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  1. Member
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    #1

    Default PASSED - Configuring Windows 8.1

    Hi Everyone,

    Finally got fed up of studying for this test and thought to just get up and take it and... I finally passed it with 700/1000. Was hoping for a little bit higher but a pass is still a pass. It actually hasn't sunk in yet despite seeing it on Microsoft's website. Guess its time for a takeaway and video games night to celebrate!!

    A huge huge thank you to Culpano and Joeswfc for advising me on how to study for this one as well as anybody else who has commented on any of my previous posts. You guys were an amazing help and I really appreciate it!

    For those of you who are worried about taking exams online, don't be. Honestly, it isn't as bad as people make it out to be and I had a very positive experience. If you've never done it before, it is a little scary at first trying to perform the tests but it you're instructed properly each step of the way so it was fine. The man who was on the phone was very polite and spoke great Egnlish so he was very easy to understand. Security wise, I would even go as far as to say it was more secure than going into the test centre, they ask you to pan around the room, show your desk, ears, arms and empty your pockets. The whole time, they're watching you and recording you on Cam too.

    Feel free to ask me any questions, provided it doesn't violate the agreement with Microsoft I am more than happy to answer you all.
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  3. Senior Member DAVIS NGUYEN's Avatar
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    #2
    Congrats!
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    #3
    Quote Originally Posted by DAVIS NGUYEN View Post
    Congrats!
    Thank you Davis Nguyen!
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    #4
    Great stuff !!! Really pleased for you. It's a great feeling passing a Microsoft exam. Keep it up and get some more !

    What's next then ? 70-688 ? I am currently doing 70-697 but I am considering doing the 70-688 so I can aim for the MCSE Enterprise Devices and Apps. I've even dabbled with the Office 365 stuff (started looking at the CBT Nuggets courses). Problem with the exams for the cloud biased technologies is the constant update of the interfaces which makes it a bit more difficult to learn.
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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by culpano View Post
    Great stuff !!! Really pleased for you. It's a great feeling passing a Microsoft exam. Keep it up and get some more !

    What's next then ? 70-688 ? I am currently doing 70-697 but I am considering doing the 70-688 so I can aim for the MCSE Enterprise Devices and Apps. I've even dabbled with the Office 365 stuff (started looking at the CBT Nuggets courses). Problem with the exams for the cloud biased technologies is the constant update of the interfaces which makes it a bit more difficult to learn.
    Thanks Culpano! Haha yes, it sure is a great feeling. This was my first one too so I'm now an MCP - I was really pleased about that. I figured id go onto the 70-688 because I have already spent a little while learning this last year and think I may as well finish it off. Last year I was forced to study for the two exams at the same time as I live in the Middle East and only return to UK once a year so I can take the exams. With the release of the Online Proctored exams it was a game changer for me. I studied for the 70-688 for several months during that time though so I learnt a lot but nowhere near enough to pass, I bombed it with 46X so I have a lot of work to do to correct this one but at least now I can focus solely on this one, I reckon I'm in with a chance. I'm planning to resume my studies for it today, hopefully I can give myself a bit of a refresher and start feeling better about it soon. If I get this one, I can take the one exam to certify for Windows 10 so that's what I'm hoping to do.

    Yes I agree, its frustrating because both the 70-697 and the 70-688 both seem to revolve around Windows Intune and Office 365 so either way I think I've got to start looking at these. It is awkward though, the only thing we can really do is take trials of them and they only last for about a week or so ( I did this last year when I tried to pass it). I'm praying somebody somewhere will release resources for the Win 10 one that I can use it for 8 since it would be more up to date haha.
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  7. Senior Member greg9891's Avatar
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    Congrats !
    Certs Gained 2017: 70-410, 70-411,74-409, MCSA Server 2012r2
    Upcoming: Security +, ITIL FOUNDATIONS, 70-345 Exchange Server 2016, Ccent

    “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” - 1 Thessalonians 5:11
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    #7
    Thanks greg9891!
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    #8
    Hello, I have a question (and many more from my other threads, if you care to read the latest one about MS certs) regarding study materials. From what I understand to be MCSA certified, you must pass both 687 and 688 exams, like passing the A+ with 801 and 802?

    For the A+, I relied heavily just on a single book and various other practice exams on the net to pass, what one single book do you recommend for this exam or is this not that kind of exam where its more visual learning?

    If you can, narrow down to three study materials that helped the most (preferably free of cost).

    THANKS A TON, hope to hear from you
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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by DAVIS NGUYEN View Post
    Congrats!
    Mr. Davis Nguyen is the most reliable and consistent 'congrats' forum member I have ever seen in my long tenure here at TechExams.
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by techtia View Post
    Hello, I have a question (and many more from my other threads, if you care to read the latest one about MS certs) regarding study materials. From what I understand to be MCSA certified, you must pass both 687 and 688 exams, like passing the A+ with 801 and 802?

