Free e-books for Windows administrators [updated]

This is a list of free e-books that are useful for Windows administrators. It will be regularly updated. I added 15 new free books from Microsoft and Microsoft Press. Eric Ligman published an impressive list of free Microsoft ebooks. Many books in this list were already included in the 4sysops list. I added those books that were still missing, but only included books that are relevant for Windows admins. I didn't add documents that have more the character of flyers or which appeared to be too specific to me. Nevertheless, I recommend skimming through the largest collection of FREE Microsoft eBooks ever.

Michael PietroforteMVP By Michael Pietroforte - Tue, July 22, 2014 - 15 comments google+ icon

Michael Pietroforte is the founder and editor of 4sysops. He is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) with more than 30 years of experience in system administration.

Contents of this article
  1. ADMT Guide: Migrating and Restructuring Active Directory Domains
  2. Migrate Roles and Features to Windows Server 2012 R2 or Windows Server 2012
  3. Virtual Desktop Infrastructure – A Deployment Guide for Education
  4. Rethinking Enterprise Storage: A Hybrid Cloud Model
  5. Microsoft Lync Server 2013: Basic Administration – Release 2.1
  6. System Center: Designing Orchestrator Runbooks
  7. Windows PowerShell Networking Guide
  8. The Big Book of PowerShell Gotchas
  9. The Big Book of PowerShell Error Handling
  10. Explore SharePoint 2013
  11. Deployment guide for SharePoint 2013
  12. Deployment Guide for Office 2013
  13. Windows Store Apps – A Deployment Guide for Education
  14. Windows 8.1 Deployment to PCs – A Guide for Education
  15. Windows 8.1 Deployment Planning – A Guide for Education
  16. Microsoft System Center: Integrated Cloud Platform
  17. Introducing Microsoft Azure HDInsight
  18. How To: BYOD Project – Volume 1: The Desktop
  19. Introducing Microsoft SQL Server 2014
  20. Microsoft System Center: Network Virtualization and Cloud Computing
  21. Microsoft System Center: Building a Virtualized Network Solution
  22. Introducing Microsoft System Center 2012 R2
  23. Microsoft System Center: Optimizing Service Manager
  24. Microsoft System Center: Cloud Management with App Controller
  25. Microsoft System Center: Troubleshooting Configuration Manager
  26. Introducing Windows Server 2012 R2 Technical Overview
  27. Introducing Windows 8.1 for IT Professionals
  28. Microsoft System Center: Configuration Manager Field Experience
  29. Introducing Windows Azure for IT Professionals
  30. Introducing Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview Release
  31. Introducing Windows 8: An Overview for IT Professionals
  32. Secrets of PowerShell Remoting
  33. Introducing Windows Server 2012
  34. Introducing Microsoft SQL Server 2012
  35. Security and Privacy for Microsoft Office Users
  36. Microsoft Office 365: Connect and Collaborate Virtually Anywhere, Anytime
  37. Windows 7 Power Users Guide
  38. Introducing Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2
  39. Administrator’s Guide to Windows PowerShell Remoting
  40. The SysAdmin Handbook
  41. Understanding Microsoft Virtualization Solutions (Second Edition)
  42. The Complete Windows 7 Shortcuts eBook
  43. Introducing Windows Server 2008 R2
  44. Windows Server 2008 R2 Essentials
  45. Hyper-V Essentials
  46. First Look Microsoft Office 2010
  47. Deploying Windows 7 Essential Guidance
  48. Planning and architecture for Office SharePoint Server 2007
  49. Effective Windows PowerShell: The Free eBook
  50. TCP/IP Fundamentals for Microsoft Windows
  51. TCP/IP Tutorial and Technical Overview
  52. Introduction to Storage Area Networks
  53. Microsoft Windows Server System Deployment Guide for Midsize Businesses eBook
  54. Layman’s Guide to PowerShell 2.0 remoting
  55. WMI query language (WQL) via PowerShell
  56. The Administrator Crash Course: Windows PowerShell v2
  57. VMM 2008 Essentials
  58. Xen Virtualization Essentials
  59. Security Concepts Book
  60. Security+ Essentials
  61. Windows Server 2008 Essentials
  62. Windows Server 2008 R2 – Das umfassende Handbuch

If you know of another good free e-book that could be of interest for Windows administrators, please post the link as a comment below or send me an email.

