These six products offer practice questions for the NT Server in the Enterprise exam. But as our expert reviewer shows, if you don't already know your stuff, you could be led astray.
Practice Makes Perfect— Or Does It?
These six products offer practice questions for the NT Server in the Enterprise exam. But as our expert reviewer shows, if you don't already know your stuff, you could be led astray.
- By James Carrion
- October 01, 1999
The Windows NT Server in the Enterprise exam is dreaded
among MCSE wannabes as the make-it-or-break-it test. Along
with the Microsoft NT 4.0 TCP/IP exam, 70-068 produces
the most “open-sweat-glands per second” in the testing
center (as measured by the Performance Monitor object:
ShakyMCSETester) than all the other exams in the premium
track. This reputation is well deserved; the test is inclusive
of all of the core knowledge one had to acquire in order
to pass the NT Workstation and Server exams, and then
Enterprise complicates the test-taker’s life with the
added nuances of trust relationships, cross domain administration
and resource access, and even the basics of knowing how
to set up IIS Virtual Servers. Although the occasional
miscellaneous question such as the IIS one shouldn’t break
you, there’s a core set of exam objectives (mostly related
to multiple domain scenarios, services, and utilities)
that, if not completely understood, will be your downfall.
In this article I review six self-study products that
purport to help you pass the Enterprise exam. My assignment:
to assess how well the guides help you acquire and reinforce
this core knowledge.
The products fall into two major categories. First, I
review three books that are a combination of “concept
introduction”/sample tests. The focus of these books is
to introduce concepts to the reader and then immediately
test that knowledge with a mini-exam. Then I look at three
others that fall in the category of paper-based testing
where the bulk of the content is dedicated to practice
exams followed by answer explanations. These books are
primarily used to supplement other knowledge-building
books as a measure of preparedness for the real Enterprise
exam. I’ve reviewed them for technical accuracy and for
the structure and adequacy of question content.
I’ve never been a fan of cram books that provide the
essentials of a test without really explaining the “why”
of how things work. For that same reason, I flunked college
algebra my first semester in college—I just couldn’t see
the practical applications of math. My second semester
I passed algebra, not because I suddenly became mathematically
enlightened but because I learned to play the game—I memorized
the formulas and set steps for resolving algebraic problems,
and barely squeaked by.
If your goal is to memorize facts and figures without
knowing the “why,” then this book is for you. Short on
explanation, this book delivers what any respectable Internet
“braindump” site would afford you at no cost.
Although technical mistakes were few, some were glaring.
For example, when discussing the use of trust passwords
for establishing a trust relationship, the author incorrectly
asserts that the trust can’t be disconnected without the
use of this password.
In another part of the book, when discussing WINS, the
author asserts, “You do not need to configure a database
to use the WINS Server. The server maintains a database
of NETBIOS names and IP addresses automatically by receiving
broadcasts from clients.”
I took this to mean that WINS clients don’t need to be
configured to talk to the WINS server but will instead
fill the WINS database automatically via broadcasts, something
that just isn’t true. Or maybe the author meant something
What clinched the technical rating at the bottom of the
scale, however, was the paragraph that discussed “Master
Domains.” The author states that, “If you use an adequate
number of domain controllers per domain, each master domain
can support a maximum of 20,000 users. Thus, a network
with three master domains could support 60,000 users.”
I’m not sure if the author was speaking “practically”
when giving these figures, but there’s nothing practical
about the Enterprise exam. A master domain within the
definition of the Single or Multiple Master Domain model
can contain a maximum of 40,000 user accounts per Master
Domain, something that you can bet is going to be a testing
sticky point. For example, if a test question presented
a scenario of the XYZ company having 60,000 employees
and wanted to know the minimum number of Master Domains
that would be needed, the answer would be two, not three
as the book asserts. What’s even more confusing, however,
is that in a later section labeled, “Highlighter’s Index,”
(in essence, a braindump) the correct figures are given
for the maximum number of users per Master Domain.
Many testable subjects don’t show up at all or are briefly
touched upon. For example, very little information was
given on optimizing the directory synchronization process
(PDC-BDC), no information on how the directory replication
service works (export-import computers) other than a blurb
in a different part of the book, and no mention of the
utilities needed to examine or interpret core memory dumps.
At the end of the Enterprise chapter you can take one
practice exam consisting of 51 questions. These questions
are typically one- or two-liners. The answer section provides
the correct answer but rarely explains why this is the
correct answer and only occasionally explains why the
wrong answers don’t fit. Some of the questions are ambiguous
and can trip up the novice test taker.
You are managing a network using a
single master domain. The CENTRAL domain
is the master. EAST and WEST domains
contain resources, and are physically
located across WAN links. Users in the
EAST and WEST domains are complaining
about slow logon times. You must choose
a solution to improve logon times.
Required Result: Improve user logon
time for EAST and WEST.
Optional Result: Reduce WAN traffic
required for logons.
Optional Result: Improve user logon
time for the CENTRAL domain.
