C++, it has largest selection of commercial softwares compared to Linux.

The windows evolved through different versions over a period of time with each version adding some new functionality (The Gaurdian, 2018) as given in Table 1. In 1988, Microsoft decided to develop a “new technology” portable OS supporting both OS/2 and POSIX APIs and the next all versions were based on this concept (Pavel, Mark, Russinovich, David & Alex, 2017).

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