I will update this page regularly, so you might want to bookmark it. If you spot a book that is no longer available as a free e-book, please let me know.

The books I added most recently are at the top of the list.

ADMT Guide: Migrating and Restructuring Active Directory Domains

Justin Hall, Microsoft, 2014

This guide assists Active Directory administrators in performing domain migration through the use of the Active Directory Migration Tool version 3.2 (ADMT v3.2). ADMT v3.2 has recently been updated and re-released. The version remains v3.2 because it’s functionally the same as its predecessor (that is, there are no new features). This final release includes various bug fixes and can be used with all supported Windows operating systems and versions of Windows Server Active Directory.

Migrate Roles and Features to Windows Server 2012 R2 or Windows Server 2012

Microsoft, 2014

This E-Book includes guidance to help you migrate server roles and  features to Windows Server 2012 R2 or Windows Server 2012. Also included is an
installation and operations guide for Windows Server Migration Tools, a set of five  Windows PowerShell cmdlets that can be used to migrate some roles and features to Windows Server 2012 R2 or Windows Server 2012

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure – A Deployment Guide for Education

Microsoft, 2014

Although many of the topics discussed in this guide are applicable to VDI in Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012, or Windows MultiPoint Server 2012,
this guide focuses on VDI in Windows Server 2012 R2.

Rethinking Enterprise Storage: A Hybrid Cloud Model

Marc Farley, Microsoft Press, 2013

Rethinking Enterprise Storage: A Hybrid Cloud Model describes a storage architecture that some experts are calling a game changer in the infrastructure industry. Called the Microsoft hybrid cloud storage (HCS) solution, it was developed as a way to integrate cloud storage services with traditional enterprise storage.

Microsoft Lync Server 2013: Basic Administration – Release 2.1

Fabrizio Volpe, Microsoft, 2014

Lync 2013 server is a unified communication system. Lync is able to deliver instant messaging (IM), audio conferencing, video conferencing, multi-party high-resolution meetings and voice over ip (VOIP), as well as persistent chat. You can integrate Lync with the public switched telephone network (PSTN) to offer full telephony features and to replace existing IP PBX.

System Center: Designing Orchestrator Runbooks

David Ziembicki, Aaron Cushner, Andreas Rynes and the System Center series editor, Mitch Tulloch, Microsoft Press, 2013

Our objective with this book is to provide a framework for runbook design and IT process automation to help you get the most out of System Center Orchestrator 2012 and to help you utilize Orchestrator in concert with the rest of the System Center for an enterprise-wide and systematic approach to process automation.

Windows PowerShell Networking Guide

PowerShell.org, Ed Wilson

The Big Book of PowerShell Gotchas

PowerShell.org, Don Jones

The Big Book of PowerShell Error Handling

PowerShell.org, Dave Wyatt

Error handling in Windows PowerShell can be a complex topic. The goal of this book – which is fortunately not as “big” as the name implies – is to help clarify some of that complexity, and help you do a better and more concise job of handling errors in your scripts.

Explore SharePoint 2013

Microsoft, 2012

This book provides information about what’s new in SharePoint 2013. The audiences for this book include application specialists, line-of-business application specialists, and IT administrators who want to know more about SharePoint 2013.

Deployment guide for SharePoint 2013

Microsoft, 2012

This book provides deployment instructions for SharePoint 2013. The audiences for this book include application specialists, line-of-business application specialists, and IT administrators who are ready to deploy SharePoint 2013.

Deployment Guide for Office 2013

Microsoft, 2012

This book provides deployment instructions for Office 2013. The audiences for this book include application specialists, line-of-business application specialists, and IT administrators who are ready to deploy Office 2013.

