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The new Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician (MCDST) credential proves that you have the skills to successfully support end users and successfully troubleshoot desktop environments running on Windows XP. MCDST candidates must pass two core exams (70-271 and 70-272). The 70-272 exam, when combined with the 70-271 (the operating system exam for desktop support technicians), validates that a candidate can successfully answer (or escalate) all calls from end users. The MCDST 70-272 Exam Cram 2 gives readers the essential information they need to know to pass the 70-272 exam, which includes configuring and troubleshooting applications (Internet Exporer, Outlook Express), resolving issues related to usability, resolving issues related to application customization, configuring and troubleshooting connectivity for applications, and configuring application security. This book can be used as a sole study guide for those experienced with Windows XP or it is the perfect supplement guide for more comprehensive training materials, instructor-led classes, and/or computer-based training.
About the Author
Diana Huggins is currently an independent contractor providing both technical writing and consulting services. Prior to this, she worked as a senior systems consultant. Some of the projects she worked on include a security review of Microsoft's official curriculum, content development for private companies, as well as network infrastructure design and implementation projects.
Diana's main focus over the past few years has been on writing certification study guides. To complement her efforts, she also spends a portion of her time consulting for small- to medium-sized companies in a variety of areas and continues to work as an independent technical trainer.
Diana currently has her Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) and Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) Certification, along with several other certifications from different vendors. Although her focus is on the Information Technology industry, she also holds a bachelor's degree in education. Diana runs her own company, DKB Consulting Services. The main focus of the company is developing certification training courseware, online practice exams, as well as content delivery.
Felicia Buckingham is an independent contractor currently deploying Office XP for a provincial-wide electrical company. Prior to this, she spent several years in the technical training industry with a focus on Microsoft Office applications.
Felicia holds her Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) and Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Master designations, along with several other certifications from various vendors. She specializes in Microsoft Office training and consulting.
Over the past few years, Felicia has contributed to several Microsoft Office study guides and has recently co-authored Microsoft Excel 2003 Programming Inside Out. During the past year, she has also established her own consulting company that specializes in Microsoft Office deployment, training services, and courseware development.
Table of Contents
1. Configuring, Customizing, and Troubleshooting the Operating System.
2. Configuring, Customizing, and Troubleshooting Internet Explorer.
3. Configuring, Customizing, and Troubleshooting Outlook Express.
4. Configuring, Customizing, and Troubleshooting Office Applications.
5. Configuring, Customizing, and Managing Outlook.
6. Configuring and Troubleshooting Hardware.
7. Configuring and Troubleshooting Network Connectivity.
8. Configuring and Managing Application Security.
9. Identifying and Responding to Security Incidents.
10. Practice Exam #1.
11. Answer Key for Practice Exam #1.
12. Practice Exam #2.
13. Answer Key for Practice Exam #2.
Appendix A: Need to Know More?
Appendix B: CD Contents and Installation Instructions.
Supporting Users and Troubleshooting Desktop Applications on a Windows XP Operating System
Welcome to the 70-272 Exam Cram 2! Whether this is your first or your fifteenth Exam Cram 2 series book, you'll find information here that will help ensure your success as you pursue knowledge, experience, and certification. This introduction explains Microsoft's certification programs in general and describes how the Exam Cram 2 series can help you prepare for the Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician, Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer, and Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator exams. Chapters 19 are designed to remind you of everything you'll need to know to takeand passthe 70-272 exam. The two practice exams should give you a reasonably accurate assessment of your knowledgeand, yes, we've provided the answers and their explanations to the tests. Read the book and understand the material, and you'll stand a very good chance of passing the test.
Exam Cram 2 books help you understand and appreciate the subjects and materials you need to pass Microsoft certification exams. Exam Cram 2 books are aimed strictly at test preparation and review. They do not teach you everything you need to know about a topic. Instead, we present and dissect the questions and problems we've found that you're likely to encounter on a test. We've worked to bring together as much information as possible about Microsoft certification exams.
Nevertheless, we recommend that you begin by taking the Self-Assessment that is included in this book, immediately following this introduction, to completely prepare yourself for any Microsoft test. The Self-Assessment tool will help you evaluate your knowledge base against the requirements for a Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician (MCDST) under both ideal and real circumstances.
