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  1. Senior Member
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    #1

    Default Issues studying for 70-410

    So i'm working on my path to MCSA and just started studying for 70-410. I have downloaded the digital version of Don Poulton's Cert Guide. I feel like i'm just reading but not retaining anything .. What have the rest of you guys used to prepare for the exam.. I was thinking about the cbt nuggets.. Heard some good things about them.. Thanks in Advance!
    Last edited by ra13; 04-27-2017 at 02:04 AM.
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  3. Senior Member
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    #2
    I also used Poulton's Pearson book, PluralSight and lots of TechNet articles. Make sure you lab everything and know how to set things up via GUI and powershell.
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    #3
    Awesome thanks for the info! If I understood cbt gives you labs that you can work on.. I just have R2 with gui installed right now.
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  5. Senior Member AndersonSmith's Avatar
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    #4
    For the MCSA exams, you can't just read a guide and expect to pass the exams. You'll need to setup a home lab with either physical or virtual servers and actually lab all of the objectives. Not only will that help to reinforce what you're reading to help you retain the knowledge better, but that's basically what the MCSA exams are all about - actually being able to do the objectives outlined in the exam rather than just reading about them and being able to pass an exam. Check out Pluralsight's videos for the MCSA 2012 series as that's what I used along with Infinite Skills videos and found them to be excellent. Follow along with the videos and perform the tasks they are doing and then come up with some of your own and see if you can do them without the help of the videos. Look up anything online that you don't fully understand. You really don't want to sit for these exams if there's even one task you feel uncomfortable with. As AvgITGeek mentioned, make sure you are comfortable with Powershell. Anything you can do in the GUI you should be able to do in Powershell as well. I hope that helps some. Good luck!
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    #5
    So what exactly would you need? Could you just spin up a Server 2012 R2 VM with VM Player or whatever the free VMWare product is now or do you need more?
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  7. Senior Member
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    #6
    I def am a better hands on learner than trying to retain things from a book.. I noticed that microsoft has virtual labs that cover all the objectives.. I do have server R2 installed also.. I'm gonna try the Pluralsight along with Microsofts technet labs and read through Don Poulton's book..
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by AndersonSmith View Post
    For the MCSA exams, you can't just read a guide and expect to pass the exams. You'll need to setup a home lab with either physical or virtual servers and actually lab all of the objectives. Not only will that help to reinforce what you're reading to help you retain the knowledge better, but that's basically what the MCSA exams are all about - actually being able to do the objectives outlined in the exam rather than just reading about them and being able to pass an exam. Check out Pluralsight's videos for the MCSA 2012 series as that's what I used along with Infinite Skills videos and found them to be excellent. Follow along with the videos and perform the tasks they are doing and then come up with some of your own and see if you can do them without the help of the videos. Look up anything online that you don't fully understand. You really don't want to sit for these exams if there's even one task you feel uncomfortable with. As AvgITGeek mentioned, make sure you are comfortable with Powershell. Anything you can do in the GUI you should be able to do in Powershell as well. I hope that helps some. Good luck!
    Thanks a bunch for the valuable information! Sounds like the path I'm going to take! I scheduled my exam out for 6 weeks from now.
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  9. Senior Member AndersonSmith's Avatar
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by TPowell View Post
    So what exactly would you need? Could you just spin up a Server 2012 R2 VM with VM Player or whatever the free VMWare product is now or do you need more?
    You can use VMware, Hyper-V, or VirtualBox - whatever virtualization software you want really. The advantage to using Hyper-V is that it's one of the objectives for the 410 anyway so by using it you'll be helping yourself to learn. I personally used VirtualBox on a laptop with a 256GB SSD and 16GB RAM and was able to run about 4 VMs at a time, which was sufficient. A lot of the videos I watched wanted you to have 6-7 VMs running but I was able to get by with less because I modified the labs a little and installed several server roles/features on the 4 VMs rather than separating them out with the 7 they wanted for the videos. For example, a lot of the videos from Pluralsight would have you setup a lab with 2 Domain Controllers, a Windows 7 client, a couple file servers, and perhaps a Remote Access server. Even though it's certainly not something you'd want to do in production I'd just install the RAS server on one of my file servers and/or completely leave out the extra file servers altogether. The only problem with using VirtualBox was that to lab out the Hyper-V objectives you have to do something with Powershell to modify the system to allow you to install the Management Tools but you can't actually start a VM because VirtualBox doesn't support nested virtualization. For me, I just installed Hyper-V on an old desktop PC with a couple GB of RAM I had lying around and that worked fine.
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    #9
    Think I'm going to follow along with the CBT Nuggets course and lab everything along with them. Any idea if I need to do anything other than have VMWare Player installed before I start?
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  11. Senior Member AndersonSmith's Avatar
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by TPowell View Post
    Think I'm going to follow along with the CBT Nuggets course and lab everything along with them. Any idea if I need to do anything other than have VMWare Player installed before I start?

