Daniel's list of 70-296 prep materials
A free guide to exam prep resources
70-296: Planning, Implementing, and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Environment for an MCSE Certified on Windows 2000
Needed to upgrade a Windows 2000 MCSE to Windows 2003

Passed on 6/29!

Passing score is 700 -- I think that's standardized across MS exams now.

I saw lots of GPO questions, lots of CA questions, lots of DNS questions. I wasn't really prepared for the Intrusion detection questions of which I got 2 or 3.

The Vue testing center I used was open an extra day this week due to lots of MCSE upgrade candidates, so I guess I'm not the only one!

The push is on, for me at least, to hurry up and complete the upgrade of my MCSE. With Windows Server 2008 (or whatever Longhorn is eventually called) coming pretty soon, many of us need to finish this thing up. If we finish the certification by June 30, 2007, we get 40% off the upgrade to Longhorn!

Daniel Petri provides a good overview of the upgrade requirements. As far as I understand, MS does not intend to decertify current MCSE's. But this exam and 70-292 are available for those who want to stay with the latest technology and upgrade their certs. Under the 2003 track, the requirements for an MCSA are a direct subset of those for an MCSE. This probably means that one would be advised to take 292 before 296 ... but until I've taken them, I can't say for sure. Microsoft's MCSE FAQ covers several of the general questions as well. I hope you find this guide helpful in your test preparation, as well as my other lists.

Jon N's 70-296 Exam Study Notes are excellent.

Good luck & good studying to all.

Microsoft Press has a book out, Introducing Windows Server 2003, which looks good as far as I've gotten in it.
I have used Sybex' Windows 2003 MCSA / MCSE upgrade book.
As usual, I recomend their offerings, but I found this one needed some supplimentation. cover
Every Server 2003 administrator will want the Resource Kit on his desk. I'm linking to the online version for certain points, so you can start using it before buying from Amazon.

  • Windows 2003 MCSE information
  • 70-296 exam objectives.
  • MOC course 2210 is supposed to cover the material. It's supposed to be available to CTEC's June 19, 2003, but check your local CTEC to see when they'll start offering it.

    The software to play with

    The Windows Server 2003 Trial Edition is available from Microsoft for free. It has a 180-day license - long enough to practice & take at least a couple tests. Until July 31st shipping of the CD is free as well, for those who want the CD or don't want to burn all that bandwidth downloading it.

    General info on Windows Server 2003

  • Paul Thurrot's Windows Server 2003 FAQ is an excellent resource on the product.
  • The list of Windows 2003 HOWTO's from KBAlertz is very helpful.
  • And, of course, there's the Windows Server 2003 official homepage.
  • MS compares the 4 editions of 2003.
  • System Requirements -- anybody still remember installing an OS onto a 20MB HD off of 2 5.25" floppies? Been a while!
  • The Reviewers' Guide is 110 pages explaining why to upgrade to 2003.
  • MVP Larry Samuels' Unofficial FAQ deals with a bunch of questions beta-testers and experimenters have -- like "Why won't my games work on Windows Server 2003?".

    Online resources by exam objective

    Planning and Implementing Server Roles and Server Security
  • Marcin Policht overviews security enhancements in the .NET family.
  • Marcin Policht explains SID filtering and SIDHistory.
  • Policht overviews the .NET Framework, preperatory to explaining the security features the Framework offers.
    Planning, Implementing, and Maintaining a Network Infrastructure
  • Networking in 2003
    Planning, Implementing, and Maintaining Server Availability
  • Plan services for high availability This appears to be the replacement for 70-226. As those who studied that know, there's a whole lot of information that should be covered by anyone who wants to consider himself well-versed in high availability.
  • Backup and recovery
    Planning and Maintaining Network Security
  • MS has a good whitepaper on IPSec
  • From the above, don't use IPSec to:
    • Secure ICMP traffic (like PING).
    • Secure multi-cast or broadcast traffic -- it can't.
    • Secure 802.11 wireless traffic. Instead use WPA or WPA2 with 802.1X authenication.
    • Secure the home network. Policy, NAT, wide ranges of dynamic IP's, and use of multi/broad-cast will give you fits.
  • For further detail, if you're so inclined:
    Planning, Implementing, and Maintaining Security Infrastructure
    Planning and Implementing an Active Directory Infrastructure
  • Upgrading 2000 AD domains to 2003 -- Webcast
  • The Active Directory Collection is Microsoft's overview of AD.
  • Planning the placement of Global Catalog Servers
  • Implement Forest and Domain structure
    Managing and Maintaining an Active Directory Infrastructure
  • What's new in Active Directory under Windows Server 2003
  • The capability to rename domains is of interest here, particularly to those who have inherited a messy domain tree/forest structure.
    Planning and Implementing User, Computer, and Group Strategies
    Planning and Implementing Group Policy
  • MS offers a brief introduction to Group Policy. You probably know all this already.
  • Directions on Microsoft takes a look at the improvements to Group Policy that have been made for 2003.
  • Marcin Policht reviews dozens of the new Group Policy settings available.
  • Policht contiues discussing Group Policy Enhancements, particularly WMI Filters.
  • Policht introduces the Resultant Set of Policies.
  • He continues with Group Policy Management Console.
  • He finishes with an article on scriptiong GPMC.
    Managing and Maintaining Group Policy

    If you know of more resources which should be listed here, please email a link to me. I very much appreciate other resources to study and will be sure to acknowledge you on this page.

  • Williamston Consulting is now ...

    Black Locust Software

    Technology Solutions for Business ... Large or Small


    Auto Dealers' Form Software

    Software Development

    Website Development

    Website Advice

    IT Guys' Stuff:

    Study Guides