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  1. Level 99 Wizard Skyliinez92's Avatar
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    #1

    Default My journey to MCITP (70-686 stage)

    Hey guys.

    Some of you may have seen me about on the Windows 7 section of the TE forums. I may have helped you or given advice for your 70-680 exams, or poked my head in to a random chat now and again (yes I can be annoying like that!), but with the new year started I am starting to knuckle down and get this 686 exam over with.

    This forum is just going to be my journey towards the MCITP certification, and I will be updating it now and again right up to my exam date (which isn't even booked yet, but plan to have this done by the end of Feb). If any of you are planning on doing your 686 (or even 685), then I hope this can be of some help to you all. Feel free to comment or ask questions, and I will be sharing all of my tips and advice from my own experience.

    I've been preparing some notes and resources over the past month or two, but I'm trying to get serious with this now. I used a lot of good resources for my 680, but unfortunately not a lot are available like Professor Messer so I'm going solo on this. Also seeing some of the old posts on this forum, this exam isn't going to be easy, but hey ho, let's give it a go .

    These are the resources I will be using:

    - CBT Nuggets 70-686 Video Course (consists of 20 videos).
    - Darril Gibson's Desktop Support and Administration Book for 685 and 686.
    - 70-686 Study Notes (kindly supplied by srabiee on these forums).

    Time to start studying!
    Currently working at: MCSA: Windows 10 (70-698, 70-697)
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  3. Senior Member LittleBIT's Avatar
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    #2
    Why go for a Windows 7 cert so late in the game? Why not just get a Windows 10 cert and be up to date? Just curious is all.

    I passed the exam using the same resources you used, and TechNet.
    https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/lear...am-70-686.aspx

    If you look at the 'Skills Measured', you will see links to TechNet articles, I highly suggest you read those. Make sure you understand the tools and syntax's (DISM for example).
    Last edited by LittleBIT; 01-02-2017 at 06:04 PM. Reason: removed cybrary, not a learning resource for 686, I think it was Pluralsight?
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    #3
    Quote Originally Posted by LittleBIT View Post
    Why go for a Windows 7 cert so late in the game? Why not just get a Windows 10 cert and be up to date? Just curious is all.
    That was my hesitation during the time I studied for the 70-680 exam and nearly lost motivation to see it through. But the reason why I continued was because Windows 7 is used in my current workplace and still quite popular.

    We've got about 3 years to gain newer Microsoft certs until MS stops support for Windows 7.

    Good luck Sky.
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  5. Senior Member LittleBIT's Avatar
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    #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Nisseki View Post
    That was my hesitation during the time I studied for the 70-680 exam and nearly lost motivation to see it through. But the reason why I continued was because Windows 7 is used in my current workplace and still quite popular.

    We've got about 3 years to gain newer Microsoft certs until MS stops support for Windows 7.

    Good luck Sky.
    Gotcha Nisseki,

    To the OP, good luck, its a lot easier than 680, that's for damn sure.
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  6. Level 99 Wizard Skyliinez92's Avatar
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    #5
    As Nisseki mentioned, Windows 7 is still used widely in a lot of companies and businesses. With the 686 it covers a lot more administrative ground with imaging and deployment, whether it's 7, 8 or 10, it's still good to understand the technologies.

    Plus I'll be taking the upgrade path to MCSA Windows Server 2012 (or 2016 if it's available by then?) and I already have the 680, might as well go all the way . The MCITP is something I've wanted for years now, just finally gotten around to doing it.