    For the A+, I relied heavily just on a single book and various other practice exams on the net to pass, what one single book do you recommend for this exam or is this not that kind of exam where its more visual learning?

    If you can, narrow down to three study materials that helped the most (preferably free of cost).

    THANKS A TON, hope to hear from you
    Yes you're correct. To certify for the MCSA you need both the 687 and the 688. If you haven't passed your first Microsoft exam yet, then the very first one you pass will certify you as a Microsoft Certified Professional so that's pretty convenient but for the MCSA you do need to pass them both.

    Your next question is kind of a difficult one to answer really. I'm sure that a lot of people will agree with me when I say that there really isn't a single source for you to get your information from. The Microsoft exams in comparison to CompTIA are actually very different, with CompTIA you can be asked questions and provided you knew roughly what you're talking about then you should get the answer correct but Microsoft exams are extremely granular and you really do have to know a lot of information in order to rule out which answer is the correct one in comparison to other very similar options. You can be asked crazy things like "What tab is xxxx on?", "Which is the BEST solution?" or "What exact command switch do you need to achieve xxxxxx?" - The exams expect you to know every little detail pretty much and one thing I will say straight away is that I failed my exam the first time by comparing it with the way CompTIA test you, believe me it is a very different experience. That being said though there are several resources available to you so its still an achievable goal, only problem is that a lot of these aren't free like they were for the A+.

    For these two exams, I've got to be honest... I really wasn't impressed with the books. Yes there are one or two available, but the one that I read didn't really help all that much. There were pieces of information that were out of date, loads of typos and grammar errors. It seemed like the author had tried to rush the book and get it out there as quickly as possible so I wasn't really pleased by that. If you prefer book work though, I think the best one that I read would be the Exam Ref 70-687 Configuring Windows 8.1 by Jodi Ballew. Maybe somebody else has found a better one than that but I'm more a visual learner so I kind of preferred video training and virtual labs to study. I really recommend you dong the same.

    For the training videos, theres one thing to bare in mind. When Windows was upgraded to 8.1, the newer content wasn't really written down in many places, I really had to do my research to see which changes made it onto the exam. In particular I'm talking about upgrade paths from older versions to Windows to 8.1 ( thanks to Culpano I learnt that really only Windows 8 can upgrade to 8.1 and allow you to keep everything but that wasn't made clear in the resources). There's also a resolution change that Culpano brought to my attention, check that out too and the limit to how many PCs your Windows Store apps can be installed on ( this limit has been changed to 81 devices in 8.1 so don't be thrown by that!). There two good vendors for video training, one is CBT Nuggets and they have two sets of videos for this, one that covers the old Windows 8 content and that's by James Conrad and one for the updated 8.1 course and that's by Anthony Sequeira. I actually watched both of these, James Conrad is a very good teacher and goes into a lot of detail so even though his version is slightly outdated, I recommend you watch his as well as he touches up ofor them certain topics in more detail than Anthony. The other vender is Pluralsight ( used to be called Trainsignal) and they only did a series on the older Windows 8 content, the guy who did these videos does lots of demos in his videos so they're also handy to watch. Unfortunately, both of these require you to pay for them, Pluralsight is slightly cheaper than CBT Nuggets I believe but if you had to pick one or the other I'd go with CBT Nuggets, I believe they have packages that offer practice questions too so that's something to consider. Both do offer free trials so if you wanna test out each one then you can always give that a go and see what appeals to you.

    What you can do completely free is make your own lab environment to play in and I really do recommend that you do that. There are many hypervisors out there to use. If you own Windows 8.1 Pro then you can make use of Microsoft's Client Hyper-V ( which is on the exam by the way, you need to learn how to use that anyway), if you don't have Pro and you want a free hypervisor to use then you could try Oracle's version called Virtual Box which you can download online ( go on Google, its easy to find). Once you've got a hypervisor then you can download the free copy of Windows 8.1 Enterprise from Microsoft which is a trial that lasts about 90 days I think. Anyway, you can use that and when the trial expires, just install it on a new machine and play around with it for as long as you want to. I would really consider doing this due to the nature of the exam and how detailed it is. Sometimes struggling to implement something for the first time really helps you remember it.

