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Need 294 Help!!!

Discussion in 'Active Directory Exams' started by tripwire45, May 12, 2004.

  1. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Got some good news and some bad news. The good news is I get to take the 70-294 exam for free including free study resources and operating system software (Windows Server 2003, Windows XP Professional, Windows 2000 Professional).

    The bad news is that I've got 2 weeks to become an expert <egad>. :eek:

    The catch is I don't have to pass (which is fortunate because my chances are slim at best). Still, I'd like to give it the best shot I can. After all, miracles can occur.

    The deal is that I write a little article on taking the test. I don't give away test question info and in no way violate my NDA, but I still report on the exam requirements/objectives/etc... I've got my trusty WMWare Workstation 4.0 program fired up and have one virtual XP machine and one virtual Server 2003 machine set up (automatically) as an ("the" at this point) Domain Controller, DNS server, and DHCP server. I joined the XP machine to the vayikra.local domain and the XP machine (otherwise known as "Lab-1") is happily receiving an IP address and DNS resolution from the server.

    I'll need to load at least one more 2003 server and probably one more client machine (can be either XP or 2000 Pro). I'd like to set up two domains if possible with one DC and one client each so I can do a proper study. I'll mention that this is the first MS exam I will have attempted in awhile and I have no other MS certs under my belt to date.

    Sounds like the plot for "Mission: Impossible" no doubt. Any advice/suggestions/help you might give me would be appreciated.

    To study with, I've got the Exam Cram2 book "Windows Server 2003 Active Directory Infrastructure" by Willis and Watts and the Que Certification Training Guide "Windows Server 2003 Active Directory Infrastructure" by Don Poulton. I figure I'll only really have time to go through the Exam Cram2 (EC2) book and will use Poulton's book just for reference.

    Here we go. Phil...you're the mod here...what magic can you conjure up?
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  2. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Is anybody out there?

    Anyway, I've plunged ahead. I have two separate Windows Server 2003 virtual machines, each the first and only DC in their respective domains. I've created one client machine per DC/domain, one being Windows XP Pro and the other (for kicks) being Windows 2000 Pro. I've created an External two way trust between them (couldn't get them to make a Forest Trust for some reason).

    I'm now in the process of putting the virtual network through its paces with the "mini-labs" set up in my reading. I've had some prior experience with AD when I studied the 70-217 material in school and very, very limited experience in a production environment (I think it amounted to resetting a few passwords) but nothing like the level of experience recommended for those attempting this test.

    I'm creating OUs, delegating authority, and setting GPOs for said OUs but it's all at a pretty elementary level. I'll see what kind of trouble I can get into. Anybody who wants to pop in with suggestions or questions, feel free.

    Oh, four virtual machines seem to be my limit...at least if I want them to all run at the same time. I had to pair down the RAM on both my servers to 256 MB and down to 128 MB on both my client machines. They all still run at an acceptable speed but do lack just a tad. Host machine only has 1.25 GB RAM on board so that's all I can get out of her. Here we go into the weekend.
     
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  3. flex22

    flex22 Gigabyte Poster

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    Scan technet, and the rest fo MS site for technical walkthroughs on features.

    With such limited time, do the practical and ask questions as you go, then reference it.

    Best approach I think in this particular situation.
     
  4. Jakamoko
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    Jakamoko On the move again ...

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    You're a brave fellow Trip - I admire your courage.

    All the best on this venture, and I would love to think that in 2 weeks, you may be reporting a "PASS" on this Thread.

    Make it so, No 1 8)
     
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  5. Phoenix
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    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    Trip if you could possibly submit some of the test lab excercises you are going through i will be happy to replicate what i can and assist in whatever manner neccesary

    im cooking up 2003 on VMWare as we speak
    are you using Enterprise or Standard server?
     