Windows Store Apps – A Deployment Guide for Education

Microsoft, 2014

Explore Windows Store app deployment strategies and considerations for educational institutions running Windows 8.1/Windows 8.

Windows 8.1 Deployment to PCs – A Guide for Education

Microsoft, 2014

This guide provides an overview of Windows 8.1/Windows 8 deployment to PCs in an educational environment.

Windows 8.1 Deployment Planning – A Guide for Education

Microsoft, 2014

This guide covers the key considerations and questions that should be answered as a part of a typical Windows 8.1/Windows 8 deployment in educational institutions.

Microsoft System Center: Integrated Cloud Platform

David Ziembicki and Mitch Tulloch, Microsoft Press, 2014

Microsoft System Center: Integrated Cloud Platform is targeted toward IT executives and architects interested in the big picture of how Microsoft’s cloud strategy is delivered using Windows and Microsoft System Center.

Introducing Microsoft Azure HDInsight

Avkash Chauhan, Valentine Fontama, Michele Hart, Wee Hyong Tok, and Buck Woody, Microsoft Press, 2014

In Introducing Microsoft Azure HDInsight, we cover what big data really means, how you can use it to your advantage in your company or organization, and one of the services you can use to do that quickly—specifically, Microsoft’s HDInsight service.

How To: BYOD Project – Volume 1: The Desktop

Douglas A. Brown, 2014

Volume 1 covers Citrix DesktopPlayer for Mac and XenClient Enterprise Synchronizer, including Hyper-V 2012 R2 and FSLogix Apps.

Introducing Microsoft SQL Server 2014

Ross Mistry and Stacia Misner, Microsoft Press, April 2014

This book is for anyone who has an interest in SQL Server 2014 and wants to understand its capabilities.

Microsoft System Center: Network Virtualization and Cloud Computing

Mitch Tulloch with Nader Benmessaoud, CJ Williams, Uma Mahesh Mudigonda, Microsoft Press, March 2014

This brief book identifies some key usage and deployment scenarios for cloud computing to provide some deep technical background on the Microsoft SDN (software-defined networking) solution, enabling IT professionals to quickly learn the internals of HNV (Hyper-V Network Virtualization), how it works from end to end, and where and how it should be used.

Microsoft System Center: Building a Virtualized Network Solution

Mitch Tulloch with Nigel Cain, Alvin Morales, Michel Luescher, Damian Flynn, Microsoft Press February 2014

This book is geared to private and hybrid cloud architects preparing to design and build a virtualized network solution based on Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012 SP1, or later.

Introducing Microsoft System Center 2012 R2

Mitch Tulloch with Symon Perriman and the System Center Team, Microsoft Press December 2013

The capabilities of each component of System Center 2012 R2 are first described and then demonstrated chapter by chapter.

Microsoft System Center: Optimizing Service Manager

Thomas Ellermann, Kathleen Wilson, Karsten Nielsen, John Clark, Microsoft Press December 2013

This book provides focused guidance for deploying and customizing Service Manager, an integrated platform for automating and adapting an organization’s IT service management best practices.

Microsoft System Center: Cloud Management with App Controller

Yung Chou and Keith Mayer, and the System Center series editor Mitch Tulloch, Microsoft Press 2013

Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 App Controller is uniquely positioned as both an enabler and a self-service vehicle for connecting clouds and implementing the hybrid computing model.

Microsoft System Center: Troubleshooting Configuration Manager

Rushi Faldu, Manoj Kumar Pal, Andre Della Monica, Kaushal Pandey, Mitch Tulloch, Microsoft Press 2013

Provides you with insights and tips on troubleshooting System Center 2012 Configuration Manager drawn from our insider knowledge and real-world field experience.

Introducing Windows Server 2012 R2 Technical Overview

Mitch Tulloch with the Windows Server Team, Microsoft Press, 2013

This book is intended to provide you with an overview of the new features and enhancements introduced in Windows Server 2012 R2. The intended audience for this book is IT pros who deploy, manage, and maintain Windows Server workloads in data center, private cloud, and hosting provider environments.

