1.6. Where to Find More Information

While it is our hope that this book provides you with enough information to perform the majority of Windows system administration tasks you are likely to do, it is not realistic to think every possible task can be covered. In fact, there are easily another five or six chapters we could have included in this book, but due to space and time considerations it was not possible for this edition. There is a wealth of additional resources and information you can find on the Internet or in a bookstore. In this section we cover some of the ones we use most frequently.

Help and Support Center

Windows XP comes with a new feature called the Help and Support Center, which is available directly off the Start menu. It is a great resource of information and it serves as the central location to obtain help information about the operating system, applications, and installed utilities.

Command-Line Tools

If you have any questions about the complete syntax or usage of a command-line tool we use in the book, you should first take a look at the help information available with the tool. The vast majority of CLI tools provide syntax information by simply passing /? as a parameter. For example:

> netsh /?

Microsoft Knowledge Base (MS KB)

The Microsoft Help and Support web site is a great source of information and is home to the Microsoft Knowledge Base (MS KB) articles. Throughout the book we include references to pertinent MS KB articles where you can find more information on a topic. You can find the complete text for a KB article by searching on the KB number at the following web site: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx. You can also append the KB article number to the end of this URL to go directly to the article: http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=.

Microsoft Developers Network (MSDN)

MSDN contains a ton of information on Windows XP and programmatic interfaces such as WMI. Throughout the book we'll sometimes reference MSDN pages in recipes where applicable. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to reference the exact page we're referring to unless we provided the URL or navigation to the page, which would more than likely change by the time this book is printed. Instead, we provide the name of the title of the page, which you can use to search on via the following site: http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/.

Web Sites

These web sites are great starting points for information that helps you perform the tasks covered in this book:

Microsoft Windows XP Home Pages - http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/

This site is the starting point for Windows XP information provided by Microsoft. It contains links to whitepapers, case studies, and tools.

Microsoft Webcasts - http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=fh;EN-US;pwebcst

Webcasts are on-demand audio/video technical presentations that cover a wide range of Microsoft products. There are numerous webcasts related to Windows XP technologies that cover such topics as installing service packs, configuring home networking, and troubleshooting startup and shutdown problems.

Google - http://www.google.com/

Google should be one of your primary starting points for locating information. Google is often quicker and easier to use to search the Microsoft web sites (e.g., MSDN) than the search engines provided on those sites.

MyITForum - http://www.myitforum.com

The MyITForum site has very active online forums for various Microsoft technologies. It also has a large repository of scripts.

LabMice - http://www.labmice.net/

The LabMice web site contains a large collection of links to information on Windows XP including MS KB articles, whitepapers, and other useful web sites.

Robbie Allen's Home Page - http://www.rallenhome.com/

One of the author's personal web sites, which has information about the books he's written and links to download the code contained in each (including this book).

Microsoft Technet Script Center - http://www.microsoft.com/technet/community/scriptcenter/default.mspx

This site contains a large collection of WSH, WMI, and ADSI scripts.


Many of the Windows XP related Microsoft newsgroups are very active and have one or more of Microsoft's Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs) actively responding to questions. If you have a question and can't find an answer, try posting to the pertinent newsgroup.

These are general-purpose Windows XP newsgroups:

  • microsoft.public.windowsxp.general

  • comp.windows.misc

Here are some of the newsgroups that cover a specific Windows XP technology:

  • microsoft.public.windowsxp.configuration_manage

  • microsoft.public.windowsxp.customize

  • microsoft.public.windowsxp.help_and_support

  • microsoft.public.windowsxp.security_admin

  • microsoft.public.windowsxp.setup_deployment

These are the scripting-related newsgroups:

  • microsoft.public.windowsxp.wmi

  • microsoft.public.scripting.vbscript

  • microsoft.public.scripting.wsh

  • microsoft.public.adsi.general

  • microsoft.public.active.directory.interfaces

If you have a question about a particular topic, a good starting point is to search the newsgroups using Google Groups (http://groups.google.com/). Just like Google's web search engine, Google's group search engine is an invaluable resource.


A good way to stay current with the latest industry trends and system administration techniques is by reading magazines. Here are a few good ones you should consider subscribing to:

Windows IT Pro Magazine - http://www.windowsitpro.com/

This is a general-purpose monthly magazine for system administrators who support Microsoft products. The articles contributed by industry experts are informative and provide unique insight into common issues system administrators face.

Windows Scripting Solutions - http://www.winnetmag.com/WindowsScripting/

This is a useful monthly newsletter that covers all aspects of scripting in the Windows environment. You'll see a little bit of everything in this newsletter.

Security Administrator - http://www.winnetmag.com/WindowsSecurityIndex.cfm

Security is an important part of any system administrator's job these days. With this news letter you'll be able to stay abreast of the latest Windows security issues.

Windows XP Cookbook
Windows XP Cookbook (Cookbooks)
ISBN: 0596007256
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2006
Pages: 408

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