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MCSA/MCSE Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-290): Managing and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server(TM) 2003 Environment 1st Edition

2.9 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0735614376
ISBN-10: 0735614377
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About the Author

Dan Holme, MVP, has 10+ years of experience as a consultant and trainer. He is the author of Windows Administration Resource Kit: Productivity Solutions for IT Professionals.

Orin Thomas, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, Microsoft® MVP, is a consultant and writer whose books include the SELF-PACED TRAINING KITs for Exams 70-662, 70-680, 70-646, and 70-647. He is also a contributing editor to Windows® IT Pro magazine.

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Product Details

  • Series: MCSA/MCSE Self-Paced Training Kit
  • Hardcover: 900 pages
  • Publisher: Microsoft Press; 1 edition (September 17, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0735614377
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735614376
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 2.4 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,939,825 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on September 16, 2003
Format: Hardcover
If you have no experience with Windows 2000 or 2003 you will not pass the exam regardless of which text you buy. I am studying for the MSCE in Windows Server 2003. This text covers all of the objectives for the 70-290 exam. This book also includes a Prometric exam discount voucher and a set of practice questions on the CD in addition to those in the text.
The exam objectives listed on Microsoft's site are covered by this text. The coverage is not deep, but is adequate for those that are attempting the exam who have experience with the operating system. Unexperienced candidates are wasting their time on the new MS certifications and should get some hands on before heading off to the testing center.
The questions in the second part of the book appear well written. They mirror some of the lengthy questions on the actual exam and this aspect of the text was refreshing. Most certification textbooks skimp on the practice questions adding them as an afterthought rather than a feature. To many books ask questions like "what does DNS stand for" and "where would you use DHCP". The first time I tried many of them I got them wrong. When I was getting them right I tried the exam and passed. Until the Transcenders are released, finding good questions will be difficult. Resources like this text are quite valuable.
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Format: Hardcover
This is probably the tenth Microsoft Press book I've purchased, and it is no different than the rest of them. While the technical aspects of the material seem adequate, I think there needs to be more detail. The exams always seem to contain a few questions that only Technet can help you answer. An exeption to this was the Microsoft Press MCSE study guide for 70-216, which was very detailed. Another bad thing about this publication (70-290) is the CD, which contains a few typographical errors and what I believe to be wrong answers on a few of the Readiness Review questions; namely a claim that a RAID-5 array isn't fault tolerant, which it clearly is. If you are considering purchasing this book, please do yourself a favor and check it out first. Read through some of it, and verify its accuracy with other publications or online material. The 2003 Server Administrators Guide is much better written and contains more real world scenarios than this book. Use it as a backup. Hope this review helps, and good luck on the exam.
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By A Customer on November 26, 2003
Format: Hardcover
If you don't know the product, you will not pass. This book will help you pass. If your only experience with Windows Server 2003 is installing it twice and running a few applications then you WILL fail the 70-290 exam no matter what book you buy! The MCSE is not like it was back in the NT4 days when you could train your parrot to pass the exams. You need to know what you are doing. This book is reasonably good at building on the exam objectives, but in some cases you will need to look at Technet. If you buy this book and fail the exam, don't blame the book - have a good look at the amount of experience you had going into the exam with Windows Server 2003. I passed this exam and this book helped (though my experience with the product, and prior Microsoft server operating systems did as well).
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Format: Hardcover
I'm not sure what problems the other reviewers ran into, but the MS Press book I read was an excellent prep guide for the 70-290 test. I passed it recently with a score of 850 and relied on this book and the included Readiness Review Suite CD for 90 to 95% of my preparation for this test. The exercises were clear and straightforward, and the explanations were pretty thorough. I wouldn't recommend this book to an absolute beginner - but then again, if you know little about server management or sys admining, you shouldn't be taking this test anyway.

The sample test questions towards the back and the MeasureUp tests (while prone to the occasional error) do give you a realistic feel for how hard the MCSE test is and how complex the questions are.

As with all guides, this book should hardly be used as a sole source of material - but combine this with another prep guide (I used the ExamCram book) and you are well on your way to passing. Again, I achieved a score of 850 on my first attempt at taking this test.

Minus a few errors and lack of detail on a few areas (IIS as someone else mentioned) this is a great book for prepping for this exam.
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By A Customer on September 16, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I hold an MCSE in NT4 and 2000 (and soon 2003). This text covers all of the objectives in a good, if occasionally dry, fashion. Including an exam discount voucher and the book in ebook format was a good idea, though reading such a long text on a PocketPC is a bit of a strain.
The objectives themselves are covered, though not at a level of detail higher than is required to pass the exam. If you are looking for a straigh reference on Windows Server 2003, rather than a reference for the 70-290 exam, you would do better waiting for the Resource Kit to be published. Good pointers are given on where to seek further information if you wish to drill down into a particular topic, but when trying to cover so many topics some readers might find them a little brief. This isn't really a criticism of the book itself as all certification texts suffer from this problem. This particular title suffers less than most from this particular issue.
The questions supplied in the latter chapters are sometimes a little long, though I found them to be of similar length to what I actually encountered in the exam. Some of the questions are harder and some are easier than what you will face on test day. It is fair to say that if you can pass the questions in the written chapters you are in good shape. Some of the questions provided on the bonus test CD are simpler are simpler than the real exam questions. Unlike the questions in the book, passing the questions on the companion CD won't give an accurate indication of your readiness to face the real exam.
Overall I found no glaring errors and I'd recommend this text to other students looking to pursue Windows 2003 MCSA/MCSE certifications.
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