Sysinternals Microsoft’s Sysinternals tools are now ”live”. When I read this today, I wondered how this could possibly work. I mean, how can you integrate a bunch of sophisticated system tools in a Web site? I was quite disappointed, when I saw that Sysinternals Live is nothing other than a directory on a Web Server, which contains all of the Sysinternals tools.

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The directory only lists the DOS-style name of the Sysinternals tools. If you are not a Sysinternals geek, you will hardly find your way around in there. So what is the purpose of this? Well, you can launch the Sysinternals tools from the command prompt with \\\tools\<toolname>. This is could be useful, if you work on a desktop where you don’t have your toolbox at hand.

sysinternals_liveBut, on second thought, wouldn’t it be easier just to copy them all to a memory stick? It is not only more convenient to access the tools this way but also faster. The good thing about this directory is that I know now how much space the Sysinternals tools require. You won’t believe it, but it is just 23 MB. See how easy it is to get all this “Live experience” with a cheap USB stick? Now, before you start clicking to download them all, I suggest that you just map “Sysinternals Live” to a drive letter with \\\tools\.

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The reaction on the blogosphere was largely positive, but in my opinion Mark Russinovich is damaging the Live brand with something like this. I expect a little more from “Live” than a simple listing of a couple of tools. If Sysinternals Live would be a Silverlight app containing the documentation of all of the tools, then this would be something really cool.

  1. Avatar
    Beresford 16 years ago

    You can get all these tools in the SysInternal Suite and keep it on your USB drive. This is what I do at the moment.

    I like it because its a easy way of always having the latest version of all the tools available.

  2. Avatar

    Thanks for the tip. I wasn’t aware that the Suite contains all important tools. Only the non-troubleshooting tools are missing. This way you can even save 1MB on your “Sysinternals Live stick”. 😉

  3. Avatar
    Jarred Fehr 16 years ago

    I agree with your thoughts. When I saw it my initial thought was, “WTF?”. I was expecting something… more.

  4. Avatar
    Jim 16 years ago

    There are times when this could come in handy when you’re providing remote support for a server and don’t have physical access to the hardware to plug in your USB drive.

  5. Avatar
    SLam 16 years ago

    I actually setup an internal web server just for this purpose.. at least now I can access it remotely and from anywhere..

    I was expecting more.. but hey, at least this is better than nothing!

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    Jarred, sometimes I wonder if Microsoft is taking the challenge of Google and others seriously. I just hope that the other Live products they are planning will be convincing.

    Jim, you have a point there. But maybe it would be better to just copy all tools to a network share together with the rest of your troubleshooting tools. I agree, though, that there are circumstances where Sysinternals Live could be useful. However, my main critique was that they use the Live brand for this purpose. They could at least have offered a page with a little description of each tool.

    SLam, I wonder why use web server for this purpose and not just a network share?

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    costinel 16 years ago

    too bad that this share cannot be accessed, it just proves how many isps’ are blocking 139 and 445….

    however there’s a web server at and you can quickly wget the updated versions from there.

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    Willie 14 years ago

    I know this is an old post, but I wanted to add a little something to costinel’s last comment. does not use port 445 like you would expect on your local network. Your computer system will try port 445, but when it does not work it next tries WebDAV over port 80, which does work.
    I am on a connection which is not firewalled and can verify that does not have port 445 open to the world.
    You may, however, see this fail if your “Web Client” service in Windows is not running. The service is on by default, but many of us turn turn it off.

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