Solution: Install two BDCs for
the CENTRAL domain: one in the same
physical location as the EAST domain
and one in the location of the WEST
- The solution meets the required
result and both of the optional results.
- The solution meets the required
result and only one of the optional
- The solution meets the required
- The solution does not meet the required
My answer was A and the book’s was B. If we break down
the question into its essential parts we come up with
the main problem—logons are too slow for users who work
in the EAST and WEST sites. In a single Master Domain
model (an essential piece of information to answer this
question) all of the user accounts reside in the Master
Domain (CENTRAL) whereas the computers that EAST and WEST
users physically log on at are in their respective domains.
When an EAST user goes to log on, even though he or she
may be physically sitting in the EAST location, the user’s
account is in the CENTRAL domain database, and the logon
will have to be validated by a CENTRAL domain controller.
The problem lies in the fact that all of the CENTRAL domain
controllers are physically sitting across the WAN link,
and all logon validation traffic is subsequently also
being transmitted across the WAN link—hence the slow logons.
By physically placing a CENTRAL BDC in the EAST and WEST
physical locations, the logon validation by a CENTRAL
domain controller can be done locally rather than through
the WAN link. This may sound confusing, but essentially
what we’re doing is physically relocating domain controllers
without changing their current domain memberships.
Think of it the same way that U.S. voting is accomplished.
Let’s say you’re a resident of the state of Colorado and
happen to be on vacation in Hawaii, but you still want
to vote in your home-state election—something that can
be accomplished with an absentee ballot. You don’t have
to travel all the way back home to vote. The means by
which to vote in Colorado has been physically relocated
to Hawaii so you can accomplish the desired task.
So, it’s obvious that the required and first optional
results are met since logon traffic is no longer being
sent across the WAN link. What isn’t so obvious is whether
the second optional result has been met—improving user
logon time for the CENTRAL domain. What’s really being
asked here is, if you’re physically sitting at a computer
in the CENTRAL site, will your logons be any faster? This
is ambiguous and open to much discussion. One could argue
that there was no problem to begin with for the CENTRAL-based
users because they aren’t situated across the WAN link
from the domain controllers (the book answer). Or one
could argue that if the EAST and WEST users are enjoying
faster logons due to the now local CENTRAL BDCs, this
is placing less strain on the domain controllers that
physically reside in the CENTRAL domain, which should
improve logon response for CENTRAL-based users (my reasoning).
Either way, you spend time having to read too little or
too much into the question.
Although the real exam may have similar ambiguous questions,
test preparation tools don’t need to introduce these.
If your intention is to hone your test-taking skills,
there are other tools out there for that purpose. If your
intention is to acquire and retain knowledge (the reason
most folks are reading this article) for exam preparedness,
then you don’t need to be needlessly confused by poorly
worded questions such as this one.
In summary, this book doesn’t accomplish its intended
goal of being a “comprehensive study guide that covers
the required exams for MCSE certification.” Let’s face
it. Cramming is something you may get away with in college,
but only if you have all the right facts and figures to
jam into that cranium of yours. Core Exams in a
Nutshell isn’t exactly all it’s cracked up to
MCSE Ace It! is touted as a “supplement
to other certification resources” and rightly so; it’s
not comprehensive enough to serve as your primary preparation
tool for passing the Enterprise exam.
I found the content to be primarily NT Workstation and
NT Server exam-oriented, and not enough content was related
to Enterprise concepts. Sadly, this seems to be the trend
in these types of books—fill ‘em up with pages and pages
of duplicated content from other books in the series by
the same publisher. Although this makes for great review
material, you can end up spending way too much time on
information that, at this point in your MCSE certification
track (having already passed NT Workstation and Server,
I presume), you should already have down cold.
Case in point: The author dedicates the first six chapters
to concepts like configuring disks, system configuration,
managing users and groups, user profiles and system policies,
managing printing, client-based server tools and services
for Macintosh—all Workstation/Server concepts. Then finally
in chapter seven the first Enterprise concept—Windows
NT Directory Services—is introduced. Now, if only the
rest of the book would continue Enterprise concepts, but
alas, that’s not to be. Chapter eight through the end
of the book is back to Workstation/Server—sharing and
securing file systems, NetWare coexistence and migration,
networking with TCP/IP, RAS, optimizing performance, and
Don’t get me wrong. I did find tidbits of information
here and there that pertain to Enterprise concepts, but
who has time to wade through 466 pages to try and glean
In the preface, the author states, “I assume that you
are familiar with NT Server 4.0 in the Enterprise Concepts,
or that you have other study material to help you understand
these concepts. With that in mind, I cover NT Server 4.0
in the Enterprise to the depth of the exam objectives,
but not beyond that point.” I don’t think he ever gets
to “that point” in this book.
What’s missing? A lot. There’s no information on optimizing
the directory synchronization process (PDC-BDC), i.e.
no Pulse, Pulse Concurrency, or Replication Governor explanations.
IIS isn’t touched upon in terms of setting up and supporting
IIS virtual servers, but IIS authentication is introduced.
