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What are some free or cheap Windows resources for server admins?

You don't have to break the bank when it comes to finding resources for managing Windows Server.

Books aren't the only resources administrators can use to help troubleshoot their systems. There is a bunch of free (or really cheap) technical content to help manage Windows Server. Here is a selection:

  1. Microsoft TechNet: Windows 8/8.1 Technical Library. TechNet contains the vast majority of Microsoft's technical content and documentation on its operating systems and platforms. You can read all this stuff online for free without a subscription, unlike the old days when you had to have the optical media to get to the good stuff. Find most of what you'll ever need on Windows 8 and 8.1 right here, as told from the official standpoint.
  2. Microsoft TechNet: Windows Server 2012 (R2) Technical Library. Ditto the preceding item, except this material leads you into content for Windows Server 2012 (and the R2 update that coincided with Windows 8.1's release in late 2013). This material is also kept up to date, so it's a great resource for the most current and accurate info that MS has to offer.
  3. For a measly $2 you can buy the continuously updated Windows 8.1 Field Guide, by Paul Thurrott and Rafael Rivera. This self-published e-book makes a good (and inexpensive) alternative to the Pogue title cited above, especially for those on tight budgets. Thurrott is the man behind the Supersite for Windows. This is very much an end-user's reference, but a good source for power-user level tips, tricks and techniques for working with Windows 8.1.

Among these offerings, any Windows admin can up his or her skills and knowledge in working with the desktop and server versions of this redoubtable OS. Read more than one or two of these titles, and you'll be bound to benefit from the experience, especially if you plan to earn (or recertify) for any of the related Windows certification exams from Microsoft Learning.

About the author:
Ed Tittel has been working in IT for over 30 years. He's the author of over 100 computing books, including the Exam Cramseries of certification prep titles. He also blogs regularly for the IT Knowledge Exchange ("
Windows Enterprise Desktop"), PearsonITCertification, GoCertifyand Tom's IT Pro. For more info about Ed, please visit his website at www.edtittel.com.

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