Websites, Resource Kits, Books and Utilities


Terminal, Command Line and console blog - Microsoft Devblogs.
CommandLine.co.uk - Batch File examples and Utilities.
Rob van der Woude.com - Batch files, VBS.
Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC) - Microsoft).
Security Bulletins - Microsoft Security TechCenter.
Old New Thing - Raymond Chen, Microsoft.
Microsoft Update Catalog - Search for specific updates by KB#

ToolKits

Many resource kit tools and utilities will run successfully on multiple versions of Windows. However Active Directory and NTFS have changed significantly over the years so I recommend you only use the tools supported for your platform.

Windows 10 Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) KBase
RSAT includes Active Directory Domain Services Tools and is a replacement for the Adminpak.msi tookits in older versions of Windows.
To install in Windows 10 October 2018 Update or later, run Settings > "Manage optional features" or use DISM /Add-Capability.
For earlier versions enable under Control Panel | Programs and Features | Windows features.

Microsoft Security Compliance Toolkit 1.0 - SetObjectSecurity.exe PolicyAnalyzer and Security Baselines. Release notes.
KB4577586 - Windows Update to remove Adobe Flash (October 2020).

Windows 10 PowerToys (beta) - Including Power Renamer.
ColorTool.exe - Select a terminal color scheme.

Windows 10 Show or hide Windows Updates - Troubleshooter package.
IE 11 Enterprise Mode Site List Manager - Create / Edit an Enterprise Mode Site List XML.
Local Administrator Password Solution (LAPS) - Manage local account passwords across a domain.
Windows 2003 resource Kit (Archive.org 11.8 MB)

Deployment tools

Windows 10 Update Assistant - update to the latest version, includes hardware check.
Windows 10 - ISO download.
Windows 10 Pro for Workstations - With WinFS
Administrative Templates (.admx) for Windows 10 version: 1903, 1909, 2004
Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (Windows ADK) - Customize Windows 10 images for large-scale deployment.
Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) - Automate desktop and server OS deployments.
Upgrade Windows 7 licence to Windows 10.

Package Managers

Chocolatey - Package manager for Windows.
Ninite - Automate software installations and updates.
PC Decrapifier - Remove shovelware.
Windows Package Manager - WINGET - Currently offers 'install only' (no update or uninstall), borged from AppGet.
WPM will ship in June 2021 as an automatic update via the Microsoft Store for all devices running Windows 10, version 1809 and later.

Other Windows Toolkits:

Sysinternals Suite - Download the Sysinternals utilities.
Account Lockout Status (LockoutStatus.exe) - Display lockout information for a particular user account (Aug 2012).
Account Lockout and Management Tools - Includes LockoutStatus, plus tools to troubleshoot account lockouts, and display password ages(Aug 2012).
Microsoft Security Compliance Toolkit 1.0 - Microsoft-recommended security configuration baselines for Windows 10.
How to disable SMB 1 (or 2/3 for testing) - Instructions for all versions of Windows Server & workstation.
File, Folder and Share Permission Utility Tool - Enumerate all the permissions, Technet/Monimoy Sanyal.
File Checksum Integrity Verifier (2015 archive of 2004 utility) - Compute and verify cryptographic hash values for files. This can now be done by CERTUTIL, but FCIV also has options to recurse into subdirectories, exclude files and the ability to save/list/verify checksums in an XML database. Unsupported.
Policy Analyzer from Aaron Margosis - Compare sets of Group Policy Objects (GPOs). Highlight redundant settings or internal inconsistencies.
Group Policy Management Console SP1 & Group Policy Object Settings spreadsheet 2003/2008/2008R2/Win7.
Local Administrator Password Solution (LAPS) - Manage local account passwords of domain joined computers (howto).
Windows 10 PowerToys - FancyZones / Shortcut Key Guide / Batch file renamer / Process terminate tool / Animated gif screen recorder.

Recommended Books.

[ Full disclosure: I get a finder's fee on stuff you buy from Amazon.com by clicking through this website.
That doesn't cost you anything, but the commissions help to keep the site running ]

Batchography Batchography: The Art of Batch Files Programming
by Elias Bachaalany, 2016
Discover the lost art of Batch file programming, start with the basics of manipulating numbers, strings and variables and move on to looping operations, recursion, debugging and troubleshooting of your scripts. The final chapter has a number of batch file recipes: parsing .ini files, creating interactive menus and more. Highly recommended.

Windows Troubleshooting Book Troubleshooting with the Windows Sysinternals Tools (2nd Edition) - (Hive UK)
by Mark E. Russinovich
Guidance and inside insights for the Windows Sysinternals tools. Guided by Sysinternals creator Mark Russinovich and Windows expert Aaron Margosis

Windows Internals Windows Internals, Part 1 (2017) - (Hive UK) and Part2 (2019) - (Hive UK)
by Mark E. Russinovich, David A. Solomon and Alex Ionescu
Insider perspectives and hands-on experiments to demonstrate how Windows operates.

Windows missing manual Windows 10: The Missing Manual - (Hive UK)
by David Pogue
An enjoyable but still very detailed read with lot's of good tips and keyboard shortcuts.

Mastering Windows Server 2012 R2 Mark Minasi's Mastering Windows Server 2012 R2
by Mark Minasi.

Comprehensive and understandable guide. Improve the performance and manageability of your network.

Windows NT Shell Scripting
by Tim Hill.

First published in 1998 so no mention of VBS or PowerShell, despite this it's still a solid introduction to writing batch files under Windows. Sample chapter.

Also see - Recommended VBScript Books

Utilities - Command line

SysInternals - Microsoft System utilities.

