Please help me set up a virtual lab

giantsalexgiantsalex Member Posts: 7 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hey Everyone,

I'm studying for the 70-290 exam and I'd like to set up a a virtual lab since I have no hands-on experience at all with Windows Server 2003. At this point my study materials have consisted of CBT training videos and *********** practice tests. Yesterday I downloaded an evaluation copy of Windows Server 2003 and installed it with Windows Virtual PC. I just configured the virtual machine as a domain controller so I could practice with active directory users and computers.

Can anyone tell me where to go from here? How do I create client computers and link them to this DC? Also I'm not sure if this is relevant, but I could not configure DNS while establishing the server as a domain controller because the setup wizard asked me for an installation cd which I do not have (I downloaded the evaluation copy of windows server 2003 from Microsoft's website).

Can anyone please help me set up a virtual lab or direct me to a manual or something? I've looked everywhere and can't find any step by step instructions on how to do this.



  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Mod Posts: 6,927 Mod
    Welcome to TE. Two things:
    - those stars suggest that the material you referenced is not fom a genuine source, possibly a braindump. Go to to confirm
    - since you said you have no experience with Server 2003, why are you studying it? This exam is scheduled to be retired next summer
  • giantsalexgiantsalex Member Posts: 7 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the quick response.

    Yes, it is a braindump. I'm working on getting some better study material right now.

    The reason I need to get certified is because I have an interview lined up in October and the company uses Windows Server 2003. They'll be moving to 2008 in the near future but I know a manager that works for this company and he said I needed to get certified in a 2003 course before the interview.
  • sratakhinsratakhin Member Posts: 818
    I'm also reading a book Server 2003. I have labbed quite a lot, but I just followed books that I have trying to recreate similar scenarios. I have experience with 2003, so I didn't need basic labs like joining computers to a domain though.

    Try this book - 70-290: Lab Manual for MCSE / MCSA Guide to Managing a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Environment (9780619120344): Dan DiNicolo, Jennifer Guttormson, Kelly Reid: Books

    I'm not sure if it's any good as I just received it today and haven't had time to read it yet.
  • giantsalexgiantsalex Member Posts: 7 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks sratakhin.

    When you get a chance, can you let me know if that manual has instructions for setting up a virtual lab? The reviews on Amazon weren't much help.
  • QordQord Member Posts: 632 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I think you might be over-thinking the whole process, I think you'll find it's much simpler than you initially thought. Make more virtual machines, and join them to your virtual domain.

    Here's one *idea* for a virtual lab:
    How To Use Virtual Pc As Lab For Practice Mcse? - ProProfs Forums

    And here are some Server 2003 tutorial-type things:
    Windows Server 2003 Tutorials, Visual and Step-by-Step
  • giantsalexgiantsalex Member Posts: 7 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Hey Guys I still haven't figured this out.

    I'm now using Microsoft's self-paced training kit which requires you to have two servers set up. One which functions as the domain controller, and another which is a member server. I have created these two servers in virtual lab, but I'm having trouble making the second server a member of the domain. Unfortunately, the self-paced training kit simply requires this as a prerequisite for the labs without providing any guidance. Can anyone please help me connect the second server to the domain? Without setting this up I'm not able to practice remote desktop, terminal service, remote assistance, etc. Here is some information which may be relevant:

    HOST PC (The real PC the virtual PC's are running on)
    IP Address:
    Subnet Mask:
    Default Gateway:
    DNS Server:

    Server01 (The virtual Domain Controller)
    IP Address:
    Subnet Mask:
    Default Gateway:
    DNS Server:

    [FONT=&quot]Server02 (Virtual Member server)
    IP Address:
    Subnet Mask:
    Default Gateway:
    DNS Server:[/FONT]
  • sratakhinsratakhin Member Posts: 818
    The virtual member server's DNS should point to the DC's IP address. Otherwise, how do you think domain members will locate the DC?
    Also, it's better to set up a dedicated network for the lab with the DC performing routing between two networks. I'm not sure what product you use, but it's pretty easy in VMware Workstation.
  • giantsalexgiantsalex Member Posts: 7 ■□□□□□□□□□
    sratakhin wrote: »
    The virtual member server's DNS should point to the DC's IP address. Otherwise, how do you think domain members will locate the DC?

    I have no idea. I'm sure you can tell by now that I don't know anything about this. I'm just trying to create a virtual lab in order to learn and work with Server 2003 but I'm lacking the basic knowledge to create the lab. I've changed the DNS of Server02 so that it matches the IP of Server01. Now how do I make it a member server of the DC?

    BTW I'm using Virtual PC. Considering my lack of knowledge and limited need for this lab, I think it's best if I keep things as simple as possible.
  • sratakhinsratakhin Member Posts: 818
    It's ok not to know some stuff :) I also learn a lot by preparing for different exams. I know most of the objectives for 70-290 from my experience, but there are many things that I never even used.
    To join system to a domain, you need to go to Control Panel -> System -> Computer name tab -> Change. The rest should be clear.
  • giantsalexgiantsalex Member Posts: 7 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I'm getting this error when trying to join Server02 to the domain "":

    Note: This information is intended for a network administrator. If you are not your network's administrator, notify the administrator that you received this information, which has been recorded in the file C:\WINDOWS\debug\dcdiag.txt.

    The following error occurred when DNS was queried for the service location (SRV) resource record used to locate a domain controller for domain

    The error was: "DNS name does not exist."
    (error code 0x0000232B RCODE_NAME_ERROR)

    The query was for the SRV record for

    Common causes of this error include the following:

    - The DNS SRV records required to locate a domain controller for the domain are not registered in DNS. These records are registered with a DNS server automatically when a domain controller is added to a domain. They are updated by the domain controller at set intervals. This computer is configured to use DNS servers with following IP addresses:

    - One or more of the following zones do not include delegation to its child zone:
    . (the root zone)

    For information about correcting this problem, click Help.

    Any idea what the problem is? And if I can't figure this out, would you recommend that I just read through the self paced training kit without doing the lab? Do you think I can realistically pass the exam without the hands on experience?
  • sratakhinsratakhin Member Posts: 818
    Is your DC VM promoted to be the domain controller? Does it run DNS service?
    Also, try to remove that DNS entry. If it doesn't help, demote the DC and promote it again.

    You could probably pass the exam without labbing, but what's the point? If you are later hired as a system administrator and can't join a computer to the domain, it's going to be a sad day.
  • giantsalexgiantsalex Member Posts: 7 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I realized that changing the DNS of Server02 interrupts my internet connectivity. I can't access any webpages on Server02 when the DNS is set to However, as soon as I change it back to, then the internet works again. Is there any way that I can join Server02 to the DC without having its DNS match the IP of Server01?

    BTW, I checked and Server01 is set as the DC.

    Here is a picture of my current configuration:

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