Exam Reviews

70-622: Road to Enteprise Support and Vista

Do not study lightly for this Windows Vista exam -- you'll need to have complete understanding of application rollouts to Windows Vista desktops.

Exam 70-622 PRO: Installing, Maintaining, Supporting, and Troubleshooting Applications on the Windows Vista Client-Enterprise, is a mouthful and it's also a good test of your ability to roll out applications on this or any Windows-based network. Exam 70-622 is one of two exams that you'll need to pass (along with completion of a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist exam, such as 70-620: Vista Configuration) in order to obtain a Microsoft Certified IT Professional: Enterprise Support Technician certification.

I took 70-622 while it was in beta (which this exam is based on). During the beta, I was given 180 minutes to complete 75 questions. The final version is 90 to 120 minutes for about 50 questions.

This exam was wide in scope and tests one's knowledge of all aspects of installing, maintaining, supporting and troubleshooting applications on Windows Vista on an enterprise network in these key areas:

  • Deploying Vista
  • Managing Vista security
  • Managing, aintaining systems that run Vista
  • Configuring, troubleshooting network connections

My first recommendation for study falls under the category of hands-on -- if you're new to Vista, you need some time at the controls, and it’s always time well spent!

Microsoft has several online and e-learning courses available for this exam (search here and here). If you'd rather take the self-study route, the official Microsoft Press publication is MCITP Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-622): Supporting and Troubleshooting Applications on a Windows Vista Client for Enterprise Support Technicians by Tony Northrup and J.C. Mackin. For my study, I went to www.WindowsVista.com. It has links to information for consumers, developers and IT professionals like us. Click that link and you’ll find yourself at the Microsoft Technet site, where you’ll find all the printed study information you’ll need. I highly recommend you study the following documents available there: Windows Vista Product Guide, Deploying Vista Step by Step Guide, Windows Vista Security Guide, Understanding and Configuring User Account Control in Windows Vista, Step-By-Step Guide to Controlling Device Installation and Usage with Group Policy, and finally; Windows Vista Networking.

Now I could just give you all the questions and answers to the exam, but what fun would there be in that? After all it’s been five long years since Microsoft last released a new desktop operating system and I’m ready to learn all the new things, aren’t you? On with the review.

The set of skills you’ll need to demonstrate for this exam were noted earlier and through the remainder of this article, I will help you prepare to pass this exam by directing you to specific areas in the Windows Vista. Be sure you read and study the exam objectives available from the Microsoft Web site for a general idea of what to expect on this exam!

Deploying Windows Vista
Remember these hardware requirements: Vista requires a 800MHz but preferably a 1GHz or greater CPU; 512MB but preferably 1GB of RAM, 128MB graphics card for the Aero interface; 20GB but preferably a 40GB hard drive (15GB of free disk space is required for upgrades); and a DVD drive. Upgrades are supported from Windows 2000 and up. The greater requirements allow you to experience all that Vista has to offer.

Microsoft has also made many new tools and applications available for OS deployments such as; ImageX and Windows System Image Manager. ImageX is a disk imaging tool for capturing, modifying and applying images. Because of Vista’s HAL-independent design, fewer images are needed to deploy hundreds of computers. It also allows for editing and maintaining them in the new WIM (Windows Image) format. ImageX is a command-line tool in Vista or available with Windows PE. Also available is Windows System Image Manger. Scripting, editing and modifying images are possible, plus the ability to create the new XML format answer files. Be sure and read the entire "Deploying Vista Step by Step Guide"!

Exam Tip: Sysprep is an image creating and deployment tool and is still available for Windows Vista.

70-622 Installing, Maintaining, Supporting, and Troubleshooting Applications on Windows Vista (Beta)

Reviewer's Rating
This exam is geared towards IT professionals who work in enterprise environments that use Windows Vista, who have experience with previous versions of Windows and who have experience with Windows Server OSes. You should have experience deploying Windows Vista, managing security and troubleshooting network-related issues with Vista. Microsoft also recommends at least 3 to 5 years of experience as a tier 2 or lead desktop support technician.

