Exam Reviews

MCSE Marathon

The Windows 2000 Accelerated exam lets you prove mastery in four areas-and it's free! This coaching guide warms you up properly for your four hours of exertion.

Wow! Microsoft finally gets it. A single exam that enables you to demonstrate that you’ve updated your core competency skills from NT 4.0 to Win2K—and it’s free! If you prepare well for this exam, with emphasis on what has changed from NT 4.0, you have a pretty good chance of proving your technical expertise in Win2K in a single four-hour sitting at a cost of $0.00.

Now that I’ve made this sound so great, you must be waiting for me to drop the other shoe, so here it is: First, the exam is pretty well written and reasonably difficult, so you won’t be able to skate through with some light reading and a little lab work. Second, if you fail it, there are no second chances—you then have to take 70-210, 70-215, 70-216, and 70-217 to demonstrate core competency in Win2K.

Windows 2000 Accelerated Exam (70-240)
Reviewer’s Rating: “This test includes a mix of many of the most difficult topics from the 70-210, 70-215, 70-216, and 70-217 exams.”

Title: Microsoft Windows 2000 Accelerated Exam for MCPs Certified on Microsoft Windows NT 4.0

Current Status: Live until Dec. 31, 2001.

Number of Questions: 97

Time Allowed: Four Hours

Who should take it? MCPs and MCSEs who have passed the three NT 4.0 exams (70-67, 70-68 and 70-73). Counts as four core exams for Win2K MCSE track.

What course prepares you?

  • For experienced MCSEs who want to quickly update skills to Win2K:
    • No. 1560: Updating Support Skills from NT 4.0 to Win2K; Five days.
  • For people who are new to NT:
    • No. 2151: Win2K Network & OS Essentials; Five days.
    • No. 2152: Supporting Win2K Pro and Server; Five days.
    • No. 2153: Supporting a Network Infrastructure; Five days.
    • No. 2154: Implementing and Administering Directory Services; Five days.
    • No. 2150: Designing a Secure Windows 2000 Network.

The Exam Experience

This is a long exam broken into four distinct parts—Professional, Server, Networking, and Directory Services. Within each section you can go back to review and change answers, but once a section is complete and you’ve gone on to the next section, you can’t review or change answers in the previous section. Each section has its own time limit, and if you add them up, you come up with three hours and 55 minutes. Tack on an additional five minutes for accepting the NDA agreement, and you come up with a total time limit of four hours. If you tend to use all of the available time when you take an exam, be careful because the clock is running non-stop. If you pause between sections to take a few deep breaths and to clear your head before tackling the next section, beware that you might get to the last section and have less than the full amount of time scheduled for that section because of the four-hour limit.

The four parts of the exam are given in random order, as are the questions within each section. When you finally get to the end of the exam, don’t expect to see the standard scoring bar comparing your score against the required score. This exam is like a black box—you enter your answers to the questions, and at the end it displays a single screen with text informing you that you’ve either passed or failed.


This section of the exam tests you on the objectives for 70-210. Your focus in preparing for this section should be, “What has changed since NT Workstation 4.0?” If you were tested on it in NT 4.0, you probably won’t be tested on it again here. So, what has changed? A lot, starting with the installation process. Win2K has a new network service call Remote Installation Services, or RIS, which enables you to quickly and easily set up Win2K Professional on client computers without using a boot disk.

Tip: Be sure you know which servers are required on the network for RIS to work correctly. Know which types of images can be stored on the RIS server, how they’re created, and how they’re used. Know which types of client computers are supported or aren’t. In other words know RIS inside and out.

Another big change is in the Network and Dial-Up Connections folder. You can create many more types of connections in Win2K than you could in NT 4.0. In addition, Internet Connection Sharing is now supported on Win2K Professional.

Tip: Be sure you’re totally comfortable setting up any type of connection, including dial-up, direct, VPN and so on. Also be sure you know exactly what happens when you configure Internet Connection Sharing and the effects it has on your network.

Win2K now enables users to encrypt files using the Encrypting File System. Get familiar with how this works; how to configure it; and, most important, how to recover files that have been encrypted by users whose accounts have been disabled or deleted.

Finally, just in case you forgot, Win2K uses TCP/IP as its primary protocol. Be cognizant of common TCP/IP configuration problems, such as DHCP server unavailability, incorrect name server and gateway addresses, and incorrect subnet masks.

Tip: Remember that if a computer comes up with an IP address that starts with 169.254, that computer is configured to get its IP address from a DHCP server and is unable to contact it; so the computer has used the automatic IP addressing feature included in Win2K to assign itself an IP address.


This section focuses on the objectives for 70-215, again with an emphasis on what’s new. This section had more questions than any other, and you should be prepared for several areas of focus regarding Win2K Server. A big one is disks. You should know how to install drivers for a third-party RAID controller or any disk controller not listed on the HCL. Also, Win2K has introduced a new disk-partitioning scheme called a dynamic disk.

Tip: Be sure you know how to convert a disk from basic to dynamic and the different types of volumes you can create on basic and dynamic disks. What happens to NT 4.0 fault- tolerant volumes when they’re upgraded? How do you recover from failures on fault-tolerant volumes created on basic or dynamic disks?

Terminal Services is a feature included in Win2K Server; you should know how to install it, configure it, and install applications in it. Be sure you understand when to install applications from Control Panel and when to install them by using the Change User command. Get comfortable with the various licensing modes of Terminal Services and how to configure them.

Learn all you can about driver signing, what it is, how it works, and how to configure it. Refresh your understanding of Gateway Services for NetWare and how to configure it in a TCP/IP environment. Also review bindings and how to configure them to optimize network traffic.

