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MCSE 70-270 Study Guide

Exam 70-270 Installing, Configuring, and Administering Microsoft Windows XP Professional

This Sure2Pass Original Study Guide (available in members area) will aid you in developing the fundamentals needed to prepare for the Windows Exam. This Study Guide will cover all topics needed for this exam as well as to aid you in finding further study information to pass exam. Of course, as with any other study guide, never solely rely on one source of information to gauge your entire studies, make sure preparing for this exam is augmented with plenty of hands on and practice.

Links and Tips:

Here is a list of Links and Tips that Sure2Pass has provided for you to look deeper into XP and its possibilities:

·                   Main Link for Objectives and Test Information


·                   What makes Windows XP more reliable?

·                   Do I have to re-activate it if I upgrade my hardware?

·                   Can I help users remotely without talking to them?

·                   What are the quick tips to ensure a smooth deployment?

·                   Do you have the details about the deployment story?

·                   Can I migrate without losing all my current settings?

·                   Where can I get help from my peers for free?

·                   What if I need to access Windows 2000 help?

·                   How to Activate Windows XP Using an Unattend.txt File

·                   How to Use the Language Bar in Windows XP

·                   How to Check User Profiles on a Windows XP-Based Computer

·                   How to Change File Associations in Windows XP.doc

·                   How to Create and Configure User Accounts in Windows XP

·                   How to Modify Scheduled Tasks In Windows XP

·                   Windows XP Newsgroups

·                   Windows XP Best of the Newsgroups

Credit Toward Certification

Good toward: MCP, MCSE 2000 and MCSA 2000

When you pass this exam, you achieve Microsoft Certified Professional status.

You also earn credit toward the following certifications:


Preparation Tools

In addition to your hands-on experience working with the product, you may want to use the following tools and training to help you prepare for this exam:

Step-by-Step Guide to Preparing for a Microsoft Certified Professional Exam
The Step-by-Step Guide describes a concise, six-step approach to preparing for an MCP exam, and is also a compendium of MCP exam-preparation resources.

Microsoft Official Curriculum
The Microsoft Official Curriculum (MOC) consists of courses designed by Microsoft product groups that support the certification exam process. You can choose from instructor-led classroom training, self-paced training kits, and online training.

Microsoft Certified Professional Approved Study Guides
MCP Approved Study Guides are self-paced learning tools that are available in a variety of formats to match your learning style, including books, CD-ROMs, online content, and videos. These guides come in a wide range of prices to fit your budget.

Practice Tests
Practice tests offered by Microsoft Approved Practice Test Providers enable you to assess and receive feedback on your level of knowledge and exam-readiness prior to taking a certification exam. Although your score on a practice test doesn't necessarily indicate what your score will be on a certification exam, a practice test gives you the opportunity to answer questions that are similar to those on the certification exam and can help you identify your areas of greatest strength and weakness.

Audience Profile

Candidates for this exam operate in medium to very large computing environments that use Windows XP Professional as a desktop operating system. They have a minimum of one year's experience implementing and administering any desktop operating system in a network environment.

Skills Being Measured

This certification exam measures your ability to implement, administer, and troubleshoot information systems that incorporate Microsoft Windows XP Professional. Before taking the exam, you should be proficient in the job skills listed below.


·         Installing Windows XP Professional

·         Perform an attended installation of Windows XP Professional

·         Perform an unattended installation of Windows XP Professional

·         Install Windows XP Professional by using Remote Installation Services (RIS)

·         Install Windows XP Professional by using the System Preparation Tool

·         Create unattended answer files by using Setup Manager to automate the installation of Windows XP Professional

