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Windows Server Hacks

June 7th, 2004

Are you a systems administrator in a Windows server environment? If so, then this is the book for you. It contains numerous hacks pertaining to all different kinds of subjects in a Windows server environment. Everything from access control to networking is covered in this book. If you are interested in using hacks to quicken things in your server environment, then check this book out.

Author: Mitch Tulloch

Pages: 384

Publisher: O´Reilly & Associates

ISBN: 0596006470

Available for download sample chapter – “Security FAQ”.

About the author

Mitch Tulloch is a trainer, consultant, and author living in Winnipeg, Canada. In addition to his Nutshell books for O´Reilly listed below, Mitch is also the author of the Microsoft Encyclopedia of Networking and Microsoft Encyclopedia of Security, both from Microsoft Press, and a string of best-selling books on IIS from Osborne/McGraw-Hill.

The Book

All together this book consists of ten chapters. All of the hacks are organized into different subjects so the reader is able to flip to whatever subject he or she needs, without having to do a bunch of searching. Each chapter contains roughly ten or eleven hacks, which should be enough to get any systems administrator by.

Chapter one is called “General Administration”, and covers hacks that don´t fit into a specific category, so this chapter is basicaly the “miscellaneous hacks” chapter. It contains about sixteen short and simple hacks that can be applied in a Windows server environment. Hacks such as using “Run As..” to perform administrative tasks or renaming mapped drives can be found here, along with some others.

Chapter two is all about Active Directory hacks. This chapter has around eight hacks in it. Some of the hacks include modifying all objects in an OU and displaying AD information. Many of the hacks use VBS code, but not to worry, it provides you with the code needed. If you work with AD often, this chapter should definately be bookmarked.

The third chapter is about user hacks, and it contains around eleven different ones. Searching for domain users and getting a list of disabled users are just a couple of the hacks included in this chapter. This chapter is particularly useful for administrators in charge of managing user accounts and setting user permissions.

Chapters four, five, and six pertain to networking. They cover file and printer hacks, network services hacks, and even IIS hacks. Many of the hacks are in-depth in the networking and IIS chapters, making them valuable to a network administrator. These three chapters are yet some more parts you may wish to bookmark.

My favorite chapter is chapter eight, which is security hacks. A few of the hacks are about anti-viruses and backups, some of the others are just common-sense hacks, like renaming the administrator and guest accounts. The last hack in the chapter is a list of useful security tools. It has a nice list of the tools along with descriptions and where you can find them.

The last chapter in the book is called “Backup and Recovery”. Obviously it has hacks concerning backups and recovery of damaged computer files. It has some simple hacks and some advanced hacks. The easiest hack is probably backing up a single file using the command line. The hacks are split equally between backup hacks, and recovery hacks.

My Opinion

My personal opinion of this book, is that it´s very helpful for Windows server administrators. Although I did find this book a bit boring at times, well, quite often actually, but that doesn´t make it any less of a good book. It just isn´t a sit-down-and-read kind of book. Don´t let that deter you from purchasing it though, since as I´ve said, it´s a very helpful book. If you aren´t a system administrator for a Windows server, then you might not want to get this book, since there isn´t anything relating to much other than a Windows server. Now, I´m not a Windows user, but I can safely say that if I ever need to administrate a Windows server, I´ll be glad I have this book.

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