Introducing Windows 8.1 for IT Professionals

Ed Bott, Microsoft Press, 2013

This book focuses on things that are new, with a special emphasis on topics of interest to IT pros

Microsoft System Center: Configuration Manager Field Experience

Rushi Faldu, Manish Raval, Brandon Linton, Kaushal Pandey, Microsoft Press, 2013

Provides System Center 2012 Configuration Manager administrators with helpful and tested real-world guidance from consultants and product experts at Microsoft.

Introducing Windows Azure for IT Professionals

Mitch Tulloch with the Windows Azure Team, Microsoft Press, 2013

Most Windows Azure services are described in some detail, with screenshots used to demonstrate some of the multitude of capabilities of the platform.

Introducing Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview Release

Mitch Tulloch with the Windows Server Team, Microsoft Press, 2013

This book is intended to provide you with a “first look” at the new features and enhancements coming in Windows Server 2012 R2. Because the book is based on the Preview release of this platform, it’s possible some information might change between now and release-to-manufacturing (RTM) later this year.

Introducing Windows 8: An Overview for IT Professionals

Jerry Honeycutt, Microsoft Press, November 21, 2012

Get a headstart evaluating Window 8—guided by a Windows expert who’s worked extensively with the software since the preview releases. Based on final, release-to-manufacturing (RTM) software, this book introduces new features and capabilities, with scenario-based insights demonstrating how to plan for, implement, and maintain Windows 8 in an enterprise environment. Get the high-level information you need to begin preparing your deployment now.

Secrets of PowerShell Remoting

Don Jones, August 2012

Step-by-step, screenshot-based instructions for configuring PowerShell Remoting for any imaginable scenario

Introducing Windows Server 2012

Mitch Tulloch, Microsoft Press, June 8, 2012

Introducing Windows Server 2012 is 256 pages and includes 5 chapters loaded with insider information from the Windows Server Team.

Introducing Microsoft SQL Server 2012

Ross Mistry, Stacia Misner, Microsoft Press, March 28, 2012

We are releasing this title to help you learn about the new features and capabilities in SQL Server 2012, which Microsoft released to manufacturing (RTM) on March 6, 2012. You can expect general availability of the product to begin on April 1, 2012.

Security and Privacy for Microsoft Office Users

Mitch Tulloch, Microsoft Press April 30, 2012

Take control—and put the built-in security and privacy features in Microsoft Office to work!

Microsoft Office 365: Connect and Collaborate Virtually Anywhere, Anytime

Katherine Murray, Microsoft Press, 2011

This book shows you how you can use cloud computing—and ­specifically, ­Office 365—to get more done, collaborate more easily, and work more ­flexibly than you ever have before.

Windows 7 Power Users Guide

Mike Halsey, The long climb, May 2011

The Windows 7 Power Users Guide contains helpful how-to’s, full colour pictures and quick tips to guide you through everything from using the Start Menu and Taskbar to backing up your documents and identifying and fixing problems.

Introducing Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2

Ross Mistry and Stacia Misner, Microsoft Press, April 2010

Our purpose in Introducing Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 is to point out both
the new and the improved in the latest version of SQL Server.

Administrator’s Guide to Windows PowerShell Remoting

March 2010

This guide helps users understand the concepts of remoting and provides essential and practical advice on setup, deployment and security.

