Project Management

Run Sysinternals tools without manually downloading utility updates

Sysinternals has created some real time-saving utilities over the years. But how do you know you're using the latest version of a utility without constantly looking for updates? Scott Lowe explains how Sysinternals Live makes utility updates a thing of the past.

Sysinternals (which is now a part of Microsoft) has always been highly respected, and a lot of really cool time-saving utilities have come from the group over the years. Until recently, you had to download Sysinternals utilities in order to use them. While far from a hassle, Sysinternals utilities get occasional updates, and it can be difficult to constantly strive to stay up on the latest version of a utility. No more!

Microsoft has implemented a method by which a number of Sysinternals utilities can be run directly from the Web. Dubbed Sysinternals Live, the service lets you execute Sysinternals tools from the Web without manually downloading the tools to your system. Simply enter a tool's Sysinternals Live path into Windows Explorer or a command prompt as http://live.sysinternals.com/<toolname> or \\live.sysinternals.com\tools\<toolname>. 

Behind the scenes, when you use Sysinternals Live, the utility is downloaded and cached; but now, if you reference the online location in a script, for example, you know you're using the latest version of the utility. Create shortcuts on your desktop to the tools and know that you don't need to download the tool to use it.

The utilities run through Sysinternals Live behave just as if the tools are locally installed. Figure A shows a tool I ran on my local machine. Figure A

Sysinternals Live CoreInfo utility

Click the image to enlarge.

For a complete list of tools available through Sysinternals Live, go to http://live.sysinternals.com/.

Security note: Any time you download stuff from the Internet, there is a risk that you'll get more than you want. Although the Sysinternals Live site should be safe, if it does get infected with malware, you could open yourself up.

About Scott Lowe

Since 1994, Scott Lowe has been providing technology solutions to a variety of organizations. After spending 10 years in multiple CIO roles, Scott is now an independent consultant, blogger, author, owner of The 1610 Group, and a Senior IT Executive w...

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