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70-640 - How to understand the questions? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi

    I'm having some problems figuring out the logic used by MS on their exam questions. I had MCSE+Internet for NT4, but then worked with SAP for several years. Now I wish to return to the MS platform and have read several books to update my skills to W2K8R2. I feel I should be getting close to exam ready, but when taking practice exams I'm constantly fooled by the questions. Does anyone know a good "thought process" to use when reading the questions?

    Here's an example of what I mean from Sybex's Exam Cram

    Q: Which of the following pieces of information should you have before you begin the Active Directory Installation Wizard? (Choose all that apply)

    A: Active Directory Domain Name

    B: Administrator password for the local computer

    C: NetBIOS name for the server

    D: DNS configuration information

    According to Sybex the answer is all of the above, but I disagree.

    B: "Administrator" is a specific account on each server, if I am setting up a Domain Controller it's pretty likely that my user account is a member of Domain Admins and hence of the Administrators security group on the local server, thus I wouldn't need the "Administrator" password for the local computer. On the other hand, if I'm not a Domain Admin, the local "Administrator" account wouldn't be sufficient to create a DC since that account will have no rights to add the server to the Domain Controllers OU.

    C: Though the server must have a NetBIOS name, at no point does the Wizard ask you for this name (unless the same name is found during the NetBIOS check), so does the question infer that "a NetBIOS name must exist" or that the installing operator "must know what the host is named"?

    D: What does "DNS configuration information" even mean? That you have decided whether to include the DNS role on the DC (assuming it's not the first in the domain)? If you have already configured the DNS settings of a NIC connected to the relevant subnet?

    I may sound like a politician arguing about the meaning of the word "is", if so I apologize, but I'm really having trouble grasping the thought process behind these questions. Is it the use of the word "should" in the question that is supposed to tell me to "include everything even remotely connected"? Or is it a general concept that the answers must include all aspects that has to be in place before running whatever specific configuration aspect the question is actually pointing to, in this case dcpromo?

    TIA

    Dennis

    Tuesday, April 10, 2012 10:27 AM

Answers

  • Hi Dennis,

    Without knowing the full context of the question, I would say it's worded as though you have NO existing AD structure and this would be the first DC in a new forest.  Therefore you would need to create a password for the domain admin account, give the domain a netbios name for older compatibility and have in mind the DNS configuration you want to implement at the same time. Therefore "all of the above" would be correct.


    Paul Turner http://redmanta.co.uk/blog Twitter: @RedMantaUK MCTS:WSS,MOSS,2010 MCITP:2010.
    Please remember to click "Mark As Answer" if a post solves your problem or "Vote As Helpful" if it was useful.


    Tuesday, April 10, 2012 10:37 AM

All replies

  • Hi Dennis,

    Without knowing the full context of the question, I would say it's worded as though you have NO existing AD structure and this would be the first DC in a new forest.  Therefore you would need to create a password for the domain admin account, give the domain a netbios name for older compatibility and have in mind the DNS configuration you want to implement at the same time. Therefore "all of the above" would be correct.


    Paul Turner http://redmanta.co.uk/blog Twitter: @RedMantaUK MCTS:WSS,MOSS,2010 MCITP:2010.
    Please remember to click "Mark As Answer" if a post solves your problem or "Vote As Helpful" if it was useful.


    Tuesday, April 10, 2012 10:37 AM
  • I'm having some problems figuring out the logic used by MS on their exam questions.

    Just a point of clarification. Microsoft is not the publisher of Sybex's Exam Cram's, Sybex is.  Therefore it’s Sybex’s logic you’re trying to understand, not Microsoft's :-)

    As per Paul's reply, it sounds as if the question is referring to setting up a new AD, not configuring additional servers joining an existing AD


    When you see answers and helpful posts, please click Vote As Helpful, Propose As Answer, and/or Mark As Answer

    Jeff Wharton
    MSysDev (C.Sturt), MDbDsgnMgt (C.Sturt), MCT, MCPD, MCSD, MCITP, MCDBA
    Blog: Mr. Wharty's Ramblings
    Twitter: @Mr_Wharty
    MC ID: Microsoft Transcript

    Tuesday, April 10, 2012 11:02 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi

    I chose the Sybex question as it was the simplest one that I failed, but the MS Press book has the same kind of issues. Paul used a telling expression, "without knowing the full context", and that's just it - there is no context per se in the question, but I'm pretty sure there is an underlying one that I'm not grasping yet. I'm not looking for a brain dump, just a general strategy for interpreting the questions. At the moment I'm expecting a purely theoretical bent from MS.