    Did you find the 686 easier? I would like to think so as the 680 had already covered a lot of ground with the content, but many people are saying it's harder? So far I am finding most of the study notes I got at a basic level, going over IE, Bitlocker and Group Policy. I guess I'll have to keep reading, only at section 7 so far.
    Currently working at: MCSA: Windows 10 (70-698, 70-697)
    2018/2019 Goals: MCSE: Mobility, MCSA: Windows Server 2012, RHCSA

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  7. Senior Member LittleBIT's Avatar
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    #6
    686 was easier, but easier is relative. I've worked with deployments and WSUS/SCCM, DISM, WDS, so it was easy, relatively :P

    You can't upgrade to 2016 from MCITP Win 7, or atleast it's not an option (yet, though I doubt it as Win Srv 2016 is a huge upgrade from 2012, with their azure cloud and new features). But you can for 70-417 (Srv 2012)

    Yeah, 680 covers a good portion of it, 686 is more in depth on the tools and process.
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  8. Level 99 Wizard Skyliinez92's Avatar
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    #7
    I've just started a new job which uses SCCM on a wide scale, so hopefully this will give me some extra experience with deployments. I may try to do the exam a little earlier if I can but will get a second shot voucher just to be safe.
    Currently working at: MCSA: Windows 10 (70-698, 70-697)
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  9. Level 99 Wizard Skyliinez92's Avatar
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    #8
    Just finished writing up my notes. I used srabiee's notes as a baseline and added my own interpretation to it by following the videos from CBT nuggets.

    I can see that the 686 focuses more on administrative technologies from the 680, such as Bitlocker, Image capturing and deployment, Applocker etc, but expands it in more detail. So instead of just knowing how to capture and deploy an image, you need to understand the full process and 'life cycle' of a system, from start to finish. It also focuses a lot on new material, such as licensing and activation (MAK vs KMS) and who will be receiving the image (Thick vs Thin clients).

    I'm going to be using the videos from CBT to clarify this information and fill in any gaps I'm missing. Srabiee's notes really saved me some time preparing for this exam. I've included a link below to his notes on my dropbox folder if anyone wants to view them. They're basically written up notes directly from the CBT nugget video course.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/tycyyf5gum...Notes.pdf?dl=0

    Once I've gone through the videos I'll be reviewing information from the Darril Gibson book. Note sure how much I will go through as it's a pretty big book but I will probably just go over anything I'm still unsure about. The book also came with a CD which has a 50 question exam for the 686. Looks like it's only one exam so I will use it closer to my exam date (which I still haven't booked) and see how I do. Any further study will be through MeasureUps at the end as a final prep.
    Currently working at: MCSA: Windows 10 (70-698, 70-697)
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    #9
    If this is anything like the 685, it assumes that you have an encyclopedic knowledge of all of the content on the 640/642. Not even joking. I'm planning on doing this cert at some point, but as I said, if it's anything like the 685, don't underestimate it and expect things you've never seen mentioned in study guides or even on the exam objectives to show up.
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  11. Level 99 Wizard Skyliinez92's Avatar
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    #10
    Yea I'm not taking this exam lightly. Getting mixed feedback on it and from the CBT Vids I've already seen a lot of new content. I'll most likely get a 2nd shot voucher or something when it comes to it just to be safe.

    If you're planning on doing this cert just be aware that they are retiring July next year.

    Update on Windows 7 Exam Retirement Dates
    Currently working at: MCSA: Windows 10 (70-698, 70-697)
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    #11
    Good idea on the second shot. Hopefully it won't come to that though! I passed the 642 first time even though I had a booster pack, still glad I had access to resits though.

    Cheers for the info, saw the retirement dates last week. I'm hoping I can get the pair of them done by summer.
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  13. Level 99 Wizard Skyliinez92's Avatar
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    #12
    Pushing the exam back until the end of March. Real life is getting in the way and haven't been able to budget for the exam yet. My workplace has offered to pay for the exam but I need to make the initial payment first and claim the expense back.
    Currently working at: MCSA: Windows 10 (70-698, 70-697)
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  14. Level 99 Wizard Skyliinez92's Avatar
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    #13
    Exam booked for 3rd April. Work has kindly offered to pay for it for me.