There are a ton of security changes in Win2K. You should be fully comfortable with the new set of tools, including Security Configuration and Analysis, Security Templates, and Secedit.exe. Also, NTFS permissions have changed significantly. Win2K now supports inheritance of permissions from one folder to their contents, including subfolders and files. Be sure you understand the implications of this and how to configure NTFS permissions in Win2K.

Finally, you should understand how to use Windows backup to back up and restore files and system state data on the local computer and over the network. Be sure you know exactly what’s included in system state data and how to use Windows backup to back up and restore it as well.


This section covers the objectives for the 70-216 networking exam. Networking itself hasn’t changed significantly since NT 4.0, but there have been a lot of new features added in Win2K. The DNS server has an expanded role in Win2K and now supports dynamic updates, incremental zone transfers, and SRV records.

Tip: Be sure you know how to configure forward and reverse lookup zones, zone transfers, and Active Directory integrated zones. Remember that only Active Directory integrated zones support secure dynamic updates.

DHCP has a ton of new features in Win2K, including superscopes, multicast scopes, and DNS integration. Be sure you know how to configure the options for dynamic DNS update to support various types of client computers. Learn how to use superscopes to manage scopes across multiple DHCP servers and how to configure DHCP scope options, including vendor-specific options.

Certificate services is growing up—it’s now a standard part of the server OS. Certificates can now be used for authentication, to secure Web servers, for IPSEC encryption, and various other uses.

Tip: Be sure you know all of the types of Certificate Authorities that Win2K can be configured as, when to use each one, and when to integrate one with a commercial CA such as VeriSign.

Routing and Remote Access is now a core part of the OS. Lots of new features have been added, including IGMP, OSPF, RIP version 2, and so on. Also, it now supports remote access policies and profiles. Understand how to configure remote access policies and how they operate in mixed mode vs. how they operate in native mode. Also, be sure you know exactly what happens if you delete the default policy. Explore both unicast and multicast routing configurations.

Tip: Don’t forget to practice setting up the various VPN options, including PPTP and L2TP over IPSEC. Be sure you know which types of encryption can be used with each.

Last but not least is IPSEC itself. Be sure you know what it is, how it works, and how to configure and monitor it. Be familiar with the three default Group Policy options for configuring IPSEC and when to use each.

Directory Services

The last section of this test is directory services; of course, it covers the objectives of 70-217. You don’t need to know how to design an Active Directory (AD) structure to pass this section, but you’d better know how to implement one! One of the biggest features of AD is Group Policy. Group Policy lets you configure a variety of options on client computers and servers, including Windows settings, user settings, and a large variety of security settings. Make sure you understand how Group Policy is applied to users and computers and how inheritance works.

Tip: Be sure you thoroughly understand how to use Group Policy to deploy software applications to users and computers and the various options for doing so. Understand the options that are available when using native Windows Installer files (.msi files) vs. creating an installation script in a .zap file.

Remember that you can back up AD and other system state data on a domain controller by using Windows Backup, still called Ntbackup. Be sure you know how to restore AD information by using ntdsutil.exe to perform an authoritative restore.

Tip: To restore AD, you need to boot the computer in a special mode called Directory Services Restore mode. Write this on your forehead in large block letters.

Don’t forget the basic configuration options for managing replication—sites, subnets, and site links. Be sure you know how to use and configure each of these objects and how to make sure a domain controller actually appears in the appropriate site.

To maintain the integrity of AD, there are five types of operations masters: the Schema Master, the Domain Naming Master, the RID Master, the PDC Emulator, and the Infrastructure Master. Know where to place each of these operations masters in your enterprise and know what the effect of a failed master is for each. Also know which roles are forest-wide and which roles are only domain-wide.

Tip: Learn how to use the various administrative tools to transfer operations master roles and how to use ndtsutil.exe to both transfer and seize the various roles. Be sure you know when a role can be transferred and when it must be seized.

Additional Information

View the Preparation guide for this test, available at www.microsoft.com/

View the Frequently asked questions on this and the other Win2K exams at: www.microsoft.com/trainingandservices/default.asp?PageID=

View the Preparation guides for the four Win2K tests this exam is based on at:

Review the TCP/IP Core Networking Guide, and the Internetworking Guide from the Windows 2000 Server Resource Kit. Sample chapters from both of these books are available online at www.microsoft.com/

To get your free voucher, connect to the following Web Site: https://partnering.one.microsoft.com/mcp/certtools/voucher.asp. You’ll be required to provide your online ID and password for the MCP secured site to order your voucher. If you’ve never logged on to the MCP secured site and don’t have an online ID, you can create one at https://partnering.one.microsoft.com/mcp.

Parting Shot

As you’d expect for something that lasts four hours, this is a comprehensive exam. When you get ready for it, be sure to prepare for all four sections. Don’t assume that because you’re strong in one section, you can use your high score there to offset a lower score in another section. As I mentioned earlier, this exam is a black box, and no scoring or other section-specific information is supplied. Microsoft hasn’t publicly stated whether a single combined score is used to compute your passing score or whether you must pass each section individually. I recommend you prepare for this exam as if you were going to take the four core exams individually to give yourself the best chance for success.

If you plan to use course 1560 to prepare, supplement the networking material in it with more information on remote access policies, certificates, and both unicast and multicast routing. Good luck!

  • 70-210: Administering Win2K Pro
  • 70-215: Administering Win2K Server
  • 70-216: Administering a Win2K Network
  • 70-217: Administering Win2K Directory Services
  • Your Guide to Victory on Your 70-240 Quest
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