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Help Build My MCSE Lab Please

Discussion in 'General Microsoft Certifications' started by zimbo, Sep 8, 2005.

  1. zimbo
    Honorary Member

    zimbo Petabyte Poster

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    Well i ordered my books for my MCSA training and now to the fun part: building my lab! Since its MCSA ill be using it for 70-270,70-290, 70-291 and 70-299 (i want to try get my security too later!) I got a few questions to ask and for those of you who can ,please help!

    1) Software comes with the books i.e. xp pro sp2 and server 2003 right? - i ordered the ms press books btw...

    2) How many pcs? two or three? I havent a clue what the lab situations will be like but im guessing either one with server and two with xp or will one pc with each be fine?

    3) What type of pc am i looking at if im going to be using it for server 2003 do i effectivly need to buy a server or will something else do (spec's for this pc would be nice to know please :biggrin )

    4) Should i use a hub or switch?

    This lab is going to be my primary method of learning as my hands on is not too good! I would like it to do everything i need to do for those exams so if i have forgotten something (more likely i didnt know it not forgotten about it) - please fill me in and comments and suggestions are very welcome
    As well if anyone can maybe suggest lab books for MCSE or books to help me learn to setup my lab please share the knowledge!

    thanks to everyone for their help in advance!
     
    Certifications: B.Sc, MCDST & MCSA
    WIP: M.Sc - Computer Forensics
  2. Pete01

    Pete01 Kilobyte Poster

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    Do you get versions of the software with your training books?

    Here are the minimum requirements for Server 2003:

    http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/evaluation/sysreqs/default.mspx

    I don't know what kind of lab you want to set up but you could partition the disks on the machines you get so you can try different configurations and have server and client OSes on different partitions to boot up to for different purposes, you may want to test AD replication on 2 or more servers, then want to try unattended installs to 2 clients from 1 server so to avoid buying 5 computers get 2 or 3 and partition the drives.

    As for the hub vs. switch question read this thread for my opinions on that one...

    If you don't want to spend too much money you could always try emulators as well.
     
    Certifications: MCP (NT4) CCNA
    WIP: 70-669, Learning MSI packaging
  3. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    I *think* an evaluation copy of Window Server 2003 might come with the MS Press book (it did with Windows 2000 MS Press books but that was a lifetime ago), but there is no evaluation copy of Windows XP. You are SOL ("So out of luck", the G rated version) on that one, mate.

    The books should describe various lab scenarios so just follow what they suggest. If I had my way, to do these studies I'd want two servers and two workstations. Hubs and switches are about the same price and switches are better. Get a switch.

    As far as what kind of PCs to get, as Pete01 said, look at the minimum requirements and then get more. If you go cheap and get hardware that you can barely load the OSes on, they will run painfully slow. Try to buy something that the software will actually run normally on.
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  4. zimbo
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    zimbo Petabyte Poster

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    well that would be two pcs with server and and two with xp? thanks for advice on the switch....

    ummm the ms press book does have xp sp2 included look at the pic in the top right under the 2..
    http://images-eu.amazon.com/images/P/0735621527.01.LZZZZZZZ.jpg
    :biggrin

    umm the xp installations are straightforward (i think- never done them for networked pc's yet) but the servers would i have to do some different?
     
    Certifications: B.Sc, MCDST & MCSA
    WIP: M.Sc - Computer Forensics
  5. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Kewl. Last I looked, they didn't offer them for order on the MS site but this might be software specifically to be used with MS Press books. Good going.

    Having installed Windows Server 2003 more times than I'd like to admit, I'd have to say "yes", for a basic lab setup, the install is pretty straightforward. Also, the MS Press 70-290 book should list instructions for the installation so I don't think it will be too big a leap. Good luck.
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  6. zimbo
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    zimbo Petabyte Poster

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    thanks trip... ah for exam 70-270 lets say could i get along with a server and a client?

    Umm do i need to share any files between the pc's in the network? someone told me something about i386 today?
     
    Certifications: B.Sc, MCDST & MCSA
    WIP: M.Sc - Computer Forensics
  7. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    You might want to just start reading the 70-270 book and see what's required as far as a configuration. I'm sure you can't go wrong with one server and one workstation. You can add more as needed.
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  8. zimbo
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    zimbo Petabyte Poster

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    yeah thats what my pocket is thinking too!! :biggrin anyway thanks for the advice trip and im sure in the next few months ill have alot more questions!
     
