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Preparation Guide for Exam 70-290
Managing and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Environment


This preparation guide includes information about:

Audience Profile

The Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA) on Windows Server 2003 credential is intended for IT professionals who work in the typically complex computing environment of medium to large companies. An MCSA candidate should have 6 to 12 months of experience administering client and network operating systems in environments that have the following characteristics:

  • 250 to 5,000 or more users
  • Three or more physical locations
  • Three or more domain controllers
  • Network services and resources such as messaging, database, file and print, proxy server, firewall, Internet, intranet, remote access, and client computer management
  • Connectivity requirements such as connecting branch offices and individual users in remote locations to the corporate network and connecting corporate networks to the Internet

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Credit Toward Certification

When you pass the Managing and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Environment exam, you achieve Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) status. You also earn credit toward the following certifications:

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Preparation Tools and Resources

We make a wealth of preparation tools and resources available to you, including courses, books, practice tests, and Microsoft Web sites. When you are ready to prepare for this exam, here's where you should start.

Instructor-led Courses for This Exam

  • Course 2273 :  Managing and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Environment
  • Course 2274 :  Managing a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Environment
  • Course 2275 :  Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Environment

Microsoft Press Self-Paced Training Products

Microsoft Certified Practice Tests

  • MeasureUp : Visit the MeasureUp Web site to take a practice test.
  • Self Test Software : Visit the Self Test Software Web site to take a practice test.

Microsoft Online Resources

  • TechNet : Designed for IT professionals, this site includes How-tos, best practices, downloads, technical chats, and much more.
  • MSDN : The Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) is a reference for developers, featuring code samples, technical articles, newsgroups, chats, and more.
  • Training & Certification Newsgroups : A newsgroup exists for every Microsoft certification. By participating in the ongoing dialogue, you take advantage of a unique opportunity to exchange ideas with and ask questions of others, including more than 750 Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs) worldwide.

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Skills Being Measured

This certification exam measures your ability to manage and maintain a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 environment. Before taking the exam, you should be proficient in the job skills listed below.


Managing and Maintaining Physical and Logical Devices
Manage basic disks and dynamic disks.
Monitor server hardware. Tools might include Device Manager, the Hardware Troubleshooting Wizard, and appropriate Control Panel items.
Optimize server disk performance.
  • Implement a RAID solution.
  • Defragment volumes and partitions.
Troubleshoot server hardware devices.
  • Diagnose and resolve issues related to hardware settings.
  • Diagnose and resolve issues related to server hardware and hardware driver upgrades.
Install and configure server hardware devices.
  • Configure driver signing options.
  • Configure resource settings for a device.
  • Configure device properties and settings.
Managing Users, Computers, and Groups
Manage local, roaming, and mandatory user profiles.
Create and manage computer accounts in an Active Directory environment.
Create and manage groups.
  • Identify and modify the scope of a group.
  • Find domain groups in which a user is a member.
  • Manage group membership.
  • Create and modify groups by using the Active Directory Users and Computers Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in.
  • Create and modify groups by using automation.
Create and manage user accounts.
  • Create and modify user accounts by using the Active Directory Users and Computers MMC snap-in.
  • Create and modify user accounts by using automation.
  • Import user accounts.
Troubleshoot computer accounts.
  • Diagnose and resolve issues related to computer accounts by using the Active Directory Users and Computers MMC snap-in.
  • Reset computer accounts.
Troubleshoot user accounts.
  • Diagnose and resolve account lockouts.
  • Diagnose and resolve issues related to user account properties.
Troubleshoot user authentication issues.
Managing and Maintaining Access to Resources
Configure access to shared folders.
  • Manage shared folder permissions.
Troubleshoot Terminal Services.
  • Diagnose and resolve issues related to Terminal Services security.
  • Diagnose and resolve issues related to client access to Terminal Services.
Configure file system permissions.
  • Verify effective permissions when granting permissions.
  • Change ownership of files and folders.
Troubleshoot access to files and shared folders.
Managing and Maintaining a Server Environment
Monitor and analyze events. Tools might include Event Viewer and System Monitor.
Manage software update infrastructure.
Manage software site licensing.
Manage servers remotely.
  • Manage a server by using Remote Assistance.
  • Manage a server by using Terminal Services remote administration mode.
  • Manage a server by using available support tools.
Troubleshoot print queues.
Monitor system performance.
Monitor file and print servers. Tools might include Task Manager, Event Viewer, and System Monitor.
  • Monitor disk quotas.
  • Monitor print queues.
  • Monitor server hardware for bottlenecks.
Monitor and optimize a server environment for application performance.
  • Monitor memory performance objects.
  • Monitor network performance objects.
  • Monitor process performance objects.
  • Monitor disk performance objects.
Manage a Web server.
  • Manage Internet Information Services (IIS).
  • Manage security for IIS.
Managing and Implementing Disaster Recovery
Perform system recovery for a server.
  • Implement Automated System Recovery (ASR).
  • Restore data from shadow copy volumes.
  • Back up files and System State data to media.
  • Configure security for backup operations.
Manage backup procedures.
  • Verify the successful completion of backup jobs.
  • Manage backup storage media.
Recover from server hardware failure.
Restore backup data.
Schedule backup jobs.


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