The biggest complaint I have is the NT Directory Services
discussion, which falls into the pattern of many other
books advising the reader to “rote” memorize trust relationships
(arrows pointing to and from something) and choice of
domain models without discussing these concepts in-depth.
I’m of the opinion that 466 pages could be better spent
on Enterprise-specific concepts. Go figure.
The beginning of each chapter begins with a short “Are
you prepared?” exam, typically, three questions long,
that tests your need to read the subsequent chapter. Since
the greater part of the book deals with NT Workstation/Server
concepts, you could be misled into thinking that you were
prepared for the Enterprise exam if you were already familiar
with these concepts. In fact, an MCP who had already taken
the Workstation and Server exams would have no problem
answering all the questions at the beginning of each chapter
with the exception of Chapter 7, which covers NT Directory
At the end of each chapter is a “Have you mastered?”
mini-exam, typically, five questions long. This is an
appropriate tool for measuring knowledge acquired from
that chapter. Each question’s correct and sometimes incorrect
answers are adequately explained.
At the end of the book is a 50-question practice exam
followed by an answer chart and exam analysis section.
This exam is full of ambiguous questions, just plain bad
information, and questions that test you on concepts that
the book itself fails to provide content on. My advice
is to not use this exam.
and Additional Info
You are configuring a Windows NT Server
for a high-speed database application.
You want to configure the hard disk
to maximize disk access speed and to
provide a large data volume to the application.
You plan on configuring the database
application to record transaction logs
to a fault tolerant disk set for emergency
purposes. What would be the best disk
configuration for the application?
- Create a data volume using a stripe
set with parity.
- Create a data volume using a stripe
- Create a data volume using a volume
- Create a data volume using a mirror
My hesitant answers were A and D; the book’s answer was
There are a couple of things wrong with this question.
Number one, it’s not very clear how many hard drives are
present. The question mentions “the hard disk” but then
also mentions the need for a “fault tolerant disk set.”
These are at odds with each other. NT supports software-based
levels of RAID that are fault-tolerant disk configurations—mirroring
and striping with parity. A mirror set requires two separate
hard drives and stripe sets with parity at least three.
The only fault tolerant methods are A and D and—despite
the ambiguity of the question—would be the ones I would
have chosen had this been a real exam question.
Now for the book’s explanation for their answer C: “The
fast data volume that can be created in Windows NT Server
is a volume set. Volume sets provide higher performance
than stripe sets because there is no overhead associated
with creating fault tolerance information or striping
across multiple drives.” This is completely wrong! Volume
sets offer no performance increase. They were designed
simply to let a user associate more space on a single
or multiple hard drives with a single drive letter than
that space normally allowed by disk partitioning itself,
or to extend the available space to an existing partition.
This kind of bad information raises a warning flag as
to the technical soundness of the book.
Having said all that, I do believe that the formatting
of the book is well done. I liked the little “test tips”
and “test traps” that show up throughout the book. The
“pop quizzes” and post-chapter tests were all beneficial
in reinforcing the concepts just learned. The technical
accuracy is questionable though. With the right content
and technical editing, these Ace It! books
|You are the administrator
of a Windows NT Server computer on your
network. You want to document the complete
TCP/IP configuration on the computer.
What can you do to get a detailed view
of the configuration?
- Use Network in the control panel
to view the TCP/IP protocol configuration.
- Use the ipconfig /all command
- Use the Internet Service Manager
to view your TCP/IP configuration
- Use the ping /all command.
My answer was A and B; the book’s was
If you’re using the TCP/IP protocol
on an NT machine and want to get detailed
information on how the protocol is configured,
then go to the source of the configuration—the
Network applet in Control Panel. The
IPCONFIG utility with the /ALL switch
will give you detailed information as
Answer C is incorrect because the Internet
Service Manager is the tool that you
use to manage Internet Information Server
(IIS) and doesn’t display IP protocol-specific
configurations. Answer D is incorrect
because Ping is used to verify connectivity.
Although you can ping the loopback address
127.0.0.1 to verify that the TCP/IP
protocol initialized properly, it won’t
display the configuration.
The book begins with a discussion of NT Directory Services,
an Enterprise concept—but like its competitors reviewed
here, most of the content is focused on NT Workstation/Server
concepts. It does cover Enterprise-specific concepts missed
by the others, such as optimizing directory synchronization
and IIS virtual servers, but falls short in other areas
such as Memory Dump utilities and advanced directory replication
Content aside, what I liked about this book were the
clear and concise presentation of topics within the chapters
and the well-designed study questions and practice exams
at the end of each chapter. The 352 study questions and
132 sample test questions scattered throughout the book
are especially helpful in reinforcing concepts learned
in each chapter. At the end of the book is a 55-question
The study questions were fill-in-the blank, true-false,
and draw-in-relationships types, whereas the sample tests
were traditional multiple choice. Although the practice
exam questions were simple one- or two-liners, they accomplish
the goal of concept reinforcement. The final exam at the
end of the book was designed more as a measure of exam
readiness, but it’s disappointing in that the book only
offers an answer key without explaining the answers.