This exam counts as a core client exam for the MCSA and MCSE (Windows 2000/2003) and is one of two needed for the new Microsoft Certified IT Professional: Enterprise Support Technician.

Exam Title
Installing, Maintaining, Supporting, and Troubleshooting Applications on the Windows Vista Client-Enterprise

180 minutes (beta; this differs from the live version)

Number of questions
78 (beta; this differs from the live version)

Who Should Take It
Anyone wishing to prove their knowledge of installing, maintaining and supporting applications on Windows Vista in enterprise-size networks.

Exam Objectives

Managing Windows Vista Security
Once Windows Vista is installed, additional configuration will be necessary to achieve the most secure operating system available. Windows Update is now integrated in the Windows Update center found in Control Panel. It automatically checks for and applies all Vista updates and possible upgrades. You’ll also find the Programs and Features center in Control Panel for managing installed updates and application software. IE 7 includes many new security features which prevent phishing, installation and execution of malicious software, and the ability to isolate add-ons per logged-on user.

Windows Defender, a free spyware detection and removal application from Microsoft for Windows XP, 2003, and Vista, can provide real-time monitoring for adware, keyloggers, and spyware. It can receive its updates through the Windows Update site or locally using WSUS.

The Windows Firewall in Windows Vista includes both inbound and outbound filtering to help protect computers by restricting access to key operating system resources. A single console known as the Windows Firewall with Advanced Security, integrates IPSec and firewall management. The firewall blocks most unsolicited inbound traffic until a change is made either by an administrator or by Group Policy settings. The Windows Vista firewall supports a Domain and a Standard profile. The Domain profile is active when the computer is connected to a network that contains the domain controllers in which its computer account resides. This allows you to create rules that are specific to the requirements of the company’s internal network. The Windows Vista firewall also includes a Private and Public profile to provide a finer level of control to protect a computer when a user uses it outside of the company’s protected network.

Exam Tip: From the available firewall profiles -- domain, public and private -- only one can be active at a time.

One of the key areas and additional security you’ll find in Windows Vista is User Account Control. It’s enabled by default and limits even a logged-on administrator account’s ability to change system configuration and settings without explicit permission, or by clicking Continue in the warning window; it prevents unauthorized changes. It can be turned off using the User Accounts center in Control Panel or with Group Policy.

If UAC is enabled and administrator credentials are needed to perform an action or run application software, the network administrator must provide the logged-on user with this information. The user can either provide them when prompted or right-click a configuration settings and select Run as. Group Policy settings Admin Approval for Built-in Administrator Account and Behavior of the elevation prompt for administrators in the Admin Approval Mode are settings you should become familiar with by reading the document, "Understanding and Configuring User Account Control in Windows Vista."

Exam Tip: Firewall exceptions configured with the Windows Firewall and Advanced Security console are very powerful and should be understood prior to the exam.

The ease and ability of users to plug in removable memory and storage devices creates significant administrative issues for networks, and they can pose threats to data security. Windows Vista includes Group Policy controls for user-level permission assignments of these types of devices. You’ll find most everything you need to know in the document, "Step-By-Step Guide to Controlling Device Installation and Usage with Group Policy."

BitLocker drive encryption helps protect data on a computer. The entire Windows volume is encrypted to help prevent unauthorized users from breaking Windows file and system protections. BitLocker prevents someone who either starts another operating system on the computer or runs a software attack tool bypassing the Windows Vista file and system protection from performing offline viewing of the files stored on the protected drive. BitLocker drive encryption can lock the normal boot sequence until the user supplies a personal identification number or inserts a USB flash drive that contains the decryption keys. The maximum protection is obtained when the computer includes Trusted Platform Module 1.2 BIOS hardware support. For more information I recommend "Windows BitLocker Drive Encryption Step-by-Step Guide."