Based on what you learn from the Self-Assessment, you might decide to begin your studies with some classroom training, some practice with Windows XP Professional and Office XP, or some background reading. On the other hand, you might decide to pick up and read one of the many study guides available from Microsoft or third-party vendors on certain topics, including the award-winning Training Guide series from Que Publishing. We also recommend that you supplement your study program with visits to http://www.examcram2.com to receive additional practice questions, get advice, and track the MCDST program.
We also strongly recommend that you install, configure, and work with Windows XP Professional, Office XP, and Windows 2000 Server or Windows Server 2003 because nothing beats hands-on experience and familiarity when it comes to understanding the questions you're likely to encounter on a certification test. Book learning is essential, but without a doubt, hands-on experience is the best teacher of all!
The accompanying CD contains MeasureUp exam-simulation software.
Taking a Certification Exam
After you've prepared for your exam, you need to register with a testing center. Each computer-based Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) exam costs $125 (U.S.), and if you don't pass, you can retest for an additional $125 for each additional try. In the United States and Canada, tests are administered by Prometric and by VUE. Here's how you can contact them:
- PrometricYou can sign up for a test through the company's Web site, at http://www.2test.com. Within the United States and Canada, you can register by phone at 1-800-755-3926. If you live outside this region, you should check the Prometric Web site for the appropriate phone number.
- VUEYou can sign up for a test or locate the phone numbers for local testing centers through the Web at http://www.vue.com/ms.
To sign up for a test, you must possess a valid credit card or contact either Prometric or VUE for mailing instructions to send a check (in the United States). Only when payment is verified or your check has cleared can you actually register for the test.
To schedule an exam, you need to call the number or visit either of the Web pages at least one day in advance. To cancel or reschedule an exam, you must call before 7 p.m. Pacific Standard Time the day before the scheduled test time (or you might be charged, even if you don't show up to take the test). When you want to schedule a test, you should have the following information ready:
- Your name, organization, and mailing address.
- Your Microsoft test ID. (Inside the United States, this usually means your Social Security number; citizens of other nations should call ahead to find out what type of identification number is required to register for a test.)
- The name and number of the exam you want to take.
- A method of payment. (As mentioned previously, a credit card is the most convenient method, but alternate means can be arranged in advance, if necessary.)
After you sign up for a test, you are told when and where the test is scheduled. You should try to arrive at least 15 minutes early. You must supply two forms of identificationone of which must be a photo IDand sign a nondisclosure agreement to be admitted into the testing room.
All Microsoft exams are completely closed-book. In fact, you are not permitted to take anything with you into the testing area, but you are given a blank sheet of paper and a pen (or, in some cases, an erasable plastic sheet and an erasable pen). We suggest that you immediately write down on that sheet of paper all the information you've memorized for the test. In Exam Cram 2 books, this information appears on a tearout sheet inside the front cover of each book. You are given some time to compose yourself, record this information, and take a sample orientation exam before you begin the real thing. We suggest that you take the orientation test before taking your first exam, but because all the certification exams are more or less identical in layout, behavior, and controls, you probably don't need to do this more than once.
When you complete a Microsoft certification exam, the software tells you immediately whether you've passed or failed. If you need to retake an exam, you have to schedule a new test with Prometric or VUE and pay another $125.
Note - The first time you fail a test, you can retake the test as soon as the next day. However, if you fail a second time, you must wait 14 days before retaking that test. The 14-day waiting period remains in effect for all retakes after the second failure.
Tracking MCP Status
As soon as you pass any Microsoft exam, you attain MCP status. Microsoft generates transcripts that indicate which exams you have passed. You can view a copy of your transcript at any time by going to the MCP secure site and selecting Transcript Tool. This tool enables you to print a copy of your current transcript and confirm your certification status.
After you pass the necessary set of exams, you are certified. Official certification is normally granted after three to six weeks, so you should not expect to receive your credentials overnight. The package for official certification that arrives includes a welcome kit that contains a number of elements (see Microsoft's Web site for other benefits of specific certifications):
- A certificate that is suitable for framing, along with a wallet card and lapel pin.
- A license to use the applicable logo, which means you can use the logo in advertisements, promotions, and documents, and on letterhead, business cards, and so on. Along with the license comes a logo sheet, which includes camera-ready artwork. (Note that before you use any of the artwork, you must sign and return a licensing agreement that indicates you will abide by its terms and conditions.)