    Certifications: B.Sc, MCDST & MCSA
    WIP: M.Sc - Computer Forensics
  9. mojorisin

    mojorisin Kilobyte Poster

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    Iam reading the Sybex 70-270 book at the moment

    My Lab consists of 1 Server 2003 and 1 XP client (Server Athlon 900 256mb Ram 40Gb HD.. XP Client Celeron 333 256mb Ram 4.3Gb HD)

    So far i have done the RIS installs and network installs although for the Ghosting images i just read the relevant section not actually put this into practice yet as i didnt have the neccesary software to do it

    Zimbo

    Let me know how you get on and we can share info / tears together here :biggrin

    With someone else on the same track it might make me get the studying done a bit quicker :oops:
     
    WIP: 70-685 http://www.speedtest.net/result/3377759783.png
  10. The_Geek

    The_Geek Megabyte Poster

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    Or you could buy/build one pretty good machine and get a copy of VMware.
     
    Certifications: CompTIA and Micro$oft
    WIP: PDI+
  11. zimbo
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    zimbo Petabyte Poster

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    what software do you need?
     
    Certifications: B.Sc, MCDST & MCSA
    WIP: M.Sc - Computer Forensics
  12. mojorisin

    mojorisin Kilobyte Poster

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    Norton Ghost or something similar although when companies do imaging it is usually a hardware based imagining system they use


    I use RIS for all the pc's that i install at work and it seems to cover my needs pretty well even to the point of adding in extra drivers that were not part of the original install

    Tried to get another NIC driver that wasnt supported by RIS onto it the other day as the new pc's that i am building have onboard lan but it is not compatible with RIS added the drivers but no joy gave up just now and stuck in a trusty 3COM card instead

    Wish microsoft would issue updates for the RIS boot disk even using the 2003 version doesnt cover some of the more popular ones
     
    WIP: 70-685 http://www.speedtest.net/result/3377759783.png
  13. zimbo
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    zimbo Petabyte Poster

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    norton ghost is covered in mcse? :blink
     
    Certifications: B.Sc, MCDST & MCSA
    WIP: M.Sc - Computer Forensics
  14. Jakamoko
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    Jakamoko On the move again ...

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    From w2k track experience, MS refer to using "third party" imaging software to clone your prepared machine. They didn't make a big issue about it at the time, just so you knew it had to be done with a non-MS product.
     
    Certifications: MCP, A+, Network+
    WIP: Clarity
  15. zimbo
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    zimbo Petabyte Poster

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    err which exam is that covered in?

    BTW im just looking over the MCSA in more details... some things looking pretty ...well... :blink :blink :blink
    Is this normal considering hands-on is one of the factors for success?
     
    Certifications: B.Sc, MCDST & MCSA
    WIP: M.Sc - Computer Forensics
  16. Jakamoko
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    Jakamoko On the move again ...

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    Both client and server exams covered it (70-210 and 70-215). Can't say if it's still the case for 2k3 track though. Essentially, it is relevant to both subjects, as you are installing it onto a client from a server.
     
    Certifications: MCP, A+, Network+
    WIP: Clarity
  17. Bluerinse
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    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    Yes you use a third party imaging program such as Norton Ghost when using Sysprep. That utility must also be included in Server 2003 or I am a banana :biggrin

    The_Geek mentioned VM ware and supplied a link. I would definitely look closely at that or the Microsoft virtual machine software as on decent hardware with beefy RAM you can create as many virtual machines as you like. You can run as many together at the same time as your host hardware will support.

    Pete
     
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  18. Jakamoko
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    Jakamoko On the move again ...

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    You're a banana !!! Bizarrely, MS actually ask you to be aware of something that they dont provide, for a change :biggrin
     
    Certifications: MCP, A+, Network+
    WIP: Clarity
  19. Bluerinse
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    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    So what is used to strip a configured machine of it's SIDs etc and prepare it for cloning?

    I am a banana :oops:

    Pete
     
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  20. Jakamoko
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    Jakamoko On the move again ...

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    sysprep rolls back the SIDs to a native machine - at that point, you take the image and clone it out.

    See - I told you I was listening !!! :tongue
     
    Certifications: MCP, A+, Network+
    WIP: Clarity

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