    I like to book exams for a Monday as it gives me the whole weekend for a final push on the study, and I thought the 27th March might be a little early, so played it safe.

    Practice exams will most likely start around mid March. Going to push a little more with Labs and then test my knowledge on MeasureUps. I've also got a Darril Gibson practice test CD that came with teh book I've got, so might try that first.
    Currently working at: MCSA: Windows 10 (70-698, 70-697)
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  15. Level 99 Wizard Skyliinez92's Avatar
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    #14
    Exam passed this morning, glad that's off my chest now. It was difficult, but I got a pass out of it and now happy to say I am officially an MCITP .
    Currently working at: MCSA: Windows 10 (70-698, 70-697)
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    #15
    Nice one. I'm just beginning to study for this today. What was your approach? A couple of people have said this is very theory based and didn't require much in the way of labbing. Is that consistent with your experience of the exam?

    Congrats again.
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    #16
    Congrats!
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    #17
    Thanks guys! There definitely isn't as much labbing needed compared to the 70-680, but I would say it helps to have the 680 behind you. A lot of the practice tests I did prior to it had a lot of content crossing over between both units. Knowing how to build, capture and deploy an image from start to finish for example will help when it comes to knowing how to deploy via SCCM and other administrative tasks. It's more administration and group policy tasks, obviously. Other units are new to the exam and require a lot of theory training, things you can't really lab with for example licensing - knowing the difference between KMS and MAK.

    The exam itself had a few difficult points and I may have spent too much time on some of the questions, but a pass is a pass and I came out with a 720. For those trying it without having the 680 you will most likely struggle. It's not impossible, but the MCTS did help me along. Good luck to anyone attempting it. But for me I'm going to enjoy a long break before starting my 70-417 . Time to get the beers out.
    Currently working at: MCSA: Windows 10 (70-698, 70-697)
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    #18
    How many hours did you study for this one?
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    #19
    At the start I did around 10 hours a week max. It was on and off due to work and life getting in the way. After a couple of months getting use to the content I booked the exam and in the final month did around 2/3 hours per night, up to 6 hours in the weekend. I could have pushed for more but my work had organised for me to do some basic Linux training in between for a new project coming up. Overall I probably didn't give this one as much effort as the 70-680, but still passed .
    Currently working at: MCSA: Windows 10 (70-698, 70-697)
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  21. Senior Member srabiee's Avatar
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    #20
    I'm glad those notes helped you out. I uploaded them a few years back and had forgotten about it. Glad the link still works and you were able to find them.
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  22. Level 99 Wizard Skyliinez92's Avatar
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    #21
    Quote Originally Posted by srabiee View Post
    I'm glad those notes helped you out. I uploaded them a few years back and had forgotten about it. Glad the link still works and you were able to find them.
    Your notes were definitely a life saver! It helped to make clear understanding of the CBT videos. Thanks again!
    Currently working at: MCSA: Windows 10 (70-698, 70-697)
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    #22
    Hey @skyliinez92. Did you use MDT 2012 when you labbed this? I can't find a download for 2010, and it seems like a few things have changed. I can't seem to figure out how to create new deployment points in 2012.
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  24. Level 99 Wizard Skyliinez92's Avatar
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    #23
    I used the 2010 version as I still had it installed on my 2008 R2 VM when I did my 70-680. I used the link below to download it:

    Download links for MDT 2010 Update 1....
    Currently working at: MCSA: Windows 10 (70-698, 70-697)
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    #24
    Awesome! Nice one. I actually found that page, but didn't even see the bottom 2 links where he'd re-uploaded them until now. Think I'm starting to make sense of the deployment stuff now. In hindsight, I was lucky with my 70-680 cause I did not understand the imaging and deployment side of things very well at all.
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    #25
    Deployment section was definitely the most broad topic of the exam, it took me time to understand it all. I was constantly forgetting what ImageX and DISM was etc but I lab and watch videos over and over again until I got it.
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