The SysAdmin Handbook

Red Gate Software, March, 2010

A collection of articles about Exchange, Virtualization, Windows Server, Powershell, and Unified Messaging

Understanding Microsoft Virtualization Solutions (Second Edition)

Mitch Tulloch, Microsoft Press, February 2010

Hyper-V and Remote Desktop Services in Windows Server 2008 R2, Microsoft Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, Microsoft Application Virtualization 4.5, Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization, Windows Virtual PC and Windows XP Mode, System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008, and Microsoft’s private and public cloud computing platforms including Windows Azure

The Complete Windows 7 Shortcuts eBook

Nitgin Agarwal, The Windows Club, February 2010
More than 200 keyboard shortcuts containing almost all the keyboard shortcuts that are available in Windows 7 and its default programs like Paint, WordPad, MS Office, Calculator, Help, Media Player, Media Center, Windows Journal, Internet Explorer

Introducing Windows Server 2008 R2

Charlie Russel and Craig Zacker, Microsoft Press, 2010

Focuses on what is new and important, while giving you the context from Windows Server 2008 Chapters: What’s New, Installation and Configuration, Hyper-V, Remote Desktop Services and VDI, Active Directory, The File Services Role, IIS 7.5, DirectAccess and Network Policy Server, Other Features and Enhancements

Windows Server 2008 R2 Essentials

Neil Smyth, Techtopia, 2010

Installing, configuring and administering Windows Server 2008 R2 systems including installation and upgrades, networking configuration, remote desktop services, disk and partition management, RAID configuration, security, BitLocker encryption, remote desktop access, print services, resource sharing, clustering, load balancing and user permission management

Hyper-V Essentials

Neil Smyth, Virtuatopia, 2010

Overview of the Hyper-V architecture and components, Hyper-V role installation, the creation, management and migration of virtual machines, virtual networking architecture and remote access to virtual machines.

First Look Microsoft Office 2010

Katherine Murray, Microsoft Press, 2010

Introduces you to the changes in Office 2010,  how-to guide for many of the top features, provides examples for integrating the applications and explores Office 2010 security and training opportunities

Deploying Windows 7 Essential Guidance

Mitch Tulloch, Tony Northrup, Jerry Honeycutt, Ed Wilson, and the Windows 7 Team at Microsoft, Microsoft Press, October 2009

Download the New eBook: Deploying Windows® 7 Essential Guidance from the Windows 7 Resource Kit and Microsoft® TechNet Magazine. Looking for guidance specific to Windows 7 deployment? Check out what the industry’s leading experts have to say in this free Microsoft Press eBook with selected chapters from the Windows 7 Resource Kit on Deployment Platforms, Planning, Testing Application Compatibility.

Planning and architecture for Office SharePoint Server 2007

Microsoft Technet, March 2009

The audiences for this book are business application specialists, line-of-business specialists, information architects, IT generalists, program managers, and infrastructure specialists who are planning a solution based on Office SharePoint Server 2007

Effective Windows PowerShell: The Free eBook

Keith Hill

I’ve gotten some requests to turn my Effective PowerShell blog posts into booklet form which I have done.

TCP/IP Fundamentals for Microsoft Windows

Microsoft, 2008

Introductory approach to the basic concepts and principles of the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) protocol suite, how the most important protocols function, and their basic configuration in the Microsoft Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003 families of operating systems

TCP/IP Tutorial and Technical Overview

Lydia Parziale, David T. Britt, Chuck Davis, Jason Forrester, Wei Liu, Carolyn Matthews, Nicolas Rosselot, IBM Redbooks, December 2006

Chapters: Core TCP/IP protocols (including IPv6), TCP/IP application protocols, Advanced concepts and new technologies

Introduction to Storage Area Networks

Jon Tate, Fabiano Lucchese, Richard Moore, IBM Rebooks, July 2006

Illustrates where SANs are today, who are the main industry organizations and standard bodies active in the SAN world, and it positions IBM’s comprehensive, best-of-breed approach of enabling SANs with its products and services.

Microsoft Windows Server System Deployment Guide for Midsize Businesses eBook

Microsoft, 2005

Step-by-step deployment instructions for the Microsoft server products that are most relevant to a midsize business (50-250 PCs), in one easy-to-read format

Layman’s Guide to PowerShell 2.0 remoting

Ravikanth Chaganti

WMI query language (WQL) via PowerShell

Ravikanth Chaganti

Table of contents: Introduction, Tools for the job, WMI Data queries, WMI Event Queries: Introduction, Intrinsic Event Queries, Extrinsic Event Queries, Timer Events, WMI Schema Queries, WMI Event consumers.