·         Upgrade from a previous version of Windows to Windows XP Professional

·         Prepare a computer to meet upgrade requirements

·         Migrate existing user environments to a new installation

·         Perform post-installation updates and product activation

·         Troubleshoot failed installations

·         Implementing and Conducting Administration of Resources

·         Monitor, manage, and troubleshoot access to files and folders

·         Configure, manage, and troubleshoot file compression

·         Control access to files and folders by using permissions

·         Optimize access to files and folders

·         Manage and troubleshoot access to shared folders

·         Create and remove shared folders

·         Control access to shared folders by using permissions

·         Manage and troubleshoot Web server resources

·         Connect to local and network print devices

·         Manage printers and print jobs

·         Control access to printers by using permissions

·         Connect to an Internet printer

·         Connect to a local print device

·         Configure and manage file systems

·         Convert from one file system to another file system

·         Configure NTFS, FAT32, or FAT file systems

·         Manage and troubleshoot access to and synchronization of offline files

·         Configure and troubleshoot fax support

·         Implementing, Managing, Monitoring, and Troubleshooting Hardware Devices and Drivers

·         Implement, manage, and troubleshoot disk devices

·         Install, configure, and manage DVD and CD-ROM devices

·         Monitor and configure disks

·         Monitor, configure, and troubleshoot volumes

·         Monitor and configure removable media, such as tape devices

·         Implement, manage, and troubleshoot display devices

·         Configure multiple-display support

·         Install, configure, and troubleshoot a video adapter

·         Configure Advanced Configuration Power Interface (ACPI)

·         Implement, manage, and troubleshoot input and output (I/O) devices

·         Monitor, configure, and troubleshoot I/O devices, such as printers, scanners, multimedia devices, mouse, keyboard, and smart card reader

·         Monitor, configure, and troubleshoot multimedia hardware, such as cameras

·         Install, configure, and manage modems

·         Install, configure, and manage Infrared Data Association (IrDA) devices

·         Install, configure, and manage wireless devices

·         Install, configure, and manage USB devices

·         Install, configure, and manage hand held devices

·         Manage and troubleshoot drivers and driver signing

·         Monitor and configure multiprocessor computers

·         Monitoring and Optimizing System Performance and Reliability

·         Monitor, optimize, and troubleshoot performance of the Windows XP Professional desktop

·         Optimize and troubleshoot memory performance

·         Optimize and troubleshoot processor utilization

·         Optimize and troubleshoot disk performance

·         Optimize and troubleshoot application performance

·         Configure, manage, and troubleshoot Scheduled Tasks

·         Manage, monitor, and optimize system performance for mobile users

·         Restore and back up the operating system, system state data, and user data

·         Recover system state data and user data by using Windows Backup

·         Troubleshoot system restoration by starting in safe mode

·         Recover system state data and user data by using the Recovery Console

·         Configuring and Troubleshooting the Desktop Environment

·         Configure and manage user profiles

·         Configure support for multiple languages or multiple locations

·         Enable multiple-language support

·         Configure multiple-language support for users

·         Configure local settings

·         Configure Windows XP Professional for multiple locations

·         Manage applications by using Windows Installer packages

·         Configure and troubleshoot desktop settings

·         Configure and troubleshoot accessibility services

·         Implementing, Managing, and Troubleshooting Network Protocols and Services

·         Configure and troubleshoot the TCP/IP protocol

·         Connect to computers by using dial-up networking

·         Connect to computers by using a virtual private network (VPN) connection

·         Create a dial-up connection to connect to a remote access server

·         Connect to the Internet by using dial-up networking

·         Configure and troubleshoot Internet Connection Sharing

·         Connect to resources using Internet Explorer

·         Configure, manage, and implement Internet Information Services (IIS)

·         Configure, manage, and troubleshoot remote desktop and remote assistance

·         Configure, manage, and troubleshoot an Internet connection firewall

·         Configuring, Managing, and Troubleshooting Security

·         Configure, manage, and troubleshoot Encrypting File System (EFS)

·         Configure, manage, and troubleshoot local security policy

·         Configure, manage, and troubleshoot local user and group accounts

·         Configure, manage, and troubleshoot auditing

·         Configure, manage, and troubleshoot account settings

·         Configure, manage, and troubleshoot account policy

·         Configure and troubleshoot local users and groups

·         Configure, manage, and troubleshoot user and group rights

·         Troubleshoot cache credentials

·         Configure, manage, and troubleshoot a security configuration

·         Configure, manage, and troubleshoot Internet Explorer security settings

Make sure that you review the above objectives. For this exam, you will need to be proficient in the above skills. This study guide will cover many topics, but you will need to use the web, books and a practice set up to master the skills listed above.