    As far as practice questions go, there are a few available but once again unlike for CompTIA these aren't free. There are three vendors for these; Transcender, Kaplan and Measure Up. I personally used Kaplan but that's primarily because I was penniless at the time and that was the cheapest option haha. From what I've read though it is owned by the same company as Transcender, it just offers a little less questions. Can't really say I've used MeasureUp and Transcender yet, but people say they're good - Transcender questions are supposed to be harder than the real exam, guess that varies from course to course but here I can say that can be kind of true, for some questions anyway. Seriously, I'd buy one of these because if you've never seen Microsoft styled questions before you will be completely blown away by how hard they are but its a learning curve and its better to learn it now than when you're sat in there staring up at the screen. These also have flash cards and they're really helpful. I did a couple everyday and over time I began to notice the difference.

    A few tips for you. Firstly, learn your Powershell commands. Yes, Powershell does come up. Microsoft thinks that Powershell is the future and they're very keen for you to learn the commands. If you go onto Quizlet.com you can type in the two exam numbers, one of them has a Powershell set of flash cards and that was a lifesaver. Learn those, that's all I'm saying, they'll help you big time. If you take a practice exam from one of the vendors I spoke about they'll pretty much clue you in that these do come up quite a bit so I'd really take that on board. Quizlet also has good cards for terms and definitions for the course and things like that and its completely free to use. Give it a try. Secondly, use TechNet...It contains more info than you'll ever need for all of the topics in the exam. It is very dry... but honestly, if there's an obscure detail that you got wrong in a practice question, go onto TechNet and you can get all the details about it. It does help.

    I wanted to give you the full details so I could save you from making the mistakes I made but if you wanted a short answer, here's what I'd use:-

    1) CBT Nuggets ( both series) and trial Pluralsight's videos.
    2) Get a hypervisor and get a trial of 8.1 Enterprise (lab through everything while going through the videos. Everything they do, you do... at least once).
    3) Practice Tests ( I'd get Transcender if you're not on a tight budget) and use Quizlet.com and TechNet to help you learn the material. Take the tests like once a week or something. Don't do them daily, there's a huge difference between memorising the answers and knowing why they're correct and juts memorising causes a lot of people to fail (In fact I think I'm included in this too when I took it for the first time).
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  12. Member
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    #11
    @Techtia, after reading through your post and the previous one you've mentioned I now realise you haven't started this course yet have you?

    In response to your previous post ( since I feel you didn't get a proper explanation), you don't need to get the MTA to do an MCSA. You're probably in the same boat as me, you did the A+, you don't wanna overlap too much and you wanna learn some new things ect and that's fine. In fact, that's exactly what I did so I'm proof that this is the case.

    Secondly, I'm not really sure if anybody has told you this but MCSA Windows 8.1 is to be retired on July 31st this year. I'm thinking that might be a little tight of a time frame for you to learn the content for the course. I studied a year before I took this one because like you, I am new to the industry and I don't even have an IT job at the moment so I had to learn from teaching myself at home and it took a little while. I'm wondering if you might wanna look at the Windows 10 exam instead. There's one exam and that and its training is already out there, I've been looking at it myself to give me help with this one and it is very similar in nature. The other exam will be out within the next few months if my sources are correct. IT might be a better option for you as you can learn all these things without the time limit and then just take the test whenever you're ready.
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    @XxNooniexX

    Thank you, thank you! So much information to take in. Yes, recently passed the A+ coming from non-IT background. Thinking about doing the Security+ before tackling any Microsoft certs but was just curious. I may have trouble with the study methods as with CompTIA exam, I just relied on a single book and then from that foundation added on to my studies with free practice exams, notes, etc around the internet.

    I will have to learn more about taking the Microsoft certs and probably look at the objectives (if they have that). Depending on how well my studies go with the Security+, maybe I can take the MS exam before it retires this summer .

    For the A+ exam, about 15-20% of the material was somewhat familiar to me just because growing up using the computer and learning bits of info along the way. Is the MS cert like that? Maybe I haven't used Windows 8.1 all my life but does it help any bit that I have been using Windows OS all my life? or is this a silly question? Thanks again.

    BTW is this video a good overview?
    Last edited by techtia; 02-29-2016 at 04:02 AM.
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    #13
    Quote Originally Posted by techtia View Post
    @XxNooniexX

    Thank you, thank you! So much information to take in. Yes, recently passed the A+ coming from non-IT background. Thinking about doing the Security+ before tackling any Microsoft certs but was just curious. I may have trouble with the study methods as with CompTIA exam, I just relied on a single book and then from that foundation added on to my studies with free practice exams, notes, etc around the internet.

    I will have to learn more about taking the Microsoft certs and probably look at the objectives (if they have that). Depending on how well my studies go with the Security+, maybe I can take the MS exam before it retires this summer .

    For the A+ exam, about 15-20% of the material was somewhat familiar to me just because growing up using the computer and learning bits of info along the way. Is the MS cert like that? Maybe I haven't used Windows 8.1 all my life but does it help any bit that I have been using Windows OS all my life? or is this a silly question? Thanks again.