The Administrator Crash Course: Windows PowerShell v2

Don Jones

Microsoft MVP Don Jones offers a new book entitled The Administrator Crash Course: Windows PowerShell v2. Covering the most crucial elements of PowerShell v2, Don has constructed a set of practical tips and practice.

VMM 2008 Essentials

Virtuatopia

Chapters: VMM 2008 Components, VMM 2008 Architecture and Port Usage, VMM 2008 System Requirements, Installing VMM 2008 Components, A Guided Tour of the VMM Administrator Console, Managing Hosts with the VMM Administrator Console, Creating and Managing VMM 2008 Virtual Machine Templates, Managing Virtual Machines with the VMM Administrator Console, Managing VMM 2008 Library Servers, Performing Physical to Virtual (P2V) Conversions using VMM 2008, Converting VMware Virtual Machines to Hyper-V using VMM 2008 V2V, Understanding and Configuring VMM 2008 User Roles, Deploying a VMM 2008 Self-Service Portal

Xen Virtualization Essentials

Virtuatopia

Understanding of the basic approaches to virtualization together with detailed information on deploying virtualization using Xen technology; emphasizes the practical aspects of working with Xen, including detailed step by step tutorials designed to show exactly how to create and manage Xen based guest domains.

Security Concepts Book

Theodore Parker

Examines the typical problems in computer security and related areas, and attempt to extract from them principles for defending systems; attempt to synthesize various fields of knowledge, including computer security, network security, cryptology, and intelligence

Security+ Essentials

Techotopia

Provide the knowledge needed by IT professionals to pass the CompTIA Security+ exam; largely platform agnostic book

Windows Server 2008 Essentials

Techotopia

Cover all aspects of installing, configuring and administering Windows Server 2008: installation and upgrades, networking configuration, terminal services, disk and partition management, RAID configuration, security, BitLocker encryption, remote desktop access, print services, resource sharing, clustering, load balancing and user permission management.

German

Windows Server 2008 R2 – Das umfassende Handbuch

Ulrich B. Boddenberg, Galileo Computing
Lösungsorientiertes und praktisches Handbuch zum Windows Server 2008 R2 mit zahlreichen fundierten Hintergrundinformationen
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15 Comments- Leave a Reply

  1. Alexej says:

    Great overview!
    And here is a german W2K8S R2 admin book:
    http://openbook.galileocomputing.de/windows_server_2008/
    There are some other free IT related e-books…

  2. Alexej, thanks! I added the book to the list.

  3. Ron says:

    Great list, when you say you will be updating this list will you be updating this page, or providing links from this page to the new versions?

    Thanks, it keep up.

  4. Ron, thanks. I will update this page and I will also post links to new books on Twitter, Facebook and through the news service.

  5. Francisco Almeida says:

    Fantastic list of books.

    Unfortunately the “Techtopia” books aren’t available in PDF.

    If anyone have this books in PDF, please let me know.

    I will try to get also more books to the list.

    Keep the good work Michael.

  6. Jim says:

    The following books were not free, but were pretty cheap to purchase:
    Windows Server 2008 R2 Essentials
    Security + Essentials
    Hyper-V Essentials

  7. Lisa says:

    Thanks so much Michael. Great list, so helpful esp server books.

  8. Francisco,

    the Techtopia books are available as PDF, but then you have to pay.

    Jim,

    only the PDF and ePub versions are not free. The HMTL versions of the Virtuatopia books are free.

    Lisa, you are welcome.

  9. Jason says:

    With a little effort you can convert different formats to PDF if really necessary. Although, depending on the size it may not be practical.

  10. lewis says:

    this collection is truly awesome. http://www.myfree-ebooks.org also has great ebooks like this

  11. Alexej, thanks! Added it to the list.

  12. Temitayo says:

    Thanks Micheal. Keep the good going. Bless you.

  13. Paul Csiki says:

    Thanks Michael for this collection. I really needed some of them right now.

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