Windows 8.1 MCSA - minimum kit needed for hands-on ?

culpanoculpano Member Posts: 163
Hi, Sorry if this has been answered before. I have searched the forum but not found exactly what I need to know. I am venturing into the world of Microsoft certification again after a gap of 17 years icon_rolleyes.gif. My last MCPs were in NT4 and I had a gap of ten years where I was in Service Mgt but I want to get back into the techy game again.

I am about to get the Windows 8.1 study guides to do the two 8.1 exams but I need to know what minimum amount of kit I need so I can do the stuff hands-on such as automated deployment methods (I assume answer files are still used !!!), virtualisation etc.

I already have two PCs at home but I don't want to muck around with them and would rather have fresh PCs that I can trash, rebuild etc.

How many PCs do I need ? Just the two connected up and have virtual multiple machines etc ? Multiple boot etc ? Would I need Windows Server too ? What other OSs / Software would I need ?

I've been out of the game for a while hence the noddy questions icon_redface.gif

I appreciate any advice received.



  • srabieesrabiee Member Posts: 1,231 ■■■■■■■■□□
    A single physical desktop computer running as many VMs as you see fit. You can accomplish this with Windows 8.1 Hyper-V, Oracle VirtualBox, VMware Player, or VMware Workstation.

    Windows 8.1 still covers Server 2012 R2 technologies pretty heavily, so one of those VMs will most likely need to be running Server 2012 R2 (domain controller, for example). You can obtain trial versions of each OS through Microsoft, or simply run them for while without activation. Should work fine that way for labbing purposes.

    8GB RAM should suffice, however 16GB would be optimal if you want to give each VM a bit more resources to utilize. The lab doesn't have to be anything overly complicated to study for the MCSA: Windows 8 cert.

    Good luck!
    WGU Progress: Master of Science - Information Technology Management (Start Date: February 1, 2015)
    Completed: LYT2, TFT2, JIT2, MCT2, LZT2, SJT2 (17 CU's)
    Required: FXT2, MAT2, MBT2, C391, C392 (13 CU's)

    Bachelor of Science - Information Technology Network Design & Management (WGU - Completed August 2014)
  • culpanoculpano Member Posts: 163
    Many thanks for the advice. Much appreciated. Now prepping the PC and using Hyper-V to create the virtual machines. Lots of work ahead..... Cheers again.
  • nofear187nofear187 Member Posts: 15 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I would like to have the training for this and windows server 2012, but think that these MS cert's have lost their value since they are so hard to pass the test and get! As well as you run the risk of getting the cert then you're I T department does a windows 8.1/10 deployment using MS SCCM 2012 instead , just a thought , LOL
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