Study Guide

Windows XP is the next version of Microsoft Windows beyond Windows 2000 and Windows Millennium. Windows XP brings the convergence of Windows operating systems by integrating the strengths of Windows 2000—standards-based security, manageability and reliability with the best features of Windows 98 and Windows Me—Plug and Play, easy-to-use user interface, and innovative support services to create the best Windows yet. Windows XP is built on an enhanced Windows 2000 code base, with different versions aimed at home users and business users: Windows XP Home Edition and Windows XP Professional. XP in my opinion (which I am sure is not everyone else’s opinion) delivers on its end. I have extensively tested the beta versions and have been much happier with my response then with the Beta testing of 2000 Professional. As a desktop platform it has excelled, leaving many new feature at your hands to make the experience of working at your computer to be much more enjoyable. Although this platform would annoy any hardcore Linux User (which I can understand) because it is loaded with features that is sure to open up many new holes, and whatever else may be buried under the hood. At least for one thing, it is rock solid stable which is something that has been lacking in other versions of Microsoft OS's. (Although it was close in 2000) Lets look at the features in regard to the Exam.

As you can see from the above dialog box that the Graphics have definitely been given and overhaul. The look and feel though can easily be removed if you wish to go to the “Windows 2000” look and feel again.

The main graphics have been altered to include the entire shell, everything as you knew it would definitely look much different to you now. Again, no fear – you can turn it off if needed.

System Requirements:

To effectively run XP Professional (like any other MS Operating System) you need to adhere to the requirements set forth by Microsoft. Here are the basic requirements needed, although you should know that no matter what you do, adding to those requirements would aid in better system response time and functionality.

Also, add in for running applications and other installed software as well. Actual requirements will vary based on your system configuration and the applications and features you choose to install. Additional available hard-disk space may be required if you are installing over a network.

For more information on Basic System Requirements, please view the following:

·         For more information, please see:

·         To ensure that your applications and hardware are Windows XP–ready please check:


Basic Minimum System Requirements

CPU PC with 300 MHz or higher processor clock speed recommended; 233 MHz minimum required (single or dual processor system); Intel Pentium/Celeron family, or AMD K6/Athlon/Duron family, or compatible processor recommended
RAM 128mb of RAM or higher recommended (64MB minimum supported; may limit performance and some features)
Disk Space 1.5 GB of available hard disk space
Video Super VGA (800 * 600) or higher-resolution video adapter and monitor.
Other CD-ROM or DVD drive
Peripherals Keyboard and Microsoft Mouse or compatible pointing device


Additional items or services required for using other Windows XP features

As each is listed below, you may need certain hardware requirements for specific tasks. To do a specific task, it is required that you follow the guidelines set forth by Microsoft

For Internet access:

·         Some Internet functionality may require Internet access, a Microsoft .NET Passport, and payment of a separate fee to a service provider; local and/or long distance telephone toll charges may apply

·         14.4 Kbps or higher speed modem

For networking:

·         Network adapter appropriate for the type of local-area, wide-area, wireless, or home network you wish to connect to, and access to an appropriate network infrastructure

·         Access to 3rd party networks may require additional charges

For instant messaging, voice and video conferencing, and application sharing both parties need:

·         Microsoft .NET Passport account and Internet access or Exchange 2000 Server instant messaging account and network access

·         Some configurations may require download of additional components

For voice and video conferencing both parties also need:

·         33.6 Kbps or higher speed modem, or a Network connection.