You have just received a network printer
that you must configure. The printer
will use the DLC protocol. What must
you configure? Choose all that apply.
- The DLC protocol must be added to
the printer’s print server.
- The DLC protocol must be installed
on all network clients that will use
- The DLC address of the network printer
must be specified in the printer’s
- The fully qualified domain name
of the network printer must be specified
in the printer’s configuration.
- The hardware address of the network
printer must be specified in the printer’s
My answers were A, B, and E. The book’s answers were
A and E.
Now here’s another question that’s open to interpretation.
The central question is, “What must you configure?” and
doesn’t specifically state what components are being referred
So I started off by analyzing the answers one by one.
Answer A is true for any NT box that wants to print directly
to a print device. In the Microsoft world, a print device
is the term used to describe the physical printer, whereas
the term printer refers to the software definition that
describes the print device (location, print driver, paper
trays, etc.). To print to a DLC print device, you need
to define in software the where, when, and how of the
print device. The computer that stores this printer definition
is called the print server.
A DLC print device such as an HP JetDirect card is a
hardware print server. To send a print job directly to
it from a computer on the network, you need to have the
DLC protocol installed on your machine, and you need to
know the hardware address of the JetDirect card. So answer
E is a given.
Answer B states that the DLC protocol must be installed
on all network clients that want to use the printer. This
is true if the desired result is for these clients to
print directly to the DLC device. If you don’t want to
go through the hassle of installing the DLC protocol on
every client machine that needs access, you can accomplish
the same result by installing the DLC protocol on one
NT machine. On this one machine you should then configure
the appropriate printer definition (which makes this box
the print server), and then share this printer on the
network. Any computer that can access the share can print
by sending its job to the print server, and the print
server will then forward the job using the DLC protocol
to the JetDirect card. This is also known as setting up
a print gateway.
Imagine that you’re at the finish line for the Tour de
France. The winner, Lance Armstrong, comes sailing across,
and there’s a line of people waiting to talk to him. Now
imagine that there will be no onsite interpreter, so the
only people who can speak with him are those who understand
and speak English. That would exclude everybody else.
This is like trying to print to a JetDirect card directly.
You must speak the same language.
Now if he had an on-site interpreter, you could speak
through the interpreter who understands both languages.
This is like using a print server as the go-between your
computer that doesn’t understand the DLC protocol and
the JetDirect card that only understands the DLC protocol.
Answer C isn’t correct because a DLC address is the same
as the MAC address and should be called that.
Answer D is incorrect because fully qualified domain
names are a part of the TCP/IP protocol but have no use
in the DLC world.
In summary, this book is well written with a lot of good
reinforcement questions. Of the three books that fall
into its category, I would recommend MCSE Test Success
as the better of the three.
|Your NT Server is configured
as a BDC. The BDC supports logon authentication
for 1,000 computers. The primary function
of the server is logon authentication
and providing clients with logon scripts.
How should the server service be configured
for maximum optimization?
- Maximize Throughput for Domain Controllers
- Maximize Throughput for File Sharing
- Maximize Throughput for Network
My answer was D, and the book’s was
First, you must understand where you
need to go to configure these options.
If you open up the Network applet in
the Control Panel and click on the Services
tab, you’ll notice the Server service
in the list. The Server service is what
allows your computer to create shared
resources on the network. So whenever
you share out a folder or printer, it’s
the Server service that makes this possible.
Because the Server service is sharing
out files and printers, this makes your
box a File and Print Server. Typically,
a computer that’s a File and Print Server
likes to have memory set aside for the
purpose of file caching. File caching
lets the server retrieve initial data
requested by a client from the hard
drive and then place that data in memory,
so that the next user requesting the
same data can have the request quickly
satisfied. This is accomplished by the
server being able to retrieve the data
quickly from memory (where it was cached)
rather than having to read the hard
drive again (slow).
When configuring the server service,
you’re offered one of four settings.
Your choice here adjusts the amount
of memory set aside for file caching.
The first three settings—Minimize Memory
Used, Balance, and Maximize Throughput
for File Sharing—are related to using
the machine primarily for File and Print
Serving functions. You choose between
the three settings based on the number
of users that you anticipate being concurrently
connected to the computer at any given
time, less than 10, between 11 and 63,
and more than 64, respectively.
The last option, Maximize Throughput
for Network Applications, is what you’d
select if your computer were primarily
running a client/server application
like Microsoft SQL Server, SMS, or SNA
Server. When you select this option,
you’re taking away the memory assigned
to file server caching to free it up
for use by the client/server application.
So here’s the central question: Is
a domain controller considered a file
and print server or a client/server
application? In this question it’s performing
both roles. It’s functioning like a
database server by looking up logon
authentication requests in the SAM database
and returning to the user a yes/no answer
to logon. At the same time the users
are retrieving login scripts (files)
from the domain controller, and this
is a file and print server function.
