Passing the Microsoft 70-410 exam: one trainer’s perspective (Part 2)

September 16, 2014 at 8:45 am | Posted in Microsoft, Study hints, study tips | 18 Comments
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Editor’s note: today’s guest post was written by IT instructor Scott Winger. Scott is a computing technologist at the University of Wisconsin in Madison and a technical editor for VMware Press. He also teaches continuing education classes in IT for Madison College.

In Part 1, I provided a timeline for gathering resources and working yourself up to exam day. In this post, I’m going to focus on the exam’s content and provide examples from each of the 70-410 Objective Areas. In Part 3 I’ll provide tips for developing the required knowledge.

Vade Mecum (rhymes with shoddy kaboom): a handbook or guide that is kept constantly at hand for consultation. It’s the term elite computer scientists use when referring to a technical manual or field guide. But different types of manuals have different purposes:

  • “Run Books” tell you every keystroke for building a particular server, but are, by intent, skimpy on concepts.
  • The “Mastering,” “Unleashed,” and “Inside Out” tomes give an overview of every existing role and feature.
  • White papers tend to be a vendor’s promotion of their product or a think tank’s comparisons and recommendations.

For passing the 70-410, a simple, custom-made field guide is a surprisingly effective learning tool.

I emphasize custom-made because building it also builds the neuronal pathways you’re going to need. And, for passing the 70-410, it’s the pathways, i.e., the learning, we’re after, though, as you’ll see in the next post, rote memorization will play a key role too.

After taking the exam you’ll have the beginnings of a custom-made Server 2012 reference; but that’s just a bonus. As for format, .html .docx, .pdf, .txt, pen and paper, take your pick. Just make sure you can have a copy in your hands in the waiting room at the exam center for last-minute review – before you check in.

So, right out of my personal Server 2012 reference, here are some samples of questions you must be able to answer quickly and confidently when you take your 70-410 exam, broken down by exam objective.

Install and configure servers (15–20%)

What are the important differences between Windows Server 2008, Server 2008 R2, Server 2012, and Server 2012 R2?

What are the Server 2012 license types? How are they different?

What can you do when you run Server 2012’s setup.exe that you can’t do when you boot from the install DVD? And the reverse?

What is PowerShell Desired State Configuration? What are its requirements?

Configure server roles and features (15–20%)

Can you use RSAT on a Server 2008 or Windows 7 machine to remotely manage Server 2012 or Server 2012 R2 servers?

What is a “server pool” in the context of Server Manager 2012?

What are the limitations of Server Manager 2012 when managing Windows Server 2003 and 2008 servers?

What software must you install on Server 2003 servers in order to include them in Server Manager 2012 Pools? And on Server 2008?

What are “Work Folders” and what are the major steps for setting up the “simple” Work Folder configuration?

What are the architectural differences between the 6to4 and Teredo IPv6-over-IPv4 Tunneling Protocols? What has to be unblocked if you’re going to implement 6to4 and why? What are the optimal use cases for each?

What are the TCP and UDP ports that must be allowed in to a VPN server using PPTP? SSL? IPSec?

What are the tasks that can be done with Administrative Center that can’t be done with Active Directory Users and Computers?

What is iSNS and what is it used for?

What are the DHCP Code Numbers for the following DHCP Options:
• NetBIOS Name Server
• DHCP Relay Agent Information
• DNS server
• Router
• Domain Name
• NetBIOS Node Type

What are the IPv6 address prefix bit patterns? What are they each called? How are they used?

What is the maximum number of subnets you could create given this address space: 2001:5860:b002:3000::/53? And why? What is this address’ IPv6 prefix bit pattern? What is the type of this IPv6 address?

What is an ISATAP DNS host record, and how is it used? What, exactly, does an ISATAP device do?

What is an IPv6 port proxy, and when would you use it?

How do you configure a DNS server to always request name resolution services from the Source of Authority (SoA) DNS server for a particular name space?

What is the purpose of the built-in DNSUpdateProxy Security Group?

What is the purpose of the InetOrgPerson object?

What are the types of AppLocker rules, and how do they differ from each other?

What was the predecessor to AppLocker called? How does AppLocker differ from its predecessor?

If you anticipate migrating to AppLocker from its predecessor, what preparatory decision will make this migration easier?

What are the TCP and UDP ports that are required for PPTP-based VPNs? SSTP? L2TP? What do these acronyms stand for? How are these protocols different? Which, if any, of these protocols are usually preferred? Why?

What must be configured to allow a Windows Deployment Server to be on a separate subnet from the clients to which it deploys operating systems?

