CertTutor.net Live! UPDATE—brought to you by the Windows & .NET Magazine Network and CertTutor.net
CertTutor.net Live! UPDATE contains the best of CertTutor.net Live!, the Internet's number-one certification discussion board. CertTutor.net Live! UPDATE features interesting posts and shares valuable information about how to make the most of the forums. Enjoy!
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April 24, 2002—In this issue:
- Setting up a Home Lab
2. FEATURED THREADS
- Win2K and Windows XP Pro Forum FAQ
- Preventing the Total Loss of Deleted Files
- Backing Up Outlook .pst Files
- High Turnover?
- EXAM 70-220 Is Interesting?
- Can Anyone Do This?
- Want to Lose Some Valuable Productivity Time?
- Cast Your Vote for Our Reader's Choice Awards!
- Need 24 x 7 Availability?
4. FOLDERS EN EL FUEGO
- Dell Server Rebooting Itself
- Windows .NET Server
- Bare-Bones System
- Network Problems?
- Exchange 2000 Server (Moving Data)
- Help—Extended Access Lists
5. TIP OF THE WEEK
- Check Your Network for Open Shares
6. FEATURED MEMBER
- James Pyles <tripwire45>
7. CONTACT US
- See this section for a list of ways to contact us.
(contributed by Bob Muir, firstname.lastname@example.org)
As most of you know, book learning is important, but solid hands-on training is essential to becoming a better-than-average technician. Unfortunately, most of us don't have the luxury of working in an environment that has all the latest technologies. In fact, many members of the CertTutor.net Live! discussion forum still administer Windows NT 4.0 servers and Windows 95 clients in the workplace. In such circumstances, a home lab is especially valuable.
I often hear questions about what to include in a home lab. The answer, of course, depends on what technologies you're studying, but I can provide several core recommendations that can help you prepare for MCSE or Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA) certifications.
At a minimum, you should have one system to use as a server, a second that can you can dual boot between server and workstation OSs, and a third that can support Windows XP Professional Edition (which you might also want to dual- or triple-boot among various client configurations). If you plan to study Microsoft Exchange Server or Microsoft SQL Server, make sure your two server systems have enough memory (256MB of memory should be fine). If you have a spare system (e.g., a Linux or NT 4.0 machine), you can set it up as a router between your servers. A router ensures that your servers aren't "cheating" by using a nonroutable system protocol to communicate with each other.
As CertTutor.net Live! tutor David Watts recently pointed out, performing study guide lab exercises is the bare minimum of what you must do to pass an exam, but these exercises won't help you in a production network. Study guide labs focus on one application, service, or utility at a time. For skills that will serve you in the real world, you must go the extra mile and design your own lab exercises.
When you're in the right mindset, designing lab exercises is easy. Think of scenarios and users that you might encounter in the real business world and implement them in your home lab. For example, create an end-user account with Microsoft Office applications, a Microsoft Outlook mail client, and files and favorites. Add some common extra features, such as a Yahoo! email account. Then challenge yourself to migrate that user account from one system to another while maintaining all the settings and files. You can also set up a similar user account on a standalone system and have that account join a domain. In fact, you can pretend that you're upgrading a small business from sneakernet to a full Windows 2000 Server LAN.
The hard part about performing your own lab exercises is the time-consuming nature of setting up the scenarios. Installing an OS and setting up a new user account takes a lot of time. One solution is to create the basic system and use an imaging application such as Symantec's Norton Ghost to make an image of the system that you can restore again and again. Another (and much faster) solution is to use a "virtual-computer" utility such as VMware or Connectix's Connectix Virtual PC. (Each utility has advantages and disadvantages; evaluate the demo versions of each before you commit to one.)
Virtual-computer utilities let you network one or more "computers" within one workstation. A virtual computer acts just like a real computer, letting you install various OSs and applications and implement various networking scenarios. Virtual-computer utilities save you money (because you don't have to buy additional hardware) and let you quickly restore a system to a specific configuration. If you're practicing with a migration scenario and you mess something up, you can reset the virtual computer and start over without having to restore a ghosted image or reinstall an OS. These utilities offer many other advantages—in fact, far too many to list here, so be sure to check them out for yourself!
2. FEATURED THREADS
This page, the first of many FAQs that we're compiling for each of the various forum areas, provides answers to common procedural questions and offers links to exams, practice exams, and recommended study guides. If you have a question or a suggestion that you feel would be appropriate for a particular FAQ, see the last question on each FAQ page, "What if I want to make a comment about this FAQ?"
Unless you have backups, files that you delete from a Windows server are usually gone for good. However, this thread offers some recovery suggestions.
I don't recommend .pst files for enterprise use, but for certain small businesses—and of course for home users—.pst files are what you're going to be using if you don't use a Microsoft Exchange Server. So, how do you back up these files? In this thread, <Netu> suggests a new utility that might do the job.
<axedbadly> has noticed that some companies advertise certain job openings repeatedly. This discussion offers some possible reasons for this phenomenon and suggests that you might want to stay away from some of these openings.
<Jeff Black> is having a great time preparing for Exam 70-220: Designing Security for a Microsoft Windows 2000 Network. His post launches a discussion in which several contributors recommend ways to prepare for this exam.
<Will King9> is trying to get VPN to work over a Layer Two Tunneling Protocol (L2TP) but can only connect with PPTP. If you're a VPN guru and want to help, check out this thread.
Tutor <Orin> invites others to share unproductive but fun links.
Which companies and products do you think are the best on the market? Nominate your favorites in four different categories for our annual Windows & .NET Magazine Reader's Choice Awards. You could win a T-shirt or a free Windows & .NET Magazine Super CD, just for submitting your ballot. Click here!
High-availability networks, systems, and applications are crucial to every business. Sign up for our free Webinar taking place on May 24 (sponsored by MKS), and find out how to achieve 24 x 7 availability on Windows 2000. Windows & .NET Magazine author Tim Huckaby shares his expertise on load balancing, monitoring, and more. Register today!
4. FOLDERS EN EL FUEGO
The following threads from the past 10 days are "on fire":
5. TIP OF THE WEEK
Open network shares pose serious security risks and act as honeypots for viruses such as the Nimda worm. Especially problematic are shares on Windows 9x computers that aren't password protected. Check your network for open shares and assign passwords to them. Remember, it's better to assign the same password to all computer shares than to assign no passwords at all. Thanks to Bill Long, <Djinn>, for this week's tip.
6. FEATURED MEMBER
Each week, we highlight the wonderful diversity of the community here at CertTutor.net Live! by selecting one of the board's members as our Featured Member. You might be next!
Real Name: James Pyles
Date Registered: August 28, 2001
Total Posts: 243
Location: Boise, ID
Interests: Old Testament biblical studies, watching old movies with my family, traveling (I love to travel but don't get much of a chance these days), computer networking, and tinkering "under the hood" of old computers.
7. CONTACT US
Here's how to reach us with your comments and questions:
- ABOUT THE COMMENTARY — email@example.com
- ABOUT THE NEWSLETTER IN GENERAL — firstname.lastname@example.org
(please mention the newsletter name in the subject line)
- TECHNICAL QUESTIONS — http://www.certtutor.net/forums
- QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR YOUR CERTTUTOR.NET LIVE! SUBSCRIPTION?
Email Customer Support — email@example.com
- WANT TO SPONSOR CERTTUTOR.NET LIVE! UPDATE?
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