So really, both C or D could be right;
but I tend to think that the more taxing
of the two for server performance would
be the SAM database lookups and therefore
the function that we want to optimize
Test Prep MCSE can be placed in the same category as
the Coriolis Exam Cram practice tests and the Microsoft
Press MCSE Exam Readiness Review; they’re all basically
compilations of exam questions. Depending on your experience
level, they’re not to be used as the primary tool for
preparing for the Enterprise exam but as a supplement
to a good self-study manual.
The category into which these tools fall is interesting.
The content is structured completely opposite the first
category of books I’ve reviewed here. In the first category,
the books were structured with knowledge content offered
first, followed by a set of questions designed to test
that knowledge, whereas the second category offers exam
questions first, and then knowledge-based explanations
designed to confirm/reinforce/instruct knowledge. Which
approach will work better for you? I tend to believe that
the first category is good for novice NT users who need
to acquire a knowledge base; the second category is more
appropriate for experienced NT users. Or, better yet to
maximize your test success, use a combination of both
methods regardless of your experience level.
The book is divided into 32 different sections, each
section having an average of 10 practice questions. After
answering the questions in each section, you can check
your answers with an answer key, followed by a detailed
analysis of the correct/incorrect answers. At the end
of each section a “further review” page summarizes the
topics that should be studied in more depth. The total
number of section practice questions is 403.
At the end of the book are two 55-question practice exams.
I found the section questions to be more straightforward
and conducive to learning than the practice exam questions,
which were ambiguous and elusive. As I mentioned earlier,
if you want to beef up test-taking skills, get a specific
book on how to accomplish that. When publishing a test
preparation aid such as this book, authors should realize
that complicated and tricky questions are needless and
counterproductive to learning.
After a trust relationship has been
established between two domains, why
is it possible for users to access resources
- Establishing the trust relationship
merges the user account databases
from the two domains.
- The logon services from the trusted
domain pass the resource access request
to the trusting domain’s logon services,
where the resource access permissions
- Duplicate logon IDs are created
in the trusting domain’s account database
when you assigned permissions.
- The trust relationship allows logon
services from the trusting domain
to access the trusted domain’s account
My answer was D, and the book’s was B.
Ah, the dreaded trust question. This strikes more fear
in the heart of test takers than all of the summer’s supernatural
movie plots combined. Really, once you understand the
mechanics of trusts, they’re not that difficult.
Where do we start? Oh, yeah, the trusting and trusted
terms. Folks tend to get these confused and all mixed
up. Imagine that you’re driving through Mexico and you
get stopped by la policía. The cop politely asks for your
papers, and you present your California driver’s license.
He looks at you suspiciously and then goes back to his
You can see him talking on the radio while straining
to read your driver’s license, but you’re not sure what
he’s saying. Visions of a dark, damp jail cell flash across
your mind. He walks back to the car and hands back your
license. “Adiós, Señor. Que tenga un buen día,” he says
as he motions you to leave.
How did you get out of that one? Well, it turns out that
Mexico has a trust relationship with the U.S. and has
access to the U.S. driver’s license database. Even though
Mexico didn’t issue your driver’s license, they could
verify who you were by calling up the U.S. The same thing
happens between domains. DOMA (Mexico) trusts DOMB (U.S.),
so that DOMB users/groups (U.S. drivers) can get access
to DOMA resources (driving Mexican roads). In order for
DOMA (Mexico) to verify the identity of trusted users
(U.S. drivers), it’s necessary for DOMA Domain Controllers
(Mexico Police) to have access to DOMB’s (U.S.) database
for verification purposes. Boy, Mexico sure is one trusting
Now, back to our question. Answer A is incorrect because
there’s no merging of databases that goes on when a trust
relationship is established. In fact, a trust relationship
is nothing more than an agreement between two domains.
The U.S. agreed that Mexico could have access to the U.S.
driver’s license database, but it didn’t give them a copy
of the database.
Answer B is incorrect because it describes the opposite
of what happens in a verification of access to a resource.
If B were true, that would be like saying that the U.S.
somehow psychically viewed your predicament and initiated
the call to the Mexican police to let them know you’re
an OK person. It’s Mexico that had to initiate the call
because it’s their resource that someone was speeding
Answer C is incorrect. Again, the trust is just an agreement.
Mexico isn’t going to issue Mexican driver’s licenses
automatically to everyone in the U.S.
Answer D is correct. It describes exactly your predicament.
And don’t let it happen again.
Let’s be honest here. There’s not a technical book out
there immune from either bad technical content or poor
technical editing. Some are worse than others. In the
fairy tale story of Snow White, all the magic mirror could
do was say to the wicked stepmother, “You are the fairest
of them all,” because compared to all the other bad apples
in the kingdom, it was probably true at the time. It takes
a Snow White, the picture of perfection to come around
to change that. I’m still waiting for that to happen in
the technical world. The MCSE Test Prep
is worth the money for the section questions, but I wouldn’t
spend too much time on the practice exams.
|To better manage traffic
on your network, you manually configure
one of the Windows NT Servers to be the
master browser. What should you know about
manually configured master browsers?
