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  1. Junior Member Registered Member
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    Oct 2015
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    #1

    Default What lab to use for 70-680/685

    Hi everyone,

    First timer here!

    I'm aiming to get the 70-680 and 70-685 cert before MCSA is retired, studying/labbing around 12-20 hours a week (if you reckon this won't be enough please do say!)

    I have worked in the IT sector as a basic 1st Line Analyst since 2009, when I acquired the following within 3 months - MCP, MCDST, CompTIA A+ and CompTIA Network+ (bit rusty now as haven't had opportunities to use most of the knowledge acquired)

    I'd like to try and get the MCSA before it is retired, and notice MS are also offering a free 2nd shot on the 680 and 685 so I figure now is the best time.

    Study material wise I am going to purchase Poultons book for 680, but I don't know what book to buy for 685? I'll watch and lab the videos that Proff. Messer goes through and see if I'm ready by doing a mock test on measureup/keplan selftest.

    If you have any suggestions or don't think the above will be ample by all means please do let me know and provide any additional suggestions.

    My MAIN issue is regarding labbing, how do I go about doing this?

    I have used VMWARE at work but I did not set it up, I essentially have no experience setting up virtual machines but am aware it will be the biggest help for these exams.

    And also what book for 685 would you suggest?

    Thanks in advance for any help
    Last edited by Luca91; 10-07-2015 at 12:57 PM.
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  3. Member maelstrom3530's Avatar
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    A+, N+, S+, CCNA R&S, MCP, MCSA: Win7 / 2012R2, MCITP: EDST, MCTS: 70-640, A.A.S. Network Administration and Support
    #2
    Hey there,

    I did my 70-680/685 using VirtualBox. It's free and "just works". The settings/setup are also a little more straightforward than using VMWare. You can easily set the VM's into the same network. Just add a second network card under settings and "attach" them all to "Internal Only", and use the same network name for all of the VMs. You can also easily add a hard drive, boot from an ISO, etc.

    I used CBT Nuggets for both exams. Messer is pretty good too for the 70-680. There's also a series on youtube called "IT Free Training 70-680" that's also very good: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...52C352B8B8E11A

    The 70-685 really requires working with group policy on a 2008R2 server. I'd at least read up on that, maybe even study some of the material for the MS Server Fundamentals certification. Don't take the 70-685 exam lightly, but consider it a head start into MS Server certifications (70-640).

    There are some lab books for both exams on Amazon. Both books are very cheap, and pretty good labs, but aren't enough to cover all hands-on material in my opinion. Still, they're worth getting and going through them.

    Windows 7 Enterprise Trial can still be found out there (legally), but I think MS took down the official/direct links. Server 2008 R2 Trial can also be found (also legally). If you activate them, you'll get 90 days for Win7 Ent and 180 days for 2008R2. You'll also need a copy of XP and Vista for the "upgrade" portion of the labs. Its worth it to do those labs too, even if it seems a little menial. There may be questions on the exam you won't know the answer to unless you actually do the labs. It does get tiring, but my best advice is if you see something you don't know, look it up and make notes, and lab it if you can. For me, simply writing something down helps me remember it better, even if I never read my own notes again. And if I can lab it a few times, I'll know it.

    Its a lot of work, but you'll come out more knowledgeable and more confident. Good luck!
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  4. Junior Member Registered Member
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    #3
    Thanks for the tips maelstrom!

    What lab books do you recommend?
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  5. Member maelstrom3530's Avatar
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    Certifications
    A+, N+, S+, CCNA R&S, MCP, MCSA: Win7 / 2012R2, MCITP: EDST, MCTS: 70-640, A.A.S. Network Administration and Support
    #4
    The MS press lab books are a good starting point, but honestly they don't cover all topics.
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