- A free subscription to Microsoft Certified Professional Magazine, which provides ongoing information about testing and certification activities, requirements, and changes to the MCP program.
Many people believe that the benefits of MCP certification go well beyond the perks that Microsoft provides to newly anointed members of this elite group. We're starting to see more job listings that request or require applicants to have MCP, MCSE, and other certifications, and many individuals who complete Microsoft certification programs can qualify for increases in pay or responsibility. As an official recognition of hard work and broad knowledge, one of the MCP credentials is a badge of honor in many IT organizations.
How to Prepare for an Exam
Preparing for any MCDST- or MCSE-related test (including Exam 70-272) requires that you obtain and study materials designed to provide comprehensive information about the product and its capabilities that will appear on the specific exam for which you are preparing. The following list of materials can help you study and prepare:
- The Microsoft Office XP Resource Kit (Microsoft Press, 2001).
- The Microsoft Windows XP Professional Resource Kit, Second Edition (Microsoft Press, 2003).
- The Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit (Microsoft Press, 2003).
- The exam-preparation materials, practice tests, and self-assessment exams on the Microsoft Training and Services page, at http://www.microsoft.com/traincert. The Exam Resources link offers examples of the new question types found on the MCSE exams. You should find the materials, download them, and use them!
- The exam-preparation advice, practice tests, questions of the day, and discussion groups on the http://www.examcram2.com e-learning and certification destination Web site.
- Study guides. Several publishers, including Que Publishing, offer certification titles. Que Publishing offers the following:
- The Exam Cram 2 seriesThese books give you information about the material you need to know to pass the tests.
- The Training Guide seriesThese books provide a greater level of detail than the Exam Cram 2 books and are designed to teach you everything you need to know about the subject covered by an exam. Each book comes with a CD-ROM that contains interactive practice exams in a variety of testing formats.
- Together, these two series make a perfect pair.
- Classroom training. Certified Training and Education Centers (CTECs), online partners, and third-party training companies (such as New Horizons, ECPI, and Entré) all offer classroom training on Windows XP and Office XP. These companies aim to help you prepare to pass Exam 70-272 (or other exams). Although such training runs upward of $350 per day in class, most of the individuals lucky enough to partake usually find this training to be worthwhile.
- Other publications. There's no shortage of materials available about Windows XP and Office XP. The "Need to Know More?" resource sections at the end of each chapter in this book give you an idea of where we think you should look for further discussion.
This set of required and recommended materials represents a wide variety of sources and resources for Windows XP and Office XP and related topics. We hope you'll find that this book belongs in this company.
What This Book Will Not Do
This book will not teach you everything you need to know about computers or even about a given topic. Nor is this book an introduction to computer technology. If you're new to Windows administration and looking for an initial preparation guide, check out http://www.quepublishing.com, where you will find a whole section dedicated to the MCDST and other certifications. This book reviews what you need to know before you take the test, with the fundamental purpose dedicated to reviewing the information needed on the Microsoft 70-272 certification exam.
This book uses a variety of teaching and memorization techniques to analyze the exam-related topics and to provide you with ways to input, index, and retrieve everything you'll need to know to pass the test. Once again, it is not an introduction to Windows administration.
What This Book Is Designed to Do
This book is designed to be read as a pointer to the areas of knowledge you will be tested on. In other words, you might want to read the book one time, just to get an insight into how comprehensive your knowledge of computers is. The book is also designed to be read shortly before you go for the actual test and to give you a useful review in as few pages as possible. We think you can use this book to get a sense of the underlying context of any topic in the chaptersor to skim-read for Exam Alerts, bulleted points, summaries, and topic headings.
We've drawn on material from Microsoft's own listing of knowledge requirements, from other preparation guides, and from the exams themselves. We've also drawn from a battery of third-party test-preparation tools and technical Web sites, as well as from our own experience with Windows administration and the exam. Our aim is to walk you through the knowledge you will needlooking over your shoulder, so to speakand point out those things that are important for the exam (Exam Alerts, practice questions, and so on).