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  6. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Enterprise Edition (so much for "make it so"). As far as labs, I'm actually just doing what's suggested as I plow my way through this book. Actually, I'm working with a more recent edition authored by Will Willis and David Watts (and edited by Ed Tittel). When one of the chapters explains how to do something, I just follow along. Right now I'm studying about deploying software packages using Group Policy. So that's how they do it! :D I might be able to write some of them here and post them but to write them all would be like replicating a great deal of the book.

    I'll do my best, though. Now, back to slaving away over a hot computer. :wink:
     
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  7. Phoenix
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    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    I have that book too, ive just extracted the PDF Ebook from the CD, so you can probably just list the page number if you get stuck :)
    Im only running 2003 Standard Server as I actually have a licsenced copy of that, hopefully shouldnt cause us too many problems
     
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  8. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Thanks, Ryan. I was also sent the Don Poulson study guide by Que but thought I'd use the Exam Cram2 book first since time is very limited and I have no guarentee that I could make it through a larger text. There are what looks like a number of lab scenarios in Poulson's book so my plan is to do labs, labs, labs.

    I'm taking the after chapter quizes just to firm some of the concepts up in my mind. Each test score is dropping with each successive test but I figure that's because I'm in a hurry. cum score for 7 out of 10 chapters is down to 77% <yike>. Well, it's my first go round.

    I really appreciate your kind offer, Ryan. As the kids sometimes say: "You da man"! :) I'll keep you posted.

    SenMod Edit: Fixed url coding.
     
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  9. Phoenix
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    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    I just got through Chaps 1 and 2 with 10s, onto Chap 3 now, Op Masters and GCat Servers :)

    are your two DCs in seperate forests btw? or the same forest? i was thinking setting them up as seperate forests with a trust (as i can set them to the appropriate Forest Functional level being they are both 2k3)
    im guessing you may of done the same?
     
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  10. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Well I thought I'd set them up as two separate domains in the same forest but for some bizarre reason, the option to set up a Forest Trust did not happen. The best I could achieve is an External Trust which is pretty odd.

    Both DCs operate on the same subnet and only one is a DHCP server. I set up a zone on the first DC's DNS for the second domain so it could go out and find it. Before I did this, neither domain could even locate each other. DNS isn't my strong suit so I struggle with it. Thankfully, this is all in a lab. I'd be a nervous wreck if this were a production environment.

    Incidently, 100% on chapter 1, 90% on 2 and 80% on chap three.

    As an interesting side note, the chapters written by Will Willis have the names of people I know from another forum I belong to. If you look carefully (and know my real name), you'll actually find me mentioned once in one of the Prep Question scenarios. :wink:

    Oh...I set them both at 2000 native though I could probably set it up at 2003 native since they're both 2003 DCs and the clients are XP and 2000 Pro.
     
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  11. Phoenix
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    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    if they are two seperate domains in the same forest they shouldnt NEED a forest trust, from what I understand the Forest trust is for trusting between forests, all domains in a forest usually get default transative trusts added automatically

    I originally only got the option for Realm Trusts or something
    becaus of the DNS thing, fixed that now though

    got 10/10 on 3 and 4 too, onto 'Planning and Implementing OUs' now
    lol

    edit: chapter 5 was a bit of a downer, got 8/10, but im sure one of those incorrect ones was becuase the question was written wrong :)
     
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  12. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Heck, we'll have to flog you with a wet noodle or something. :D

    Wierd thing happened just now. Had my virtual computers all suspended. I fired up both servers and one of them gave me the traditional Sasser symptom: the whole "NT Authority"..."lass.exe" stuff. I went to gracefully power it down and I got a second message saying that I didn't have the authority to shut down the server...even though I was logged on as administrator. I killed VMWare altogether and initiated a scan of the whole lab computer.

    I can't figure this one out. When Sasser came out, I immediately made sure all the patches on the host machine were up to date as well as my anti virus defs. After that, I ran a full scan and it came up clean. Sure, I use the host machine to get on the internet periodically, but I didn't think Sasser could get in now undetected.