- The Windows NT Server configured
to be the master browser will remain
the master browser until it is manually
- The Windows NT Server cannot be
manually configured to act as a master
- The Windows NT Server may lose its
status as master browser if it is
downed or disconnected from the network.
- The Windows NT Server must be a
domain controller to be a master browser.
This question is a little tricky. Let’s
see why. You can manually configure
an NT Server to be a master browser
by changing some Registry entries. Under
Browser/Parameters a couple of values
can be modified for this purpose:
set to True, this Registry entry forces
this computer to become the master
browser for its subnet.
set to Yes, this Registry entry configures
the computer to be a “browser,” either
the master or a backup for its subnet.
So that’s how this mess got started,
someone went in and hacked the Registry
with one of these entries.
Answer A is technically correct in
that if the Registry change were made
manually, to undo the action you’d also
need to change the entry manually back
to its original value in the Registry.
Answer B is simply not a true statement;
we just discussed how this operation
can be accomplished through a Registry
change. This particular answer brings
up an important point: If a test question
states that you did something, i.e.
make a computer a master browser, promote
a BDC to a PDC, take out the garbage
on Monday, then the act occurred and
was probably a valid and successful
act. I don’t believe that you’ll ever
see on a Microsoft exam a question that
states you did X and then an answer
that states that X can’t be done. You
just did it.
Answer C is also a correct statement.
If the master browser is down for a
period of time, someone on the subnet
is going to take notice and force an
election so that a new master browser
takes over. This could be a temporary
situation in this case, however, because
as soon as the old master browser comes
back online, depending on which Registry
value we changed, it could get its old
job back. But regardless, the statement
is true nonetheless.
If Bill Clinton (IsDomainMaster=True)
went missing, it wouldn’t take long
for someone to notice. Al Gore (MaintainServerList=Yes)
would then rush in to take his place.
However, if Bill showed up again, he’d
get his job back, and Al would be back
to playing second string.
Answer D is incorrect for the same
reason stated for answer B being incorrect.
So there you have it, two potential
answers. If you’re lucky enough to get
this question and it asks you to choose
two answers or all that apply, no sweat.
If the question asks you to choose a
single answer, then break out the handkerchief.
A or C, which will it be? Well it all
hinges on how you interpret answer C—temporary
or permanent loss of master browser
status. Flip a coin; you have a 50-50
Ring, ring, ring! Joe Smith, VP of “New Markets” at Microsoft
Corp. picks up the phone. “Joe, Bill here. Get up to my
office ASAP!” Click. Joe takes a big gulp, throws recent
charts and spreadsheets into his briefcase, and runs across
the Redmond campus. Exasperated, he says to the secretary,
“Mr. Gates is expecting me.” She hurries him in.
“Joe, look at these headlines,” Bills says as he thrusts
the Sunday paper toward his visitor. Scanning the front
page, Joe sees the big news: “Technical Certification
Hot, Hot, Hot! MCSE in Lead, Training Companies Cashing
In.” Joe smiles and says, “That’s great news! So why am
I here?” Bill glares at him, “Why aren’t WE making money
off this?!” Joe stops in at the Microsoft Press building
on the way back to his office.
You knew it was just a matter of time. Microsoft Press
was already making a killing off the Microsoft self-study
manuals, so why not test preparation material as well?
That’s exactly what the MCSE Readiness Review series intends
to do. Let’s take a look at how good a job Joe did.
Of the seven products I’m reviewing, only three came
with a CD. On the CD that comes with this book, Microsoft
bundles an electronic assessment test from Self Test Software.
The exam is 60 questions long and a subset of the retail
version of Self Test’s NT 4.0 Server in the Enterprise
The book recommends taking the electronic assessment
exam first and using the results of that test to figure
out your weak areas, so you can focus on pertinent sections
of the book. However, this review is based on the book
content and not Self Test’s software.
I like the format of this book. You’re presented with
a multiple-choice question and on the next page an analysis,
answer by answer (the same format as this review) of the
question. This is effective for two reasons: 1) You can
go through the book at your own pace rather than having
to answer a lengthy practice exam followed by an equally
lengthy review; 2) the answer-by-answer format is helpful
for understanding where you may have gone wrong (or right)
when answering the question. Again, this type of study
aid isn’t sufficient in and of itself—it’s an assessment
tool that needs to be supplemented with other study guides.
The book is made up of 32 separate sections, each focused
on a separate test objective. The objectives are prefaced
with a mini-summary that discusses the technical concepts
you’ll be tested on when you take the real exam. And who
should know better what’s coming on the exam than the
exam creator? At the end of each objective is a “further
reading” list referencing none other than Microsoft Press
books. No big surprise here.
Each objective has an average of four questions per section
with a book grand total of 148 questions. Most of the
questions are short and simply worded. Many of the questions
are scenario-based. If you’ve ever taken a Microsoft exam,
you know what I’m talking about—those ugly little questions
that are looking for a proposed solution to meet primary
and optional results.