    I'm not sure because I didn't use CBT. I used Pluralsight and Infinite Skills. They used VMware and had an introductory video on how to set everything up, but like I said, I used VirtualBox instead so I mostly skipped over the introduction and did my own thing lol
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    #11
    I am also studying for the 70-410 exam.
    So far i have gotten through half of Poulton book in approx 3weeks. I have been taken notes and also doing anything lab related in the book. I know i have so much more study to do, like go back and LAB, LAB and more LAB. Also i have to start using PS more, reading technet and Pluralsight Videos.

    I have been using VMWare Workstation. There is some tinkering around to get Hyper-V working within a Hypervisor but plenty of guides on the net
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  13. Senior Member AndersonSmith's Avatar
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    #12
    Quote Originally Posted by umarbhatti View Post
    There is some tinkering around to get Hyper-V working within a Hypervisor but plenty of guides on the net
    ^^^ Exactly. It's really simple to do
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  14. Self-Described Huguenot blargoe's Avatar
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    #13
    Quote Originally Posted by ra13 View Post
    I def am a better hands on learner than trying to retain things from a book.. I noticed that microsoft has virtual labs that cover all the objectives.. I do have server R2 installed also.. I'm gonna try the Pluralsight along with Microsofts technet labs and read through Don Poulton's book..
    You will need more than the TechNet labs for sure. They are good for certain scenarios to get your feet wet so to speak but they are not enough hands on to pass any of the MCSA exams by themselves.
    IT guy since 12/00

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  15. Senior Member shochan's Avatar
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    #14
    Microsoft has lots of free courses

    https://mva.microsoft.com/search/Sea...Pros&lang=1033
    2017 -> Chillaxing & (reading C|EH - Matt Walker)
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  16. What The?! Fulcrum45's Avatar
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    #15
    Yes, definitely take advantage of the fact that Hyper-V is built into Win10 and Win8 (you're not on 8, are you?) and know that MS will let you download SVR2012R2 evaluation copies which I think are good for 180 days(?). I have a small domain running on my laptop as we speak
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    #16
    The evaluation version is good for 180 days but you can extend it after expiration by running the following from an elevated command prompt: slmgr.vbs /rearm

    I've had 1 evaluation expire on me and that was one I had at my last place of employment and the above worked. In my lab environment, I've never had an evaluation expire on me because my lab is being torn down and rebuilt ever 3 months or so. I also create a base image, usually after I get the OS and updates installed and then sysprep it with the oobe and generalize then use that for all future VMs as their parent drive if using Hyper-V. In VirtualBox just clone that image and reset the mac.
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  18. What The?! Fulcrum45's Avatar
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    #17
    Quote Originally Posted by AvgITGeek View Post
    The evaluation version is good for 180 days but you can extend it after expiration by running the following from an elevated command prompt: slmgr.vbs /rearm
    Good to know, Thanks!
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  19. Senior Member shochan's Avatar
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    #18
    Quote Originally Posted by avgitgeek View Post
    the evaluation version is good for 180 days but you can extend it after expiration by running the following from an elevated command prompt: Slmgr.vbs /rearm

    i've had 1 evaluation expire on me and that was one i had at my last place of employment and the above worked. In my lab environment, i've never had an evaluation expire on me because my lab is being torn down and rebuilt ever 3 months or so. I also create a base image, usually after i get the os and updates installed and then sysprep it with the oobe and generalize then use that for all future vms as their parent drive if using hyper-v. In virtualbox just clone that image and reset the mac.


    very
    nice!
    Hi5!
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  20. Senior Member stunnedsoup's Avatar
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    #19
    Definitely lab as much material as you can. I'm running VMware Workstation w/ several client Win OSs and an eval of 2012 R2 (will rearm).