·         Microphone and sound card with speakers or headset

·         For video conferencing both parties also need:

·         Video conferencing camera

·         Windows XP

For application sharing, both parties also need the following:

·         33.6 Kbps or higher speed modem, or a Network connection

·         Windows XP

For Remote Assistance:

·         Both parties must be running Windows XP and be connected via a network

For Remote Desktop:

·         A Windows 95 or later-based computer and the two machines must be connected via a network

For sound:

·         Sound card and speakers or headphones

For DVD video playback:

·         DVD drive and DVD decoder card or DVD decoder software

·         8 MB of video RAM

For Windows Movie Maker:

·         Video capture feature requires appropriate digital or analog video capture device

·         400MHz or higher processor for digital video camera capture

As you need things, just make sure you reference the HCL list for applicable hardware that can be used and make sure you don’t skimp on the minimum requirements for best results.

Internet Connection Firewall (ICF)

When a computer is connected to the Internet or other pathway to the outside world, there is the threat of unauthorized attempts to access the computer and data. This is very apparent in today’s networks as the role of hackers is becoming more prevalent in out times. With XP, Built in Firewall protection has been created. (Something needed long ago in my opinion) and an easy way to set it up. As people become more savvy with their machines, and as more and more “always on” directly connected DSL and Cable Modem network connections become the norm, this may be one of the most used features in XP

Whether the computer connecting to the external network is a standalone computer, or is acting as a gateway for a network behind the computer (see Internet Connection Sharing which is the nest section of this study guide), a firewall can guard your home network against the threat of unsafe network traffic while allowing appropriate network traffic to pass. Guard it yes, keep you completely safe no. When you get into configuring basic firewalls (especially one that comes with the OS) you may find it is not something you want to even entertain as being something bulletproof.

Above, I have listed the option within Network Properties for the adapter, where you can select to have Internet Connection Firewall activated

Windows XP includes the Internet Connection Firewall to be used to protect your computers and home networks connected in such a manner. This software-based firewall is enabled automatically when the Network Setup Wizard is run

The Network Wizard will set your firewall up with default settings that will work for most networks. The firewall can also be enabled or disabled manually through the Network Connections folder. You may want to investigate this and configure as necessary. Be careful not to lock all activity, as it will not allow Internet traffic

The Internet Connection Firewall monitors connections and traffic that originated from inside the firewall to use in determining what traffic should be allowed from the external network. Traffic originating from the external network will not be allowed through the firewall by default. When hosting services or programs (such as a web server) behind the firewall, these settings can be changed to suit your needs.

Again, this is great, but is not your corporate firewall solution

Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) Enhancements

Windows 2000 included ICS to enable sharing of a single Internet connection among all of the computers on a home or small office network. This old technology is bundled with the Windows 2000 platform.

So how does it work? Well, the computer connected to the Internet would have ICS enabled, provide addressing, and network address translation (NAT) services for all of the computers on the network.

Above, I have listed the option within Network Properties for the adapter, where you can select to have Internet Connection sharing activated

So, what’s new in XP? Well, XP is has a few new features that add to the benefit of having ICS. Besides providing a DHCP allocator for automatic addressing and a DNS proxy for name resolution, the Windows XP ICS service has also been enhanced to leverage Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) in Windows XP. What new with UpnP:

·         ICS participates in the UPnP network as a device hosted on Windows XP, announcing its presence on the network periodically. Windows XP ICS clients use UPnP to detect and locate ICS hosts on the network. Once discovered, UPnP is used to access and control the ICS host.

·         The system running ICS broadcasts information about the status of the service to the network, including connection status, uptime, and statistics. ICS will also broadcast whenever there is a change in the service's state, such as connection or disconnection.

·         The client can then use UPnP to perform various actions against ICS. These actions include the ability to connect or disconnect ICS, to list network address translation port mappings, or to create or modify port mappings. This enables clients internal to the network to accept incoming connections.

 As you can see, the main portion new with XP is the UPnP functionality

UPnP Client Support

Windows XP includes complete support for Universal Plug and Play Control Point applications. A set of COM interfaces are available on Windows XP that allow an application to discover UPnP devices on the network, retrieve information about those devices and the services they provide, and control those services through executing exposed methods. This UPnP implementation enables the application to only be concerned about accessing the available devices and not about UPnP specific protocols. A UI component can be added to enable UPnP devices to be displayed in My Network Places.

