Under the Windows OS Hood

Do you ever wonder what is really happening in the depths of the Windows kernel or with the operating system?  Have you ever wanted to learn the intricacies of how the Windows Operating systems functions, I mean really functions – at the “sub-atomic” level?  Or….do you think you are already the guru on Windows Internals?  In either situation, I have something for you.

First of all – there is a test (as you might guess, given this is about Microsoft Certifications) covering Windows Internals – Exam 70-660, MCTS: Windows Internals.  This exam is not for the casual administrator – this exam is for those rare engineers, developers, or IT staff who work with Windows at a level that requires a very deep and thorough knowledge of Windows Internals.  People planning on taking this test are usually in the upper echelon (read uber geeks) of the technical staff at their companies. These people typically hold positions such as escalation engineer, technical lead, and software design engineer.  These gurus are involved in resolving problems that require a deep understanding of Windows Internals rather than problems about planning and infrastructure development or how to use or configure a product that runs on Windows. This exam will validate their deep technical skills in the area of Windows OS. This exam will challenge you on troubleshooting operating systems that are not performing as expected or applications that are not working correctly, identifying code defects, and developing and debugging applications that run unmanaged code or that are tightly integrated with the operating system, such as Microsoft SQL Server, third party applications, antivirus software, and device drivers.  Still interested?  If so, read on.

Now how can one prepare for such a test?  As always, having hands-on experience is critical in successful preparation to pass this certification test.  But in this case, having “just some hands-on experience” will not be enough to pass this test.  You will need extensive, detailed, hands-on knowledge to pass this test.  Fortunately, there are several excellent materials to use.  The first of these is the Fifth Edition of the Windows Internals book, by Mark Russinovich, David Solomon, and Alex Ionescu (Microsoft Press, 2009).  This is a superb book that delivers in-depth, kernel-level insights into the Windows OS (and incidentally, might be helpful when preparing for Exam 70-660). The second resource is a PDF from Microsoft learning that helps to map exam objectives to content in the Windows Internal book. The third – well, that is up to – time to grab a book, read and study!

I wish you the best of luck!

-Randy

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