Caffeine.exe - Prevent your computer from going to sleep.
Console 2 - Windows console emulator for CMD and/or PowerShell (review)
ConEmu-Maximus5 - Windows console emulator for CMD and/or PowerShell (review)
CommandLine.co.uk - Useful tools (free Win32 utilities - mostly console).
CopyTrans Manager - Add music to an iPhone without iTunes.
CryptoPrevent - A Group Policy to block executables from specific paths.
Cygwin - Linux-like environment for Windows, tutorial: 1, 2, 3
DOFF - Print a formatted date and time, with an optional date offset, e.g. -1 prints yesterday, +1 prints tomorrow. (source + BSD licence).
FastCopy - An alternative to RoboCopy.
Frank P. Westlake mirror of older console utilities.
Gow - Lightweight UNIX utilities compiled as native win32 binaries.
ImageMagick - Edit/Convert bitmap images(PNG, JPEG, GIF) on the command line (scripts)
Jason Hood - Utilities including Search & Replace, Date/Time, ANSI escape recognition for CMD.
Joeware.net - Admin, AD and Exchange tools.
Nirsoft Utilities and NirCMD freeware Command-Line Tool.
Npocmaka - Batch scripts, zipjs.bat + others.
PDFtk - Command-line tool for processing PDFs.
Petter Nordahl-Hagen - Offline Windows Password & Registry Editor.
pretentiousname - Utilities by Leo Davidson.
Repl.bat - FInd and Replace text, JScript/Batch script.
FindRepl.bat - FInd and Replace text, JScript/Batch script.
SetRes - Set screen resolution (Ian Sharpe).
SoX - Sound processing command line utility.
Bill Stewart - Batch script and Windows admin tools (TrueLast LogonTime).
SetACL - Utility to manage permissions, auditing and ownership (free).
System Tools - Dump Event Log, Registry or Security info.
WebP utilities - encode/decode WebP animated images, Google.
Wake On Lan Command Line: Depicus / Gammadyne / Nirsoft / PowerShell Wake On LAN script
Windows Terminal (App Store) + GitHub

GUI Applications

Agent Ransack - File Search (search all file types).
AIMP3 - Fully featured free music player.
Autohotkey - Automate keystrokes, mouse clicks and more.
AutoIT - GUI scripting.

Brackets - Open source HTML/CSS code editor.

Calc.exe - The old Windows calculator from Windows 2003. [Github]
CamStudio - Record screen and audio activity on your computer.
Clonezilla - Partition and disk imaging/cloning program.
CPU-Z - gather information on system devices.

Dban - Darik's Boot and Nuke, a boot CD that securely wipes hard disks.
Event Sentry - Event log monitoring.
Everything - Locate files and folders by name instantly.

FTP - Cyberduck - FTP client .
FTP - FileZilla - FTP client [Warning: some official builds contain malware] (also via Ninite)
FTP - WinSCP - Free SFTP, SCP and FTP client for Windows .

Flash uninstall - EOL Date= Dec 2020
Firefox Enterprise - with Windows Group Policy support.
Foobar 2000 - freeware audio player.
FreeCAD - Sketch 2D shapes and create high quality drawings / 3D models.
Glasswire - Firewall with network monitoring.
Inkscape - Vector Graphics (Illustrator).
imgburn.com - Free CD/DVD/Blu-ray burner (MajorGeeks link to avoid OpenCandy malware).
iTunes 7 - (Old Version) Minimal 32 bit media player, unsupported but still works on Windows 10.
Krita - Open Source photo/graphics editor.

Lansweeper - Network Monitoring.
Lost NT password
MalwareBytes - Anti Malware, detect and remove worms, Trojans, rootkits, etc.
Metapad - Simple notepad replacement.
Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator - Remap keys.
Notepad++ - Notepad replacement (n.b. the syntax highlighting for parentheses in CMD/BAT files is faulty.)

O&O ShutUp10 - Portable app to control security & privacy settings.
OBS Studio - Free and open source software for video recording and live streaming.
PDFill - Create, Fill, Edit, Delete and Submit PDF Form Fields.
Photoshop Elements - Basic photo editing and organisation.

Netikus - Password, Ping, FTP, event log alerts.
PhotoRec - Data recovery software - hard disk, CD-ROM & Memory Cards.
Pinboard.in - Bookmarking + app SimplePin
PuTTY - Free Telnet/SSH Client.

Rapid Environment Editor - Edit environment variables, donationware.
RawTherapee - Raw image processing.
Recuva - Recover deleted files.
Servers Alive - Network monitoring.
Shotcutapp - free, open source, cross-platform video editor.
SoftPerfect - Search, Scan for open file shares and other utils.
Sumatra - PDF viewer.
SyncBack - GUI Backup and synchronize files.

TeamViewer - Screen sharing/Remote control (Mac/PC/Linux.)
Textadept - cross-platform text editor.
TightVNC - Remote control.
Trinity Rescue Kit - Live Linux distribution for recovery and repair operations on Windows machines.

WinAmp 2.95 - Old but still usable MP3 player.
WinMerge - open source WinDiff
VirtualBox - Open Source virtualisation for Windows, Linux, Macintosh, and Solaris.
VLC Media Player - Free versatile media player.
VueScan - Scanner Software.
WSUS Offline Update - Microsoft updates without an internet connection.
Wink - Capture screenshots/video, add help text.
Zero Assumption Recovery - data recovery.
Find more utilities, or add you own over in the forum

Related

Usenet - news: alt.msdos.batch.nt
DosTips forum
The Scripting Guys Forum - a mix of VBScript, Batch and PowerShell.
SS64 - Windows CMD discussion Forum

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