This is a great link to investigate the effort going into Microsoft UPnP development:




Network Bridging Support

When building a network in a home or small office, you may find that a particular network medium works well in one area of the network, but not in another. For example, several computers may be located near telephone jacks enabling them to be connected using HomePNA networking devices. Other computers may be nowhere near a phone jack, requiring selection of another network medium such as wireless. Windows XP, including Ethernet, Phoneline, Wireless and IEEE 1394, supports many medium types.

Traditionally, connecting these networks together would require configuring multiple IP address sub-networks and routers to connect the different mediums together. The Network Bridge enables a Windows XP system to act as a bridge for these multiples network mediums. When multiple network connections are added to a Windows XP system and the Network Setup Wizard used to configure the system, the Network Bridge will automatically bridge the networks for you.

This results in a network configuration consisting of a single, easily configured network segment connecting all network mediums. The Windows XP Network Bridge will forward packets on the appropriate segments based on the device address and maintain information about what system is on which physical medium

The best ways to see this is to multi-home an XP Professional Workstation and configure the bridge. It will show up in Network Connections as a Bridge.

Network Setup Wizard

Windows XP provides you with a Network Setup wizard to ease the task of setting up your network. This wizard allows you to configure the Internet connection the computers on your network will use, enable the Internet Connection Firewall, configure the network adapters on your computer and enable the Network Bridge if appropriate, share files and printers and name your computers. The network setup wizard can be run on the Windows 98, Windows ME and Windows XP computers on your network using the CD or a floppy disk.

Above, I have listed the option within Network Properties for the adapter, you can see how to active the Wizard from here

You can see that if in a jam, the link for the network wizard can be found, selected and it will guide you through the configurations you need to change

Network Diagnostics Features

Network diagnostics features were added to Windows XP to support diagnosing network problems. With increasing numbers of people setting up small networks, these features enable troubleshooting of what can be complex problems by nearly any level user.

The Network Diagnostics Web Page and NetSh helper

The Network Diagnostics web page can be instantiated from multiple locations, including the Network Connections folder, the Tools section of Help and Support, or the Help and Support detailed information section on either troubleshooting or networking. This web page makes it easy to retrieve important information about the local computer and the network it is connected to. The web page also includes various tests for troubleshooting network problems. In addition, a NetSh helper DLL is provided to enable execution of more extensive tests than the web page, but from a command line. This helper is accessed from the 'diag' context of NetSh

Network Connections Support Tab

The Status page for each network connection in the Network Connections folder now includes a Support tab. From this tab, information and tasks previously provided in Windows through the IP configuration tool, Winipcfg.exe, are provided. Part of this includes the Repair option, used to try and reset your network connection to a working state. (It actually works)

Network Connection Repair Link

Sometimes the computers network configuration can get into a state that prohibits network communication, but can be repaired through a set of common procedures such as renewing the IP address and DNS name registrations. To avoid having to take these steps by hand, a Repair link has been added to the network connection's context menu. Choosing this option causes a series of steps to be taken that could very likely solve communication problems but are known not to cause worse problems

In all other cases, you could do it by hand: IPCONFIG /all will show you what settings you currently have configured for network properties

Task Manager Networking Tab

A Networking tab has been added to Task Manager that will display real time networking metrics for each network adapter in the system. This tool will provide a quick look at how the network is performing. It is very handy as it will show you the status of your NIC cards

Above, you can see that you NIC card can be monitored for activity

Updated Command Line Network Diagnostics Tool

Part of the support tools that come on the Windows XP installation CD, netdiag.exe is a command line diagnostics tool enhanced from the version provided in the Windows 2000 resource kit

Network Location Awareness and Winsock API Enhancements

Windows XP includes components that detect information about the network the system is attached to. This allows for seamless configuration of the network stack for that location. This information is also made available through a Windows Sockets API, allowing applications to retrieve information about the current network or be notified when the network information changes

Components in Windows XP also use the network location to provide the appropriate services. For example, the Network Setup wizard will use the location information for multiple adapters in the system to figure out which device is your connection to the Internet. The group policy for ICF is also location aware. ICF will check to see if group policy is set, and then use location information to determine how to apply the policy. Additional Microsoft extensions to Windows Sockets have been added to Windows XP:

·         ConnectEx() – Used to send a block of data after establishing a connection

·         TransmitPackets() – Used to transmit in memory and/or file data over a connected socket

Wireless LAN Enhancements

Several features and enhancements have been added to Windows XP to improve the experience in deploying Wireless LAN networks.

