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My MCSA/MCSE Journey

Wanted to start this thread to document my MCSA/MCSE journey.

I am currently studying for the 70-680 client exam. After this I will be taking the 70-682 exam to update MCDST to MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Support Technician. After completing that I hope to pass the 70-686 for MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Admin. I hope to have all 3 exams finished by 2/1/11 where I will be concentrating full time on the 2K3 server exams.

Exams needed for MCSA - 70-680 [x], 70-290 [], 70-291 []
Exams needed for MCSE - 70-293 [], 70-294 []. 70-297 []

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    Repo ManRepo Man Member Posts: 300
    I have been studying for the 70-680 since 12/6. I have read 370 pages of the MS Press Training Kit book and watched all but 6 of the CBT Nugget videos. I skipped over the chapters/videos dealing with deployment so that I can properly lab them at the very end. Hope to take the test on 12/23.
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    xenodamusxenodamus Member Posts: 758
    Good luck with it man. I'm working on the 2k3 exams as well. Microsoft has a good deal on the second shot exam packs right now if you haven't heard. I just bought 3 exams with a free second shot for just over $300. You just have to use the vouchers by summer 2011 - don't remember the exact date.
    CISSP | CCNA:R&S/Security | MCSA 2003 | A+ S+ | VCP6-DTM | CCA-V CCP-V
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    tbgree00tbgree00 Member Posts: 553 ■■■■□□□□□□
    The vouchers have to be used by June 30, 2011. I bought two to finish my test and ended up failing the first attempt and second shot for the 298 so I bought two more. I have an extra voucher just sitting around and no clue how to use it. I could update my MCSE but then I have one more test to totally complete the upgrade.

    I'm one to talk but if I had the same goals as Repo Man I'd likely delay the Windows 7 stuff and start on the MCSE track. The windows 7 stuff doesn't really correspond too much with 2k3 and has a lot of reference to 2008 R2. I felt like I was reading about stuff I wouldn't remember when it was relevant. It's more a personal preference than anything though. Since you have the MCDST you have an elective for the MCSA so you would be set.
    I finally started that blog - www.thomgreene.com
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    shon541shon541 Member Posts: 136
    June 30th is the last day to use those vouchers.
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    Repo ManRepo Man Member Posts: 300
    xenodamus wrote: »
    Good luck with it man. I'm working on the 2k3 exams as well. Microsoft has a good deal on the second shot exam packs right now if you haven't heard. I just bought 3 exams with a free second shot for just over $300. You just have to use the vouchers by summer 2011 - don't remember the exact date.

    I bought a 5 pack a few weeks ago as it's great deal. Does anyone know if you can buy a second pack if you use up all 5 vouchers?
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    Repo ManRepo Man Member Posts: 300
    tbgree00 wrote: »
    I'm one to talk but if I had the same goals as Repo Man I'd likely delay the Windows 7 stuff and start on the MCSE track. The windows 7 stuff doesn't really correspond too much with 2k3 and has a lot of reference to 2008 R2. I felt like I was reading about stuff I wouldn't remember when it was relevant. It's more a personal preference than anything though. Since you have the MCDST you have an elective for the MCSA so you would be set.

    I'm doing the Windows 7 exams as I'm more familiar with it and it's quicker to get titles/certs. Sounds silly but I was recently laid off so I'm hoping they land me a better job quicker. That would let me focus on the 2003/2008 server stuff once completed.
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    shon541shon541 Member Posts: 136
    Repo Man wrote: »
    I bought a 5 pack a few weeks ago as it's great deal. Does anyone know if you can buy a second pack if you use up all 5 vouchers?

    I haven't seen anything stating you can not. I'm sure you can purchase more after you pass your next 5 tests. :)
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    Repo ManRepo Man Member Posts: 300
    shon541 wrote: »
    I haven't seen anything stating you can not. I'm sure you can purchase more after you pass your next 5 tests. :)

    Only have 3 left. icon_cool.gif

    I had company today which ruined my study plans. Down to the 4 deployment nugget videos and 400 pages left in the book. Scheduled the exam for 12/23.
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    DevilsbaneDevilsbane Member Posts: 4,214 ■■■■■■■■□□
    shon541 wrote: »
    I haven't seen anything stating you can not. I'm sure you can purchase more after you pass your next 5 tests. :)

    And I still get emails about buying another pack. Why not?
    Decide what to be and go be it.
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    shon541shon541 Member Posts: 136
    Devilsbane wrote: »
    And I still get emails about buying another pack. Why not?

    Exactly! If they want to sell you more, you should be able to buy them!! Everybody wins! :D
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    Repo ManRepo Man Member Posts: 300
    Good to hear. I know the server tests will take longer to pass but I'm hoping to average a test a month this coming year.

    Down to 300 pages in the MS Press book.
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    Repo ManRepo Man Member Posts: 300
    109 pages left. Will have to go back and do a few of the later chapter labs in a few days as Newegg still hasn't shipped out my flash drives. It's been 11 days allout.gif
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    N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Thanks for the great info!

    I appreciate you taking time out of your day to post your findings.

    I am getting ready to do the 680 myself. I am a little concerned about 290 an 291.