    I use 2012 R2 everyday at work but not to the extent of what most of the OCG covers, so I lab those parts out. I also try to PowerShell everything. Add a new role or feature?...Use PowerShell. NIC teaming, Storage Pools?...Use PowerShell.

    Here's another tip I have that works for me. If you find that you're getting bored of studying or not retaining anything, either take a break or skip around a bit and read a topic that interests you. At some point in time you'll definitely have to go back and study the areas you skipped or didn't want to read. Definitely mark/flag those skipped areas. However, if you start studying/reading a topic that you are interested in you'll be a lot more engaged and focused.

    For example: There was mention of GP in an early chapter of the OCG. I was getting bored of the particular chapter but was interested in reading more about GP. Instead of just reading the rest of the chapter just to say I did it, I stopped, opened up the chapter on GP (and read TechNet's as well) and actually learned a bit about GP. Anyway, when you're engaged and focused you tend to learn more. I know this method worked for me when I studied for Cisco and it's also working for my MCSA studies so far.

    Didn't mean to ramble. Best of luck!
    Cisco: CCENT [] CCNA [] || MCSE: 70-410 [] 70-411 [ ] 74-409 [] 70-534 [ ] || VMWare: VCP [ ]
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  21. Senior Member
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    #20
    Thank you all for your great responses, I will take all your recommendations!!
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  22. Senior Member greg9891's Avatar
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    #21
    Quote Originally Posted by AndersonSmith View Post
    For the MCSA exams, you can't just read a guide and expect to pass the exams. You'll need to setup a home lab with either physical or virtual servers and actually lab all of the objectives. Not only will that help to reinforce what you're reading to help you retain the knowledge better, but that's basically what the MCSA exams are all about - actually being able to do the objectives outlined in the exam rather than just reading about them and being able to pass an exam. Check out Pluralsight's videos for the MCSA 2012 series as that's what I used along with Infinite Skills videos and found them to be excellent. Follow along with the videos and perform the tasks they are doing and then come up with some of your own and see if you can do them without the help of the videos. Look up anything online that you don't fully understand. You really don't want to sit for these exams if there's even one task you feel uncomfortable with. As AvgITGeek mentioned, make sure you are comfortable with Powershell. Anything you can do in the GUI you should be able to do in Powershell as well. I hope that helps some. Good luck!
    I agree with AndersonSmith if you have a hard time studying and retaining information I think watching some videos would be a great help.it gives you a visual and practical knowledge as to how this will work within the software and help you wrap your head around the software and the server 2012 OS a lot better.

    I find that if you watch the videos and lab along with it that when you read the book that it will be much better to understand because you can visualize some of the material now.Hope this helps!
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    #22
    I am finding myself getting bored studying for this test.
    i will jump around and find a subject I will enjoy.
    that way, some of the information is getting digested.
    the new cbtnugget course looks appealing to me!
    but, I have in my mind to do the 18 week plan that cbtnugget sent out.
    i am still on week 1!
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    #23
    I honestly think i have hit a road block now studying for this exam.
    After going hard for about 4 weeks i look at the text book and dread opening it up. At this moment i feel like i am going going through the motions. I have tried changing up topics as well, but nope thats not interesting to me either.
    I have been in the library for last 1hr and have even though about pulling out the text book and doing some study.
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  25. Senior Member nachodba's Avatar
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    #24
    Check out Udemy, they have some 70-410 courses for $10, I can't say i've used any of them but I have used Udemy for SQL Server videos and they were very helpful.
    2017 Goals - MCSA SQL 2016 Database Administration, MCSA Windows Server 2016
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  26. Senior Member
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    #25
    I've been jumping around from different resources.. I jus started using the TechNet Virtual labs today and they seem to be what i'm looking for on retaining info. Reading a book word for word, cover to cover makes me drowsy lol.. I need to be doing the stuff hands on. Has anyone taken practice exams without reading the material and learned by getting the questions wrong and reading why as apposed to reading word for word?
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