    Of course the virtual servers don't have their patches up to date (on even just the two virtual servers over a dial up, it would take quite awhile). I figure if I run a full scan on the host, since its scanning all the files and since the vm machines are just files in a few folders, if those are infected, Norton will catch it. I just can figure how they got in. Bummer. :x

    Guess my lab is on hold pending the outcome of the scan. :cry:
     
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  13. Phoenix
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    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    well you just encouraged me to make sure those lab machines are patched up the wazoo, dont use AV but ive got em patched
    chances are because of he way vmware emulates a disk, the host AV system didnt detect the relevant signiture in the file that would be present in a real infected file, its not the same as scanning in zip files

    didnt realise it would infect your host machine though
    thats a downer
    let me know the outcome

    im onto chapter 8 or something now, all going well so far, how about you?
     
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  14. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    I scanned the host with Norton then scanned the specific Virtual Machine files. Nothing. I used stinger on the host machine and then on the VM files as well. Again nothing. No where left to go but to start up the offending machine. It started up normally and has been working fine ever since. I have no idea what happened. Event Viewer was not revealing in this case. Of course the unscheduled shutdown did cause the servers to ask me what the problem was. Been working away ever since.

    Up to chapter nine but I'm having a hard time keeping my eyes open. It's only a little after 9 p.m. Saturday here but I'm dying for a nap. You must be made of steel to be wake, coherent, and studying right now on London time.
     
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  15. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Overall score from end-of-chapter tests in EC2 for 70-294 is a "whopping" 75%. Oh well, it was my first go round.

    Got a shock this a.m. Woke up the lab machine and get the nasty "sasser" message again. Restarted the computer and it stayed up. Scanned it and no findings again. The only thing I can conclude is that it's a later variant of Sasser and I'll need to update the virus defs again (most recent ones in the machine are from last Thursday).

    Running on just a little sleep. My sons (twins) went to their senior prom last night. Didn't get home til 3 a.m. and the old man was parked napping on the sofa waiting for them. Then at 6:30 a.m., the automatic coffee maker got clogged and puked hot water and wet coffee grounds all over the counter and floor. After I cleaned that up, one of the toilets backed up (fortunately not all over the floor) and I had to unplug that critter.

    Guess I'll continue through the haze today. Busy work week coming up plus the boys both graduate from high school next weekend and a ton of relatives are coming for the event.

    Gotta squeeze in study time where I can, I guess.

    To be continued...
     
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  16. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Updated virus defs over poky dial-up, did a full scan. No virus. Switch power scheme for host machine to "Always On" so It won't sleep. No problems thus far.

    Here's one for the "Oh duh" department. I figured out why I couldn't establish a forest trust between my two domains. Although at the domain functional level, I had raised it to Windows Server 2003, I had not realized I needed to raise the functional level to Windows Server 2003 at the forest level (in Active Directory Domains and Trusts). I'm digging into Poulson's book now. I'm skipping the chapter reading for now...too long. I'm hitting the "step-by-step" section which are basically labs and then the end of chapter exams questions. Got an 80% on chapter two: "Planning And Implementing Active Directory Infrastructure". Hopefully this means, I'm getting smarter.
     
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  17. Phoenix
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    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    yeah i noticed that too
    and you cant up the forest level until every domain in said forest is updated
    :)
     
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  18. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Well Ryan, with that "alphabet soup" going on behind your name, I'd say your experience gives you more than a leg up here. You da man! :D
     
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  19. Phoenix
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    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    well I dont recall forest functional levels being in the last MCSE i did ;)
    and damn when i hit that prep logic evaluation test on the CD it was nothing like the one in the book, it was asing me about things not even mentioned lol, more reading to do for me too :)
     
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  20. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    I will say that the Poulson Study Guide is much more detailed than the EC2. I suspect that the questions in the Poulson book and in the accompanying testing software are probably more on par with the level of difficulty of the actual 70-294 exam than the questions in the EC2. Batten down the hatches. It's going to be a rough one.
     
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