    What would be the most effecient way of setting a lab, to lab those two.

    I have enterprise 7 so I can run through the book and use my work machine to lab client 7.
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    Repo ManRepo Man Member Posts: 300
    N2IT wrote: »
    Thanks for the great info!

    I appreciate you taking time out of your day to post your findings.

    I am getting ready to do the 680 myself. I am a little concerned about 290 an 291.


    What would be the most effecient way of setting a lab, to lab those two.

    I have enterprise 7 so I can run through the book and use my work machine to lab client 7.

    No problem.

    Content wise the 70-680 is a beast IMO. My issue with the exam is not knowing whether I should be familiar with the features or know exactly how to do them (I feel like I could easily pass the exam right now but a lot of labbing needs to be done to be comfortable with the objectives.) Things like local group policies and advanced windows firewall seem ridiculous as this would be managed by group policies in just about every company. The deployment sections are difficult as well since I've only done installs via DVD/USB in the past. Most of it wouldn't be bad but it appears MS wants to force you to learn the command line way of doing something that would take 2 secs using GUI.

    With regards to a lab I use VMWare with multiple instances of Windows 7 and an Install of Windows Vista to practice migrations. Also have a wiped desktop that I will be using to test doing a network install, using it as a reference computer,etc.
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    Repo ManRepo Man Member Posts: 300
    Finished MS Press Book, CBT Nuggets and got my flash drives todayicon_cheers.gif.

    After Christmas shopping tomorrow plan to setup spare desktop via USB install then capture/redeploy the image. Also reading a small PrepLogic guide that I have for a quick overview of all the objectives. Hope to have that read by end of Sunday and use Monday-Thursday morning for exam review.

    Also changed 2011 goals by removing 70-686 for MCITP:EDA. Will probably do that when I start doing server 2008 exams.
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    MentholMooseMentholMoose Member Posts: 1,525 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Repo Man wrote: »
    Also changed 2011 goals by removing 70-686 for MCITP:EDA. Will probably do that when I start doing server 2008 exams.
    You might want to reconsider this. 680 and 686 overlap quite a lot, so doing them next to each other really works well. I actually did the 686 first, and barely had to study to pass the 680 a month later.
    MentholMoose
    MCSA 2003, LFCS, LFCE (expired), VCP6-DCV
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    Repo ManRepo Man Member Posts: 300
    Appreciate the info. I'll have to rethink my goals before I finish the 70-685.
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    Repo ManRepo Man Member Posts: 300
    Ordered a new computer today (i7, 8 gigs of ram, SSD) so that I can finally run 2 VM's without my machine having a heart attack icon_cool.gif. Also got a spare 750 GB external drive.

    Wasn't able to study much but my girl works tomorrow so hope to spend 8+ hours grinding away.
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    Repo ManRepo Man Member Posts: 300
    Passed the 70-680 today. That was not easy at all and I would have failed it without the easy upgrade/clean install/hardware requirement questions. With that said a pass is a pass icon_cheers.gif. Will be spending a couple of days reviewing material that I'm still not comfortable with then onto 70-685 which objective wise is more up my alley.
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    phoeneousphoeneous Member Posts: 2,333 ■■■■■■■□□□
    Repo Man wrote: »
    Passed the 70-680 today. That was not easy at all and I would have failed it without the easy upgrade/clean install/hardware requirement questions. With that said a pass is a pass icon_cheers.gif. Will be spending a couple of days reviewing material that I'm still not comfortable with then onto 70-685 which objective wise is more up my alley.

    Congrats! You will like 290 and 291, they are "fun" exams. Best of luck.
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    Cisco InfernoCisco Inferno Member Posts: 1,034 ■■■■■■□□□□
    hey repo, you still taking the 682 vs the 680 and 685?
    im gonna have my mcdst soon and dont know how to get the 7version.
    2019 Goals
    CompTIA Linux+
    [ ] Bachelor's Degree
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    Repo ManRepo Man Member Posts: 300
    hey repo, you still taking the 682 vs the 680 and 685?
    im gonna have my mcdst soon and dont know how to get the 7version.

    Since I have already passed the 70-680 I'm going to take the 70-685 as the material should be easier IMO. I couldn't get an answer from Microsoft whether passing the 70-682 would give you credit towards the client exam you need for MCSE/MCITP:EA so I just took them separately. If you combined the two exams it's a ton of material to go over but if you feel comfortable I'd go for the upgrade exam.
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    Repo ManRepo Man Member Posts: 300
    I just got my new laptop today and I'm loving it. Will start setting up the VM's tomorrow and hope to take the 70-685 by the end of this month.
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    phoeneousphoeneous Member Posts: 2,333 ■■■■■■■□□□
    Repo Man wrote: »
    hope to take the 70-685 by the end of this month.

    Why take 685 if you plan to do MCSA/E and MCITP SA/EA? Save the cash and time and move on to the MCSA exams, just my opinion.
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    Repo ManRepo Man Member Posts: 300
    phoeneous wrote: »
    Why take 685 if you plan to do MCSA/E and MCITP SA/EA? Save the cash and time and move on to the MCSA exams, just my opinion.

    I'm looking for a job right now so hoping that helps me start at a higher wage.
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