Be careful. I noticed on at least one question that even
though I answered it correctly, the explanation for why
you should choose that answer was wrong. Mirror, mirror,
on the wall…
A network consists of a master domain
named Corp, and resource domains named
Research and Sales. The Corp domain
is trusted by both the Research and
Sales domains. No other trust relationships
exist. Joan has a user account in the
Research domain and the Corp domain.
Which shared resources in the Corp
domain will Joan be able to access when
she logs on to the Research domain?
- All resources to which the Corp\Power
Users group has access.
- All resources to which the Corp\Domain
Users group has access.
- All resources to which the Corp\Domain
Guests group has access.
- All resources for which the Corp\Domain
Admins group has access.
- No resources in the Corp domain
are accessible by users in the Research
The problem with this question is that it tells us that
the network is using a Master Domain model, yet Joan has
a user account in more than one domain. This scenario
doesn’t abide by the general rule of any domain model,
which is that you should create a single account for a
user and not multiple accounts. Specifically, the single
Master Domain model is an agreement between multiple company
business units that all user accounts will be centrally
maintained in one domain: the master. Resource domains
are created and configured to trust the Master Domain
in a one-way trust relationship. The Master Domain is
trusted, and the Resource domains are trusting. This is
typically drawn with the Master Domain as a circle on
the top of a diagram and the Resource domains as separate
circles below the master. An arrow points from the Resource
domains toward the Master Domain.
So if Joan were in a true Master Domain model, she should
have a single account in the Master Domain database that
is Corp. Of course the question doesn’t follow the established
rules for a Master Domain but instead deviates from the
rules, at the expense of all novice test takers out there
who are already confused enough with the whole trust relationship
thing. But I digress…
So, the question is poorly structured to begin with,
but let’s deal with it. It appears that Joan has two separate
accounts, one in Corp and one in Research. If she’s physically
sitting at a computer in Research she can log on either
to the Research domain or through the trust to the Corp
domain. If she were logged on to the Corp domain, then
she’d be a member of Corp/Domain Users with all the permissions
and the privileges assigned to that group. If she were
logged on to the Research domain, then she’d be a member
of the Research/Domain Users group with all associated
Answers A through D are incorrect. If Joan were logged
on with a Research account, she wouldn’t be seen as a
member of any Corp group.
Answer E would be correct because Corp doesn’t trust
Research users to have access to its resources (and rightfully
so in a Single Master Model).
In short, I can summarize the MCSE Readiness Review
book as follows:
Scenario: You’re searching for a study guide that
will help you pass the NT Server 4 in the Enterprise exam.
Required Result: The study guide must provide
a number of practice questions and explanations for both
the correct and incorrect answers. This study guide shouldn’t
be used alone but as a supplement for another self-study
guide. Also, the study guide must clearly define the testable
objectives on the exam.
First Optional Result: The practice questions
and the answer explanations must be 100 percent technically
Second Optional Result: The format of the book
should be easy to follow and allow you to answer questions
at your own pace.
My answer: Meets the required and only one of
the optional results.
|You’re configuring a Windows
NT member server to act as a router between
two IP networks. What must you enable
on the Windows NT server to allow it to
Battle of the acronyms. Actually, don’t
be surprised if on the real exam, these
acronyms are actually spelled out, i.e.
Routing Information Protocol, vs. RIP,
Data Link Control vs. DLC, and so on.
Seems like a simple enough question,
and it is, although it’s problematic
nonetheless because none of the answers
seems to fit. Let me explain.
Answer A—RIP is a dynamic routing
protocol that dynamically updates routing
tables. RIP routers broadcast the entire
content of their routing tables to alert
other adjacent routers about available
or non-available paths to other networks.
So this protocol has something to do
with routing, but any MCP can tell you
that what makes an NT box a router is
by taking a multihomed computer and
enabling IP forwarding under the TCPIP
protocol properties. IP Forwarding makes
the NT computer a static router, but
a router nonetheless. RIP is optional.
Answer B—SAP is the Service
Advertising Protocol and is used by
a Novell Server to let Novell clients
and other Novell Servers know that it’s
present on the network. Think of it
as Novell’s browsing service. This has
nothing to do with routing the IP protocol.
Answer C—DLC is the Datalink
Control Protocol and is used primarily
as the transport protocol to get access
to HP printers (JetDirect) and IBM mainframes.
Again, this protocol has nothing to
do with IP routing.
Answer D—WINS is the Windows
Internet Naming Service and is used
on NT networks to resolve user-friendly
NETBIOS names to IP addresses. Sorry,
still no routing functionality here.
Answer E—BOOTP is the Bootstrap
Protocol and was designed originally
to get diskless workstations up and
running with an operating system. No
association with IP routing.
Darn! This means the only viable answer
is A, but for all the wrong reasons.
Oh, well good thing there’s no penalty
for guessing on the exams. The rule
of thumb is always choose some answer
on the exam, even though it may not
make much sense—choose the best answer.
While teaching MCSE classes I came up
with a phrase that eventually ended
up on a T-shirt that I wore to class:
“Do you want to be right or do you want
to be an MCSE?”
