Questioning Success, Part 1
Digging into practice questions reveals strategies that may help you pass the Windows 2000 Professional exam.
- By James Carrion
This month I start a four-part series
that covers exam question analysis for the Windows
2000 Core four exams-Win2K Professional (70-210),
Win2K Server (70-215), Implementing Win2K Network
Infrastructure (70-216), and Implementing Win2K
Directory Services (70-217).
Each article will analyze sample
questions from each of the exams, with emphasis
on question-and-answer dissection. This will hopefully
not only provide some insight into the type of
questions you’ll see on the real exam, but also
teach you valuable test-taking skills that will
help you when taking any certification exam.
Most prospective MCPs in pursuit
of their Win2K MCSE will start by taking the Win2K
Professional exam. Of the core four Win2K exams,
it’s considered the least difficult to pass, but
it covers such a broad range of Win2K knowledge
it’s still a challenging exam. On the Win2K exam
you’re tested on OS installation (RIS, Sysprep,
Syspart, Answer files), hardware installation,
driver signing, multilanguage capabilities, user
profiles, basic Active Directory Group Policy,
application distribution (Windows Installer, MSI
and MST files), new features of NTFS (EFS, Disk
Quotas, File permissions, auditing), virtual memory,
performance monitoring, printing, power options,
folder redirection, offline files, backup and
restore, OS troubleshooting utilities and recovery
options, remote access, Internet Connection Sharing,
Task scheduling, and how to install a kitchen
You are the administrator of your company’s network.
Your network has a mixture of Win2K Professional
computers and Win2K server computers. Users on
the network save their work files in home folders
on a network server. The NTFS partition that contains
the home folders has the Encrypting File System
(EFS) enabled. Suzy, one of your employees, is
fired and leaves the company. You move all of
the files from Suzy’s home folder to her manager’s
folder. When the manager attempts to open any
of the files, he receives the error message, “Access
denied.” You want the manager to be able to access
What should you do?
- Grant the manager NTFS Modify permission
for the files.
- Log on to the network as a member of the Server
Operators Group. Decrypt the files for the manger.
- Log on to the network as a Recovery Agent.
Decrypt the files for the manger.
- Grant the manager NTFS Full Control permission
to the files. Ask him to take ownership of the
Question 1 Analysis
The key to answering this question is to
know what new Win2K technology Microsoft is trying
to promote here. What sticks out is the Encrypting
File System (EFS). Notice that I’m taking a gamble
here, because this could be simply a permissions
problem, where the user as “owner” of the files
either didn’t grant permission to, or removed
the permissions from, her manager. So the first
valuable Microsoft exam lesson learned here is,
“What is the central point of the question?” Or,
less euphemistically, “What new technology am
I being tested on here that Microsoft is really
proud of?” Get my drift? (Note: You’ll also be
given troubleshooting questions for Win2K-related
problems of which Microsoft isn’t proud.)
The next step is to know a little
something about how EFS works. When a user encrypts
a file, only that user and the user designated
as the recovery agent (the administrator, by default)
can decrypt the file. If you aren’t one of these
users, you can’t open the file, even if you have
NTFS Full Control permissions to the file.
Now that you know what to focus on,
we can start eliminating some of the answers,
namely A and D because they are NTFS permissions-related.
B doesn’t work because, as I just pointed out,
only certain users (no groups) have the keys necessary
to decrypt an encrypted file. We are left with
C as the correct answer.
You are the administrator of your company’s
network. A user named Razhiv runs Win2K Professional
on his portable computer. Razhiv wants to be able
to work at home on office-related files. Prior
to logging off the network and leaving the office,
Razhiv enables offline files on his laptop. Later
that evening Razhiv calls you from home and complains
that copies of his network files are not present
on his portable computer.
What do you tell Razhiv he should
do to fix the problem?
- Tell him that the next time he is in the
office to create a shortcut to the Offline Files
folder. Razhiv will be able to access his files
the next time he logs off the network.
- Tell him to make all files he wants to take
home available offline. Razhiv will be able
to access his files the next time he logs off
- Tell him to manually synchronize all Offline
Files. Razhiv will be able to access his files
at home immediately.
- Tell Razhiv to check “Allow caching of files
in this shared folder.” Razhiv will be able
to access his files at home immediately.
Question 2 Analysis
What’s Microsoft proud of in this question?
Why, Offline Files, of course, a feature that
takes over where the old NT 4.0 Briefcase left
off. Actually, if Microsoft kept the name Briefcase,
you’d probably have an easier time guessing the
answer to this question. You see, the scenario
tells us that Razhiv enabled Offline Files on
his laptop before leaving the office, which means
he has “briefcase” functionality. The only problem
is that he took home an empty “briefcase” with
no files inside. Duh...What he should have done
was throw the files in the “briefcase” by marking
them through a right mouse click to be available
offline. Answer A makes no sense, because the
“briefcase” would still be empty. Answer C doesn’t
work because he has no files in the “briefcase”
to synchronize. Answer D isn’t correct because
it’s a server-side option that Razhiv would enable
on a shared folder he wanted other folks to grab
files from to throw in their “briefcases.” By
process of elimination, B is the correct answer.
You are running Win2K professional with
a HP5 Laser printer shared as MYHP5. The name
of your computer is SNOOPY. The HP5 has just self-destructed,
and you are distraught because your coworkers
are screaming at you, wondering what happened
to their print jobs. You notice that Bob in Sales
also has an HP5 that is shared on the computer
Bobster with a share name of MYHP5ISCOOLER. You
are afraid to tell your coworkers to reprint their
documents (that are already in your spooler) to
What do you do?
- Swallow your pride and go face your coworkers
with the bad news. Tell them to resend their
print jobs to the MYHP5ISCOOLER printer.
- Tell Bob his printer is not so cool after
all, but still haul your computer to his desk
and plug his HP5 into your LPT1 port.
- Stop and restart the spooler service on SNOOPY.
- Change the printer port for MYHP5 from LPT1
to a Local Port with a port name of \\BOBSTER\MYHP5ISCOOLER.
Question 3 Analysis
The problem here is that your printer spooler
is chock full of jobs waiting to be printed, but
your print device is dead. Answer A is plausible
but not highly desirable for many reasons, including
the fact that Win2K wasn’t designed to annoy users.
Answer B just sounds ludicrous-there must be a
better way. Answer C doesn’t work because simple
software manipulation doesn’t resurrect your print
device. So that leaves Answer D. It may sound
strange, but a “local port” is a way for you to
redirect print jobs in your printer’s spooler
to some other printer’s spooler shared on the
network. Since the print jobs are already rendered
for the HP5, you just need to physically get them
to a working HP5, namely Bob’s way-too-cool print
device. Personally, I would simply swap my dead
HP5 for his when he wasn’t looking.
It’s More Than
Just What You Know
I hope this gives you a taste for the scope
and type of questions you may encounter on the
Win2K Professional exam. Passing takes more than
just knowledge—you also need good test-taking
skills. Remember that more than one answer may
seem plausible. To find the best answer, focus
on finding the central point of the question,
which, oftentimes, is the new Win2K technologies
of which Microsoft is proud. Additionally, to
save precious test time, use the process of elimination
to weed out the obviously wrong or misleading
answers. It’s often faster to find wrong answers
than it is to determine the right one.
Coming next month: Windows 2000 Server questions.
James Carrion, MCM R2 Directory, MCITP, MCSE, MCT, CCNA, CISSP has worked as a computer consultant and technical instructor for the past 16 years. He’s the owner of and principal instructor for MountainView Systems, LLC, which specializes in accelerated Microsoft Certification training.