Exam 70-272 makes a basic assumption that you already have a strong background of experience with the Windows XP Professional, Office XP, and Windows Server 2003 and/or Windows 2000 Server products and their applicable terminology. On the other hand, no one can be a complete expert. We've tried to demystify the jargon, acronyms, terms, and concepts. Also, wherever we think you're likely to blur past an important concept, we've defined the assumptions and premises behind that concept.
About This Book
If you're preparing for the 70-272 certification exam for the first time, we've structured the topics in this book to build upon one another. Therefore, the topics covered in later chapters might refer to previous discussions in earlier chapters.
We suggest that you read this book from front to back. You won't be wasting your time because nothing we've written is a guess about an unknown exam. We've had to explain certain underlying information on such a regular basis that we've included those explanations here.
After you've read the book, you can brush up on a certain area by using the index or the table of contents to go straight to the topics and questions you want to reexamine. We've tried to use the headings and subheadings to provide outline information about each given topic. We think, after you've been certified, you'll find this book useful as a tightly focused reference for supporting desktop users in a Windows XP and Office XP environment.
Each Exam Cram 2 chapter follows a regular structure and provides graphical cues about especially important or useful material. The structure of a typical chapter is as follows:
- Opening hotlistsEach chapter begins with lists of the terms you'll need to understand and the concepts you'll need to master before you can be fully conversant with the chapter's subject matter. A few introductory paragraphs follow the hotlists, setting the stage for the rest of the chapter.
- Topical coverageAfter the opening hotlists, each chapter covers the topics related to the chapter's subject.
- AlertsThroughout the topical coverage section, we highlight material most likely to appear on the exam by using a special Exam Alert layout that looks like this:
- NotesWhere a body of knowledge is deeper than the scope of the book, we use notes to indicate areas of concern or specialty training.
- TipsWe provide tips that will help you to build a better foundation of knowledge or to focus your attention on an important concept that will reappear later in the book. Tips provide a helpful way to remind you of the context surrounding a particular area of a topic under discussion.
- "Exam Prep Questions"This section presents a short list of test questions related to the specific chapter topic. Each question is followed by an explanation of both correct and incorrect answers. The practice questions highlight the areas we've found to be most important on the exam.
- "Need to Know More?"Every chapter ends with a section titled "Need to Know More?" This section provides pointers to resources that we've found to be helpful in offering further details on the chapter's subject matter. If you find a resource that you like in this collection, use it, but don't feel compelled to use all these resources. We use this section to recommend resources that we have used on a regular basis, so none of the recommendations will be a waste of your time or money. These resources might go out of print or be taken down (in the case of Web sites), so we've tried to reference widely accepted resources.
Caution - An Exam Alert stresses concepts, terms, software, or activities that will most likely appear in one or more certification exam questions. For that reason, we think any information found offset in Exam Alert format is worthy of unusual attentiveness on your part.
Even if material isn't flagged as an Exam Alert, all the content in this book is associated in some way with test-related material. What appears in the chapter content is critical knowledge.
Note - Cramming for an exam will help you through a test, but it won't make you a competent IT professional. Although you can memorize just the facts you need to become certified, your daily work in the field will rapidly put you in water over your head if you don't know the underlying principles of application development.
The bulk of the book follows this chapter structure, but there are a few other elements that we want to point out:
- Practice examsThe practice exams, which appear in Chapters 10 and 12 (with answer keys in Chapters 11 and 13), are very close approximations of the types of questions you are likely to see on the current Exam 70-272.
- Answer keysThese features provide the answers to the practice exams, complete with explanations of both the correct and incorrect responses.
- GlossaryThe extensive glossary identifies important terms used in this book.
- The Cram SheetThis valuable tool appears as a tear-away sheet inside the front cover of this Exam Cram 2 book. It represents a collection of the most difficult-to-remember facts and numbers we think you should memorize before taking the test. Remember, you can dump this information out of your head onto a piece of paper as soon as you enter the testing room. This information usually includes facts that we've found require brute-force memorization. You need to remember this information only long enough to write it down when you walk into the test room. Be advised that you will be asked to surrender all personal belongings before you enter the exam room itself.
- The CDThe CD contains the MeasureUp exam-simulation software. For more information, visit http://www.measureup.com.
You might want to look at the Cram Sheet in your car or in the lobby just before you walk into the testing center. The Cram Sheet is divided into headings, so you can review the appropriate parts just before each test.
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