What are the mechanics of DNS conditional forwarding?

Configure Hyper-V (15–20%)

What, exactly, does paravirtualized mean? What are the Microsoft terms for paravirtualized and non-paravirtualized components?

What are the most important new features and roles in Hyper-V 2012? What are they for?

What can and, as importantly, can’t, members of the Hyper-V Administrators group do?

What are the differences between .vhd and .vhdx files? What version of Windows Server introduced each?

In Hyper-V, what is “Dynamic Memory”? What is “Startup Memory”?

Why are five disks required to protect against the failure of two disks in a mirrored set?

What is Virtual Machine Chimney? What does it mean when we say that this feature has been deprecated?

Why is the Allow management operating system to share this network adapter setting required if I want one VM’s NIC to have more bandwidth than another VMs’ NICs?

Deploy and configure core network services (15–20%)

What are the command line switches for diskpart, and what does the “clean” switch do?

What features are added to a Core Installation of Server 2012 when you enable “Desktop Experience?”

What does the Configure-SMRemoting.exe command do?

What does cmdkey do?

What does the wmic qfe list command do? What do “wmic” and “qfe” stand for?

Install and administer Active Directory (15–20%)

How do you use Active Directory Users and Computers to set a default tray selection on a printer?

Why does inter-site replication for Global Security Groups require more [or less] network bandwidth than inter-site replication for Universal Security groups?

What are the various types of Domain Security Groups to which the various types of Domain Security Groups can be converted? And for each pair of conversions, describe why it is or is not allowed and list the memberships that must be eliminated before conversion will be possible.

Do domain controllers have local Security Groups? Why or why not?

What, exactly, is a Security Principal?

Create and manage Group Policy (15–20%)

What are the things that can be done with Group Policy Preferences? How are Group Policy Preferences different from standard Group Policies?

What version of Windows Server first provided Group Policy Preferences?

As I said before, if you’ve got comments, I’d like to hear ’em!

Thanks in advance, and good luck.

–Scott Winger


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  1. WOW!!! Thanks for the break down. I am not ready at all. I couldn’t answer more of those questions hahaha . I need to go back to the drawing board…

    Thanks again for sharing , can’t wait for the next update

    • Louie:

      You’ll be ready when your 70-410 practice exam scores are consistently 85 or better.

      Keep crankin on the Transcender tools and let them guide your study efforts.

      Good luck,


  2. I just wanted to say thank you for this! I don’t have a previous MS server cert or much experience with previous MS server operating systems, and there is so much to take in that it was almost overwhelming. I had already purchased all of the self study books mentioned in the article before having read it, and I’m currently studying for my own exam. It feels like there is so much that one is left to fumble through on their own. There are a number of areas where there is a disparity between expected knowledge and printed material…

    Powershell, for instance. The way PS is taught in training materials is anecdotal.. a specific use of a command for a specific purpose. I feel there should be more sections in training materials dedicated to recapping PS. All other aspects of the test are covered well enough in training materials that, by the time you master it, you can expect to be reasonably comfortable applying that knowledge to practical situations. Not so with PS, which is such a vital part of server administration. I feel the tests and the training materials should reflect this!

    • Jeremy:

      I’ve created a reply to your comment above about PowerShell. But the kind and knowledgeable folks at Transcender and I agree: my reply needs to be posted as a separate blog post. And these take a bit of time to publish because quality is *the* paramount concern here at Transcender.

      However, please know that I look forward to possibly reading your feedback on our upcoming blog post on PowerShell.

      Keep at it Jeremy!

      And as I’ve said, it’s very easy to know if you’re gonna pass: Just score 85% or better on your practice exams once a day for the full week before your baptism by fire.

      Good luck!


      • I look forward to reading your next post Scott. BTW: Kudos on the IPv6 question. I didn’t notice until I started focusing on that subject how intentionally ambiguous those questions were. At first they look like straightforward questions, but in researching to answer them, I pretty much knew IPv6 inside and out by the time I was ready to answer them! What a frustrating yet gratifying experience it was to stumble through the answers myself. Thank you!

    • Jeremy, check our new post here:

  3. Hey, just wanted to point out you had a question that asked to compare 2 identical components!

    “Why does
    inter-site replication for Global Security Groups
    require more [or less] network bandwidth than
    inter-site replication for Global Security groups?”

    • Jeremy:

      Thanks much for pointing out the error above. I’ve just submitted a correction stating that the second instance of “Global Security groups” needs to be replaced with “Universal Security groups.