These enhancements include:

Enhanced Ethernet and Wireless Security (IEEE 802.1X Support)

Previously wireless LAN networking lacked an easy to deploy security solution with a key management system Microsoft and several Wireless LAN and PC vendors worked with the IEEE to define IEEE 802.1X, a standard for port-based network access control. This is applicable to Ethernet or Wireless LANs. Microsoft has implemented IEEE 802.1X support in Windows XP and worked with wireless LAN vendors to support the standard in their access points


Wireless Zero Configuration

In conjunction with the wireless network adapter, Windows XP can choose from available networks to configure connections to preferred networks without user intervention. Settings for specific networks can be saved and automatically used the next time that network is associated with. In the absence of an infrastructure network, Windows XP can configure the wireless adapter to use ad-hoc networking.


Wireless Roaming Support

Windows 2000 included enhancements for detecting the availability of a network and acting appropriately. These enhancements have been extended and supplemented in Windows XP to support the transitional nature of a wireless network. Features added in Windows XP include re-authentication when necessary and choosing from multiple configuration options based on the network connected to.

For XP and this exam, you need to know about Wireless technologies and how it functions, as it is a big selling point for Windows XP and how it works. Please visit this link to get an overview of the Entire Wireless system and how it works: Here

IPv6 Development Stack

Windows XP includes a complete IP version 6 protocol stack

The stack is intended as a development stack to enable and assist developers in making their applications IPv6 capable. This allows for a head start in preparing for the inevitable migration to IPv6 networks. A later version of Windows will include a production level IPv6 protocol stack.

Visit the Windows Platform SDK, the Windows 2000 technical library at

IPv6 is also called Next Generation IP or IPng

Remote Access uses Credential Manager "Key Ring"

Windows XP includes a Credential Manager Key Ring feature that maintains a "key ring" containing multiple sets of different credentials that have been used on the system. This allows you to access multiple networks (with different credentials- username and password) at the same time, without having to continually re-enter credentials in response to prompts. Information about the network resource you are connecting to (such as the server name and domain name) is used to select the appropriate credential on the key ring. Remote Access participates in the key ring by adding a temporary default credential whenever a dial-up or VPN connection is successfully established. This credential contains the username and password that were used in setting up the connection since these are often the same credentials that will enable access to the resources on that network. This makes the experience of connecting to a remote network and using resources on both that network and your local network seamless.

Connection Manager (CM) and Connection Manager Administration Kit (CMAK) Updates

The Microsoft Connection Manager is client dialer and connection management software that can be customized using the Connection Manager Administration kit. CM and CMAK have been available in Windows for some time, and have been updated and enhanced with Windows XP. The following changes have been made:

·         CMAK contains new options: CMAK now includes UI additions that weren't present in previous versions. These additions allow administrations to configure the full range of options and enables configuration of options beyond what is available in the UI

·         CM now supports split tunneling: the ability to access a secure VPN tunnel and still access the Internet. Specific routes can be added for the network just reached

·         New Save Feature: CM has added a favorites feature that allows a user to save frequently used settings. This could include, for example, settings for various hotels you use while traveling

·         Client side logging: CM has added client side logging capability to aid in diagnosing connection problems

·         Callback: CM now provides UI for callback. This wasn't present in Windows 2000

·         Properties Page: The CM properties page now provides controlled access to a page for ICS and ICF

Control Panel Configuration

As you can see here, the control panel has been jazzed up a bit, make sure you comfortable navigating the GUI and go through each applet investigating new options. (One being user accounts seen at the bottom)

Above, I have listed the option within Network Properties for the adapter, where you can select to have Internet Connection Firewall activated

Its nice to see Tweak UI as a stand here also… bout time it became a standard control Panel Applet