Managing and Maintaining Systems That Run Windows Vista
Windows Vista includes a new configuration, monitoring, and troubleshooting center in Control Panel: Network and Sharing Center. From here you can create connections, manage them and even see a list of shares and printers available from a computer while connected to a particular network.

The user profile used in Windows XP is identical to the one used in Windows 2000, making interoperability between these two operating systems transparent. A new design and layout prevents Windows Vista from using the older XP and Win2K profiles. Also, previous versions of Windows do not load Windows Vista user profiles. When using Windows Vista and roaming user profiles, a designator of “v2" will be added to the end of the profile folder. The "v2" is used to isolate Windows Vista roaming user profiles from roaming user profiles created by previous operating systems.

Data Collector Sets are the building blocks of performance monitoring and reporting found in the Windows Reliability and Performance Monitor console. It allows for organizing multiple data collection points into a single component that can be used to review or log performance. A Data Collector Set can be created and then recorded, grouped with other Data Collector Sets, incorporated into logs and viewed in Performance Monitor to generate alerts. To learn more about how to configure and automate them, be sure and read "Help on Reliability and Performance Monitor" from the Help menu of the console.

There are many new command-line administrative tools included with Windows Vista. Be sure and review the Command Reference list and options available, such as BCDEdit, which is the primary tool for editing the boot configuration of Windows Vista and later versions of Windows; and Wbadmin, which lets you back up and restore a computer and files from a command prompt.

Must-Know Tips Before Taking an Exam

If this is your very first IT exam or at least your first Microsoft exam, there are some things you should know:

  • The price for Microsoft exams in the US is $125.
  • You are allowed to take any exam as many times as needed to pass.
  • You must pay the $125 for each and every attempt at the exam. (For first-time exam takers, Microsoft usually provides incentive offers; you'll find these on the Microsoft MCP Web site.)
  • You will receive an onscreen pass or fail indicator at the completion of the exam.
  • You will also receive a printed score report upon exiting the exam booth.
  • You will receive a certificate, wallet card, congratulations letter and Microsoft Certification number after you have requested the certification package from Microsoft's Web site. (Don't forget to give a valid e-mail address when registering for your exam.)
  • You can take any IT exam at any Thomson Prometric testing center.

One more tip while you're taking the exam: You will be able to move forward and backward through the exam question set. Very often, a later question can help you answer an earlier one for which you may not have been absolutely certain of your answer. You should, however, always choose an answer for each and every question before moving forward since you may run out of time, and any unanswered questions are scored as incorrect.

You can mark questions you are unsure of and return using the back button or by using the review screen at the end prior to scoring.

Configuring and Troubleshooting Networking
Windows Vista includes networking support with a new IP version 4 and 6 stack loaded. It’s been entirely updated and includes all new support protocols and configuration methods. Integration of IPSec and the Windows Firewall into the networking stack provide for a more secure configuration.

Wireless network support, configuration, advanced protocols and troubleshooting have also been further improved in Vista. Vista includes a command-line script that provides a method to connect to a company’s wireless network to join a domain: netsh wlan. I recommend the following document for more: "Joining a Windows Vista Wireless Client to a Domain."

Exam Tip: When networking between Windows Vista and Windows NT, SMB version 1.0 is the highest authentication level supported.

Windows Vista’s Network Center provides a clear view of the current connection status, available wireless networks, and a network map to show surrounding network resources. It also includes many troubleshooting tools to identify connectivity problems and allow users to browse network resources by starting the new Network Explorer. Another must read: Enterprise Networking with Windows Vista.

Although not perfect in my opinion, Windows Vista is one of the most secure desktops released since Windows 95.

Now, Go Forth and Test
That wraps it up for this exam review; you now have a good basis for which to study and tackle any weaknesses you've identified so far. And remember that nothing beats hands-on experience when preparing for an exam. Divide your time preparing for this exam by practicing, reviewing and reading the materials I've recommended -- and good luck!

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