      And here’s a link that provides the required food for thought:

      Thanks again for spotting that problem,


  4. […] Note: Regarding PowerShell and Passing the Microsoft 70-410 exam: one trainer’s perspective (Part 2), reader Jeremy Brown recently commented: “I feel there should be more sections in training […]

  5. I’ve been using the Craig Zacker book to study for the 70 410 exam, however half these test questions aren’t even mentioned in that book! I’m moving onto the Sybex book ‘Mastering Windows Server 2012 R2’ next week, but as my exam has been booked for March 27th I think I’m in way over my head. Is there any books out there that actually cover what’s included in this exam?

    • Simon:

      About two weeks remain before your exam.

      And everyone gets nervous.

      But winners accept their nervous energy and channel it in a planned fashion: They don’t panic-buy new test products.

      So here’s what I recommend:

      Take a study break and watch the first two episodes of Band of Brothers.

      Pay close attention to during Episode 2 because those guys… they’re nervous.

      Identify your heroes, Winters, Guarnere, Lipton, Malarkey, Martin, and figure out your own ways to emulate them as you ramp up to your exam day.

      Then, take deep breaths as needed but get back to your final two weeks of drilling:
      * Morning and Evening Transcender Practice Exams, every day between now and then and research and sketch out the answers to the questions you miss.

      * Transcender Flash Cards, as many as you can manage while, again, researching and sketching out your corrections.

      That’ll do it.

      Stick to your guns, trust your training, and you’ll be fine.

      Good luck,

      P.s. After you’ve passed your exam, watch the rest of Band of Brothers. Then dream of scheduling a tour of WWII Normandy: . You’ll never regret it.

      • BoB is actually one of many shows I’ve started watching and let slip. Mainly cause it was taken off before either got to finish it. I’ve decided to delay my exam for a few weeks and get more hands on experience with 2012 R2. I’m not typically nervous, I just don’t have the confidence I’ll get close to passing. Failing doesn’t bother me, but I want to be a bit further along before I take the exam. I’ve booked a week off work to build my own machine and do more work on 2012 r2 that isn’t based on a test environment. I’ll pick up the exam again at the end of April. The main bit that out me off is knowing particular details like dhcp option numbers and the like.

        • Sometimes you just have to sit down and memorize numbers for these exams. I have been writing common port numbers and protocol acronyns on notepaper for the past week so I can pass the Security+, because that’s part of what they test you on. Best of luck to you.

        • Remember, the last two weeks before your exam are for drilling with practice exams and flash cards.

          And you’ll be ready when your practice exam scores are consistently 85% or better.

          Good luck,


  6. Thanks for this. Using the Pearson books and some of this is just plainly missed. The technet papers that I am digging up with your posts are very helpful.

    GP Policy vs Preferences vs GP Preferences:

    Is a concise read.

    • Mark:

      I’m glad to have helped.

      And thanks for linking to the useful article on Policies versus Preferences.

      Our community here at Transcender flourishes because trail blazers like you take the time to share worthwhile discoveries thoughts and perspectives.

      I hope you’ll post again with additional observations from the IT Admin hinterland.

      Good luck,


  7. Hi Scott:
    I too am reading for 70-410 exam and am using the Sybex book. it seems very detailed indeed. I was looking for a complementary book and considering Craig Zacker’s book. However it doesn’t seem to have good reviews on amazon … is there any other resource that you’ve tried that you could recommend?

    • [[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[
      Dear anonymous:
      The short answer to your question is, practice exams and flash cards, and online research in forums and knowledge bases while you’re doing the Server 2012 R2 labs.

      A longer answer involves the importance of a home or online lab environment. To master this stuff you’ve simply got to build out the infrastructure and knock your mind up against the walls that appear. And I recommend the Microsoft Official Academic Curriculum, i.e., the Zacker book, because it’s got all the labs that the knowledgeable folks at Microsoft know that you need.

      And as you seem to have guessed, getting Yet Another Tome won’t be helpful. Transcender’s Practice Exams and Flash Cards will be helpful. … But what you need most is to do the labs.

      For the philosophical types, it has come to my attention that incorporating the ideas of the revised version of Bloom’s Taxonomy (which includes the concept of metacognition), when you strategize and develop exam-passing tactics, will help you to more effectively target your efforts.

      Finally, a word about the tomes; when you’ve not yet passed the 70-410 or gone through enough of the labs to have attained the required foundations, the tomes such as the Mastering Windows Server 2012 R2, although they do a very good job of organizing the material for those who already know the roles and features, are too often simply overwhelming.

      Do the labs, do the online research as you struggle, take the practice exams, go through the flash cards, and you’ll be fine.

      Good luck,


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