I have to admit that the first thing I did before starting
this particular review was to visit the Coriolis Web site
to see if there were any errata sheets on this book. My
experience with the series in the past leads me to believe
that if you buy the book, you must download the extensive
errata sheets. Since I didn’t find any for this particular
book, I figured the editors had gone through it with a
The book is actually a compilation of test questions
for the Enterprise exam as well as the NT Workstation,
NT Server, and Networking Essentials exams. The 61 pages
covering the Enterprise portion consists of two 55-question
practice exams and the associated answer analysis. A companion
CD includes a browser-based adaptive exam for the Enterprise
exam. You can take a 15-question test that simulates the
adaptive testing process.
I diligently went through both paper-based practice exams
and was impressed with the overall clarity of the questions.
They were for the most part to the point, and the answers
could be readily ascertained. However, when I checked
my answers against the answer keys, I was shocked to see
how many I’d missed (according to the book). I immediately
went to the answer analysis section to see why I’d missed
so many. I was appalled at the number of “wrong” answers
and bad explanations that followed.
our company has two domains: Corp and
Sales. Corp is the master domain and
Sales is a resource domain. Corp and
Sales each have a PDC, a BDC, member
servers, and several Windows NT Workstations.
You want to create a group called CorpBackup
to be able to back up the PDCs, BDCs,
member servers, and Windows NT Workstations
in both domains.
Required Result: Members of
the CorpBackup group must be able to
back up both domain controllers.
Optional Desired Results: Members
of the Corpbackup group must be able
to back up all member servers. Member
of the CorpBackup group must be able
to back up all workstations.
Proposed Solution: Create a Global
group called CorpBackup in the Corp
domain and add this new global group
to the global Domain Admins group on
the Primary Domain Controller for each
Which result does the proposed solution
- The proposed solution produces the
required result and both the optional
- The proposed solution produces the
required result and only one of the
optional desired results.
- The proposed solution produces the
required result but does not produce
either of the optional desired results.
- The proposed solution does not produce
the required result.
My answer was D because you can’t take a Global group
and make it a member of another Global group. The book’s
answer was A—it produces the required and both of the
optional results. I thought maybe there was a typo and
that they meant to say “add the Corpbackup global group
to the local Administrators group” (which would work);
but when I checked the analysis, this is what it said:
“By adding the Corpbackup global group of the trusted
domain to the Domain Admins group of each domain, you
effectively give that group the right to back up all computers
in both domains. Remember, by default the Domain Admin’s
global group is added to the Administrators local group
and all Windows NT computers in the domain.” Their solution
just won’t work.
|You have a Windows NT Server
with IIS installed, and you want to host
three Web sites on this server. Each site
will have its own registered domain name
and IP address. Which of the following
actions must you perform to accommodate
- Set up a DHCP Relay Agent.
- Install DNS and add an entry for
each site in the DNS database.
- Assign each IP address to the network
interface card of the server and associate
each IP address with the appropriate
- Create a hosts file with an entry
for each domain name with the corresponding
You’re being asked to configure what
are called IIS Virtual Servers or multiple
Web sites. IIS can be configured to
host multiple company or departmental
Web sites by making them appear to be
running on separate computers, while
in reality they’re all running on the
same computer. This is accomplished
by binding multiple IP addresses to
the same network card and through the
Internet Service Manager tool used to
configure IIS, associating each IP address
with a Web site home directory. This
is answer C and the first step in the
After you’ve configured the multiple
virtual servers, these are accessible
through an IP address. However, how
many folks do you know who want to remember
an IP address to connect to one of the
Web sites? They’d rather use a user-friendly
name such as www.xyz.com. This can be
done as long as some service can resolve
the name down to the IP address for
the client. Both answers C and D provide
name resolution services and are viable
answers. If you’re hosting these virtual
servers on your company intranet, either
method would work. If you’re hosting
the virtual servers for the benefit
of Internet users to access, then you
absolutely need DNS.
If you’re hosting the XYZ Web site,
and you’re advertising your Web site
as www.xyz.com, that’s what Internet
users will type into their browser for
access. The user-friendly name must
be resolved to the proper IP address
for the XYZ Web site. If DNS is properly
configured, then the DNS server can
perform the name lookup for the user.
Setting up a DNS server to support
name lookup on the Internet requires
that you register your domain name with
the Internic, i.e. XYZ.COM. You must
then set up a DNS server (or use your
ISP’s) to maintain the entry that maps
www.xyz.com to its IP address (to be
authoritative for the XYZ.COM domain).
The Internic won’t put www.xyz.com in
their DNS server database as the book
contends, but will refer other DNS servers
your way so that the resolution can
be made through your DNS server.
For the small number of questions in the Enterprise section
(a total of 110), I found too many inexcusable mistakes
and too much bad technical information being given out
for this book to be a practical preparation guide—at least
not until the errata sheet is released. As currently published,
this book can be detrimental for the novice NT user who’ll
accept the incorrect explanations at face value. It’s
a shame; the questions themselves are nicely worded. My
advice is to put this one on the shelf until the content
is re-edited and the content corrected.