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Score cards; Password Workout; MX Records; and the Cool Factor.

It’s an Insult!
For the record, I took both the 70-292 and 70-296 exams recently and didn’t receive the bar graph score reports referred to in the December “Call Me Certifiable” column, “He Shoots, He Scores.”

Now, onto the question, to wit: “Can rampant customer service be good for the MCP program?” In this case, yes. First we attend a class or study until it hurts in preparation for the exam. Then we pay an outrageous amount for the test. To withhold meaningful feedback is an insult to the efforts that we honest candidates put forth in the attempt—and to the fact that we pay for the privilege. Sure it could get out of control, either as you so humorously described or—to the other extreme—it could result in something really ridiculous (like board certification). It’s about time Microsoft listened to its customers.
—Mark Brenberger, MCSA, MCSE, A+
West Palm Beach, Florida

Having passed both 70-210 and 70-215 at the first attempt, A “Pass” score was good enough. However, with two more exams for my MCSA, then another to upgrade to Server 2003, knowing weak areas if I fail would be a real benefit. Someone told me that Microsoft had changed to simple “Pass” or “Fail” to prevent certified professionals from stating their percentage score, such as, “MCSE with 80 percent pass rate.” Hence, reinforcing the Microsoft doctrine—and quite right, too—that an MCP is an MCP, period.
—Malcolm, via online

Password Workout
I was getting a hex (err.number) = “8000500D” that stated: “The Active Directory property cannot be found in the cache,” which was correct. I was doing a lookup for Surname and Given Name to replace the Common Name to [LastName FirstName] for our Exchange lookup. I was running against some users that had no property in one or all of those fields listed above. I was stumped—until I read the December 2000 “Scripting for MCSEs” column, “Password Workout” (online at mcpmag.com/columns/article.asp? EditorialsID=87) by Chris Brooke.
This article saved me a ton on time—something that most techs don’t have. If I sent you my script, could I get pointers on any “optimizations” you’d recommend?
—Bryan E. Steinberg
Claymont, Delaware

Thanks for the kind words, Bryan. I don’t actually have time to help everybody optimize his or her scripts, but I’m more than willing to offer advice on how to get past an occasional scripting hurdle.
—Chris Brooke

I’ve Become the MX Records
I’ve just finished reading December’s “Windows Insider” column, “Be the Exchange Server,” and must comment. Bill Boswell’s description of how SMTP queries DNS for MX records was so far the best and simplest explanation of how and why MX records are placed into your DNS setup.

I’m currently configuring a Windows 2003 server with Exchange 2003 for my company. This is the first time they’re going to be exposed to Exchange, so configuration is important. DNS is also of high importance, as we’re hosting mail for two other companies upon deployment of the new Exchange server. I’ve read countless pages from Microsoft about DNS, Server and Exchange configurations over the last month and Bill’s article pretty much summed up what the MX records were all about.

I just wanted to thank you for making my week. This is one more configuration that I can finish before we finally go live.
—Kevin Geary
Rochelle Park, New Jersey

Talk about Cool
I’ve downloaded a 60-day trial of OneNote 2003 from Microsoft’s site. It’s pretty cool in that it organizes my notes the way I want them, and I can search across everything that I’ve collected. Even better, when we move to Office 2003, we can share the data in each other’s notebooks and create repositories of information.

It’s kind of hard to get started, but the Web site has lots of examples, and the OneNote Product Guide has lots of details. It took me about a day to get set up on my (non-Tablet PC) laptop, but it’s already saved me some time with generating my weekly status report. Once I get a Tablet PC (we just ordered a couple to demo for the office), I’m going to load it on there and see how it works with the pen interface.
—Eddie Whetzel, MCP
Washington, D.C.

On Longhorn’s File System
Regarding Dian Schaffhauser’s column in the December issue, “Unifying the Storm,” in my opinion, a Windows operating system didn’t exist 15 years ago—only a graphical user interface SDK library that an application developer would link his or her code to. My first Windows experience was Aldus Pagemaker in 1988. When the Pagemaker executable was started from PC-DOS, a Windows 2.03 copyright notice would appear on the startup screen.

Anyone running Quarterdesk DESQview over 15 years ago was already using a 286-based computer. Task switching in DESQview was enabled via Intel 80286 Protected Mode. Contrary to Di’s editorial comment, her DESQview-compatible computer was also a Windows-compatible computer.

Today, even my Intel Pentium 4 with a gigabyte of memory doesn’t feel like a Windows XP Professional SP1-compatible computer. It often feels as sluggish as my first Aldus Pagemaker-based Windows experience.

Whatever happened to the responsiveness of Intel 8088 Real Mode-based DOS applications? Sidekick hooked into the keyboard interrupt was only an instant TSR hotkey away.
—David Gallarda
Redmond, Washington

After the Crash
I enjoyed Zubair Alexander's July 2002 article, "After the Crash" (http://mcpmag.com/Features/article.asp?EditorialsID=286). It was informative. I have a question When you have to recover a server on dissimilar hardware and restore a system state backup, what exactly are the boot files that are included in the system state component backup?
What I'm looking to do is the following:
1.  On my production server during backup the hardware dependant core files
are stored System-State (Not sure which files these are). However, I can
find the Hal.dll in the c:\winnt\system32   directory. Not sure if all of these files needed for Windows 2000 in addressing hardware dependancy issues?
WIN32K.sys (windows NT4.0 only)
2.   If I have to recover a HP server to  a IBM server with different
mother board, processors,.etc;
3.   I install a clean copy of Windows 2000 on the target IBM server and
backup the core files listed above in a backup directory.
4.   Once I restore the source HP server on the target IBM hardware, I will
use the recovery console to replace the restored source HP server core files in the c:\winnt\system32\ directory,  with the core files which were backed up from the target IBM server base Windows 2000 install.  These were stored in a backup directory and pertain to target IBM hardware.
3.  Then I will run a Fast repair to bring up the server and re run the service pack.
—Joseph D. Reyes

Joseph, you can move your Win2K installation to a different hardwar,e but there are several things you need to know. You need to make sure that the drive letter and the system root folders are the same on the source and destination folder (e.g., C:\WINNT on both computers). Also, make sure that you have the same number of partitions (C, D, E, and so on) on both computers.

Ideally, you should have the same HAL type on both computers, but this isn't an absolute requirement. To find out the HAL type, go to Device Manager, Computer and locate your processor. Go to the processor's Properties, go to Driver tab and click on Driver Details to view the HAL type.

Luckily, ntbackup.exe is smart enough to merge the hardware differences between the source and destination computer by ensuring that certain registry keys in HKLM\SYSTYEM are not overwritten when the system is restored. In addition, due to the Plug 'n Play nature of Win2K, the minor hardware configuration differences are properly handled by the system.
Unless you are running SP4, you need to apply the hotfix 810161 (http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?kbid=810161). Otherwise, even with Plug 'n Play, your NICs may not be properly discovered.
You might want to check out this KB article for more details on how to move your installation to a different computer: http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=249694. You didn't mention if your server was a Domain Controller. Microsoft doesn't recommend the procedure described in this KB article on DCs. Good luck!
—Zubair Alexander

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