Prepare for Windows 2000 with free, self-paced training courses from Microsoft. Also, find out what online training companies are ahead of the game with Microsoft Official Curriculum for Win2K.

Microsoft Official Online Curriculum

Prepare for Windows 2000 with free, self-paced training courses from Microsoft. Also, find out what online training companies are ahead of the game with Microsoft Official Curriculum for Win2K.

If you believe the Microsoft press machine, the release of Windows 2000 could happen any day now. And while we await, with great anticipation, the release of what promises to be a fully scalable, enterprise-wide OS, we also know that a new MCSE track is right around the corner. Consequently, our time is sure to be split between actually deploying Win2K across our enterprise and racing to be the first “MCSE 2000” on the block.

According to the Microsoft Web site, and depending upon your current certification level, the Windows 2000 certification could take as few as two exams or as many as seven. [For details see coverage in the November issue.—Ed.] So we wait… for the Microsoft Official Curriculum, for the third-party study guides, for the practice exams. We wait.

Free Online Training

Well, wait no more! Microsoft has released a free online training guide: MOC Course 1555—Getting Ready for Microsoft Windows 2000. Even though the Microsoft Web site states, “This course is not associated with any Microsoft Certified Professional exam,” there’s quite a bit of information here that will no doubt be extremely useful on exam day. Let’s look at what you get.

The first page of the site is the standard MOC syllabus, which outlines the modules, prerequisites, course materials, and so on. The course itself is contained in a 6.8M .ZIP file that you must download and install. I like this because I can install it on my laptop and access it anywhere. Once installed, you access it by browsing the \moc\nt1555a directory and double-clicking on default.htm. Figure 1 gives us a look at Module 1.

Figure 1. Here’s a look at the first module in Course 1555.

As you progress through the modules, it becomes quite clear that the best thing to do in preparation for Win2K migration is to tighten up Windows NT 4.0. Here are some of the highlights of the course:

  • Streamline NT Directory Services. This will greatly simplify matters when the time comes to implement Active Directory. The fewer unnecessary network objects you have at migration time, the better.
  • Update Network Protocols and Services. Win2K requires TCP/IP for many critical functions. It also relies heavily on DNS. If you’re still using NetBEUI or (God forbid!) IPX/SPX, get switched over now.
  • Install Service Pack 4 and Implement its Features. Updating NTFS permissions, applying Security Configuration Manager templates, and dual-booting between NT 4.0 and Win2K are covered here.
  • Deploying Windows NT 4.0 Workstation. Win2K Professional is the first “NT” OS to allow upgrading directly from Win9x. Even so, Microsoft recommends that you upgrade client machines to NT Workstation wherever possible. Not only is there less planning involved, but then you’ll also already have user accounts created and NTFS permissions in place (assuming you convert your drive to NTFS—Win2K supports FAT32, even on the boot partition!).

Each module contains numerous how-to documents and whitepapers discussing each topic in depth and explaining why it’s necessary. There are even detailed labs taking you through such steps as configuring a dual-boot machine, assigning NTFS permissions after installing the SCM, and installing and configuring DNS, just to name a few.

Seminar Online Title Minutes Number of Slides
Active Directory Database Sizing and Traffic Analysis 75 67
Active Directory Replication (Part 1) 83 42
Active Directory Replication (Part 2) 68 44
Deploying BackOffice Applications on Windows Clusters 86 55
Deploying Corporate-Level Remote Access and Branch Office Solutions 86 48
Designing Distributed Applications For Active Directory 60 23
Domain Migration Strategies and Windows 2000 79 58
How to Deploy a Windows 2000 Active Directory in Your Organization 40 34
How to Use Windows 2000 Professional Deployment Tools in the Enterprise 22 14
Managing the Windows Platform: Windows 2000 and Systems Management Server 2.0 15 9
Microsoft Windows 2000 Deployment Methods 61 21
Protection and Connection Technologies That Live At The Edge Of Your Network 70 55
Storage Management in Windows 2000 79 32
Using Secondary Logon with Microsoft Windows 2000 10 11
Windows 2000: An Overview of Microsoft Management Console (MMC) 24 8
Windows 2000: Isolating and Troubleshooting Hardware/Software Issues 79 9
Windows 2000: The Top 10 Things to Think About Before You Update 65 15
Writing Directory-Enabled Applications 74 33

After you’ve whetted your appetite with the online course, spend some time going through Microsoft’s Seminar Online sessions. We’ve pulled together a roster of the ones that were available as of late October, but you can bet the list will grow in coming months (see Table 1). If you haven’t already tried them, these sessions typically consist of audio presentations with accompanying PowerPoint slides. You simply bring up the Web page with the session and watch it on your computer. The presentations are given by Microsoft staff. You need Internet Explorer 3.02 or higher or Netscape Navigator 4.51 or higher, along with the Microsoft Windows Media player. The seminars are optimized for 28.8 modem speed. View the master index for sessions at

While these resources don’t directly prepare you for any of the new Win2K exams, I’m sure that by the time you finish all the lessons you’ll have a much clearer idea of what Microsoft is going to expect from its MCSE 2000s. Until the exam prep guide is published, I guess they’ll have to do.

Win2K Training Available Online

Microsoft isn’t the only company offering Windows 2000 training online (although they’re the only ones giving it away). Some online training providers are offering Win2K training and many more are sure to follow soon. While they don’t profess to prepare you for any particular exam, the skills taught more closely match the expected exam requirements than those found in the free Microsoft online training.

  IMG University

Infotech Online
Courses offered M1560—Updating Support Skills from Windows NT 4.0 to Windows 2000

M1561—Designing a Windows 2000 Directory Services Infrastructure

M1579—Accelerated Training for Updating Support Skills AND Directory Services

M1579—Windows 2000 Accelerated Course Windows 2000
   (CBT Systems
Time allowed M1560—10 weeks
M1561—10 weeks
M1579—12 weeks
10 weeks 4 weeks
Cost M1560—$399
$300 (Special MCP pricing)
Course materials Course workbook, lab workbook, and Windows 2000 Advanced Server Beta 3 Course/lab workbook, Win2K Beta 3 CD (course materials include complete MOC for course 1560 and 1561) Simulation software
Hardware requirements

Minimum: Pentium 166, 128M, 2G drive, and 12X CD-ROM

Recommended: Pentium II 350, 256M, 4G drive, and 12X CD-ROM

Listed: Two separate machines running Win2K Advanced Server

Actual: Only one lab requires two machines for some of the steps.

Minimum: Two computers with Pentium 133, 64M, 1G drive, and CD-ROM

Optional: Two or more hard drives per system, more than 1G HD space, printer, and laptop computer

None listed

Course 803— Administering Windows NT 4.0 (or equivalent skills)

Course 922— Supporting Windows NT 4.0 Core Technologies (or equivalent skills)

Course 803— Administering Windows NT 4.0 (or equivalent skills)

Course 922— Supporting Windows NT 4.0 Core Technologies (or equivalent skills)

None listed
Newsgroups Yes No Yes
Instructor participation Email and chat Email and chat Yes (24x7)
Tests Online assessment tests Voucher for free certification exam None listed
Chatroom Open chat: 24x7
Scheduled chat: at posted times (instructor present)
Scheduled chats: instructor present Open chat: 24x7

As the exam release dates get closer, no doubt we’ll see a refinement in the curriculums. Until then, these might be just the thing to whet your appetite.

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