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Microsoft beta-tests free online diagnostic tools for Windows

Bare-bones Sysinternals Live lets users launch troubleshooting tools from a browser

May 29, 2008 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - Microsoft Corp. has launched a beta service that lets Windows users launch the Sysinternals library of free diagnostic and troubleshooting tools — including the popular Process Explorer — from a Web browser.

The service, dubbed Sysinternals Live, is in beta, Microsoft said in a brief note posted to the Sysinternals Web site yesterday. "We're excited to announce the beta of Sysinternals Live, a service that enables you to execute Sysinternals tools directly from the Web without hunting for and manually downloading them," the notice read.

Sysinternals, the brand name for more than 70 separate tools, was acquired by Microsoft when it bought Austin-based Winternals Software in mid-2006. Microsoft also brought Winternals' co-founder Mark Russinovich into the company as a technical fellow.

Among the better-known tools in the Sysinternals collection are Process Explorer, an über-Task Manager; Processor Monitor; and RootKitRevealer, which sniffs out signs of rootkit installations by examining the Windows registry.

Users can launch the Sysinternals tools by using the syntax \\\tools\toolname in Windows' Run box. (The name of the tool, as shown on Sysinternals Live, must be substituted for "toolname.") They can also launch the tools from the service's bare-bones Web page; however, some browsers, including Firefox, default to first saving the file, as in a traditional download, and require users to install the utility.

Users can call up any Sysinternals tool free of charge from the service's home page.

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