    BTW is this video a good overview?
    Hi Techia,

    No problem at all. Glad I could help you out a little bit. Security+ is quite a common thing for people to go onto once they do A+. If you're going back into CompTIA's courses then maybe you should check out this site if you haven't already done so - Professor Messer's CompTIA SY0-401 Security+ Training Course | Professor Messer IT Certification Training Courses . Incase you have never been onto this site before, let me just tell you... This man's videos are great. They helped me so so much when it came to passing my A+ and he has an entire section of videos dedicated to teaching Security+ (and Network+ too if that's something you'd ever be interested in) and these videos are completely free, no need to enter in any information of any kind just click the links and it'll load for you on Youtube - I think that it'll help you out a lot. He has videos that will help you pass the entire course so I'm sure you'll find them pretty useful. I found that Mike Myers books were pretty good for the A+ as well, he has one on Security + too, that might be worth checking out. There are many books out there for Security+ though so I think you'll find one that is suitable for you.

    In regards to your question, using Windows all your life... it kind of helps but kind of doesn't at the same time. The Microsoft courses generally teach everything from how to uninstall programs via Control Panel ( which pretty much everybody knows how to do) to using features that you might not really have been aware of when using Windows on your home computers as well as using other Server or cloud based products that they have made which will be something you have probably not used before. For me personally, I would say that it's best not to go into the exam thinking you know Windows before you really drill through all of the objectives and have a play around with it. Using Windows a lot at home does teach you a lot of skills that your friends and family don't really know but there is actually a lot more to Windows than you probably realise and they make the exams quite challenging. Some times the exams are adaptive meaning that you can go along answering your questions and as soon as you get one wrong, it will remove the next couple of questions in the queue and replace them with ones similar to what you've got wrong so they can be quite tough and I don't think you can ever go in being too prepared. I grew up in a technology orientated family, I have a member of my family that works in IT security and I learnt a lot from him starting at a very early age but I still managed to fail the exams the first time so I feel these exams are not something you can just walk into and pass without a bit of difficulty. I passed both my A+ exams one after the other on the same day and passed first time but Microsoft exams are a totally different beast. Its a tough fight but its very rewarding when you pass one haha. Yes each course from Microsoft has objectives on their website. For the 70-687 these can be found here -
    https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/lear...am-70-687.aspx . By the way, if you're interested in this course I would view these and use them to guide you but there is also a hyperlink on the line that says "As of January 2014, this exam includes content covering Windows 8.1". Click the hyperlink and you can download a .pdf file of the exact changes that have been made to the exam since its 8.1 update. You will need to know these so its worth looking at them and reading up on them online. Trust me, it'll save you.

    As for the video you've found, yes they can be quite handy but for an overview only I would say. I watched the Virtual Academy series and they weren't too bad I guess but I feel that they really missed a lot out. I would go to CBT Nuggets or Pluralsight and take a trial so you can view the videos they have, they're much more useful and contain a lot more info you can use to pass the exam with.

    You seem nice enough and your situation seems very similar to mine, feel free to message me if you have any questions or need help with things I'll do all I can to help you out.
    Last edited by XxNooniexX; 02-29-2016 at 10:42 AM.
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    @XxNooniexX

    Great, thank you! The wealth of information is incredible, you would make a good teacher, perhaps someday in IT. Yes, Professor Messer is wonderful especially as a visual reference to the CompTIA books. For now I think I will stick to passing the Security+, I have already purchased Darril Gibsons book, which has very positive reviews. To be honest, not sure where IT will lead me but all I know is this is a valuable skill to have and it is great use of my time . I enjoy the fact that you are rewarded with certs for the effort and time you put in. I will hold off on the MS cert until I really know more about the exam and by then if I do have any questions, you will definitely see me on this board often and might even get a PM or two.

    I will probably go the CBT Nuggets route and spent some money for their services when that time comes.
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  16. Senior Member gncsmith's Avatar
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    Congrats!
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    #16
    @Techtia,

    Haha thanks for your kindness Techtia Sounds like a plan, I've heard great reviews on Darril Gibson's books too from people who have studied Sec+, think that was a wise choice.

    I get what you mean about not knowing where you'll end up. It's not like other professions where you're pretty much told what you need to study to get in. Sometimes I don't know if I'm going about it the right way either. I just make it up as I go along really. Just pick courses you feel you have an interest in, as long as you're having fun then you'll breeze through it. I think everything will fall into place over time if you can do that.

    @gncsmith Thank you very much!!
    Last edited by XxNooniexX; 03-01-2016 at 08:05 AM. Reason: Wanted to talk some more haha!
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