    F.ex. I will frequently use dsadd when I get an Exel sheet of new users. Practice questions will always say to use csvde since it "can read Excel files", but in practice I find it much better to use CONCATENATE in Excel and export to a batch file, and I don't know anyone who would actually use csvde instead since it's so limited. As a result I get caught in adding "what if" and thereby going down the wrong trail. (I've seen several questions like this one and none of them mentioned that you have to re-save the "Excel file" as csv either, though csvde doesn't read .xls or .xlsx).

    Should I assume that anything not specifically mentioned in a question is more or less by definition "not configured yet" and therefore look for the lowest common denominator? (As in the way a teacher talks to pupils versus the way a professor talks to students?) Or would I be better off concentrating on the specific task only? The latter seems more natural to me, but it's also why I failed the mentioned practice question - you don't need B, C and D to run that specific wizard under anything I would consider normal circumstances.

    Paul is correct that the local Administrator's password would be used in a new forest setup, but there's nothing in the question to indicate whether it's a new forest or not, so how would I know? You can also install a new forest root using any member of the local Administrators group. For uninstall on the other hand, the Administrator password would be key.

    NetBIOS name will be taken from the server itself, there's no question in the wizard about it. I assume it might be possible to remove the NetBIOS name using netdom or something, but that would be a rather extreme situation.

    In any case, the specifics doesn't matter. There has to be a specific point of view from which MS writes their questions, and I don't see what that is yet. Any suggestions?

    TIA

    Dennis

    Tuesday, April 10, 2012 1:52 PM
  • I have the MS Press Kit for 70-640 so could you please provide some examples (with page numbers) so that I (and others with this book) can try and assist you further.

    When you see answers and helpful posts, please click Vote As Helpful, Propose As Answer, and/or Mark As Answer

    Jeff Wharton
    MSysDev (C.Sturt), MDbDsgnMgt (C.Sturt), MCT, MCPD, MCSD, MCITP, MCDBA
    Blog: Mr. Wharty's Ramblings
    Twitter: @Mr_Wharty
    MC ID: Microsoft Transcript

    Tuesday, April 10, 2012 2:00 PM
    Moderator
  • Are we not getting into the realms here of posting copyrighted material, albeit very small snapshots but still intellectual property of others. 

    General rule of thumb, if the answers given are applicable to any scenario you can come up with, it's usually the right answer.  Oh and the exam question way and the users preffered or "best" way are not always the same, hence the reason study materials are available so that you can answer.


    Paul Turner http://redmanta.co.uk/blog Twitter: @RedMantaUK MCTS:WSS,MOSS,2010 MCITP:2010.
    Please remember to click "Propose As Answer" if a post solves your problem or "Vote As Helpful" if it was useful.

    Tuesday, April 10, 2012 2:04 PM
  • Are we not getting into the realms here of posting copyrighted material, albeit very small snapshots but still intellectual property of others. 


    Far from it.  If the OP states that they don't understand Q23 on page 108, there's no copyright infringement whatsoever.

    When you see answers and helpful posts, please click Vote As Helpful, Propose As Answer, and/or Mark As Answer

    Jeff Wharton
    MSysDev (C.Sturt), MDbDsgnMgt (C.Sturt), MCT, MCPD, MCSD, MCITP, MCDBA
    Blog: Mr. Wharty's Ramblings
    Twitter: @Mr_Wharty
    MC ID: Microsoft Transcript

    Tuesday, April 10, 2012 2:07 PM
    Moderator
  • You're absolutely right in that way Jeff, it was more a delayed reaction to the original post.

    Paul Turner http://redmanta.co.uk/blog Twitter: @RedMantaUK MCTS:WSS,MOSS,2010 MCITP:2010.
    Please remember to click "Propose As Answer" if a post solves your problem or "Vote As Helpful" if it was useful.

    Tuesday, April 10, 2012 2:22 PM
  • Hi

    I don't really have a list of questions that I don't understand per se (though I certainly don't know it all), it's more a matter of frequent "Is that what they meant? I knew that, but I thought they meant..." type reactions when reading the answers to practice tests.

    I like "applicable to any scenario", that's a good starting point. I think I may tend to get stuck on individual aspects (like the actual questions of the wizard) and therefore don't see the forest for the trees, or something like that ;-)

    Re

    Dennis

    Tuesday, April 10, 2012 5:05 PM
  • Hi Paul,

     Let me tell you this as someone who read and did questions for the Sybex and Exam Cram books on 70- 640: don't waste your  time. MS did this really messed up thing where they changed the exam so much for R2 stuff, that hardly any of the questions are relevant.

    Heck even the Transcender questions are mostly useless and they DO have at least some R2 related questions. I'm still trying to figure out exactly what it is I need a handle on for passing the 70-640 and I'd say knowing Powershell commands that are AD  specific are important as they are the least covered issue in any of the materials I have used.

    BTW the Exam Cram book is better than the Sybex. Good Luck.

    Tuesday, April 17, 2012 7:03 PM