PPPOE Client

Windows XP includes the ability to create connections using Point-to-Point Protocol over Ethernet (PPPoE). Using Point-to-Point Protocol over Ethernet (PPPoE) and a broadband modem, LAN users can gain individual authenticated access to high-speed data networks. By combining Ethernet and Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP), PPPoE provides an efficient way to create a separate connection for each user to a remote server. Access, billing, and choice of service are managed on a per-user basis, rather than a per-site basis. Having this ability built into Windows XP allow you to leverage built in services like Internet Connection Sharing and Internet Connection Firewall. It also enables your connections to integrate seamlessly with Internet Explorer and other Windows applications.

PVC Encapsulation – RFC 2684

Windows XP includes an implementation of Internet RFC 2684. This was added to making DSL simpler for vendors to implement. The implementation is an NDIS intermediate driver that looks like an Ethernet interface, but uses a DSL/ATM PVC to carry Ethernet (or TCP/IP only) frames. This mechanism is commonly used in the industry by carriers and others deploying DSL

NDIS 5.1 and Remote NDIS

The interface network cards and their drivers use to make the physical network available to the operating system and protocols were enhanced in Windows XP. Several enhancements were made, including:


Plug and Play and Power Event Notification

Enables network card miniport drivers to be notified of power or plug and play events. This results in cleaner system operation during these events.


Support for Send Cancellation

Allows network protocols to avoid having to wait inordinate amounts of time for network packet send requests to complete.

Increased Statistics Capacity (64-bit statistic counters)

This enhancement enables accurate network statistic displays, even on today's high-speed network mediums.


Performance Enhancements

Several enhancements were made to speed up the critical network data paths and avoid unnecessary packet copies.


Miscellaneous Changes

Several additional changes have been made to support common needs or requests from driver developers or to improve driver integrity.


Wake on LAN change

A change was made to Wake on LAN to allow you to limit wake up packets to just magic packets (instead of protocol registered packet patterns). This is now configurable on the Power Management tab of the NIC device property page.

Remote NDIS is also included as part of Windows XP. Remote NDIS enables the support of USB attached network devices without the installation of third party drivers. Microsoft supplies the drivers required to communicate with the network devices. This results in easier installation and a lessened chance of system failure because of a poorly built or tested driver.

For more information on NDIS 5.1 and Remote NDIS, refer to the Windows XP DDK and the following web pages:

Internet Protocol over IEEE 1394 (IP/1394)

The ability to network computers and devices on IEEE 1394 using TCP/IP has been added to Windows XP. With this capability, a new network medium is available that is commonly used to connect audio and video equipment. This feature includes enhancements in Windows XP to perform translational bridging of TCP/IP frames between IEEE 1394 and the other IEEE 802 interfaces. To do this, Windows XP uses the Network Bridge already discussed.



Improved Network Media Support

Support for some of the newest network devices has been added to Windows XP and is supported out of the box. This includes support for many new Home Networking devices. Most of the new HomePNA (Phoneline) devices are supported. Most USB connected network devices are supported in Windows XP, some using Remote NDIS eliminating the need for additional drivers. Support for 802.11 wireless devices has improved from previous operating system releases. Many of these devices also support wireless zero configuration and roaming features in Windows XP. The modem support in Windows has been extended in Windows XP to include many soft modems.


IrCOMM Modem Driver for IrDA

The IrCOMM modem driver in Windows XP will allow a user to use their infrared enabled cell phone as a modem. When the cell phone is placed next to the infrared port, it will be enumerated and an appropriate driver installed (or a generic driver if the model is not recognized). A cell phone can then be used just like any other modem to create a network connection.


Real Time Communication (RTC) Client APIs

You are provided a core set of APIs and the underlying implementation to enable a rich PC-to-PC communications experience. The RTC Client APIs provide the interface into a full real time communication infrastructure to provide instant messaging, presence, audio/video communications, white boarding and application sharing. ISVs can build their applications on this infrastructure to provide a rich user to user communications experience. Several components of the operating system will also use this infrastructure, including Messenger and PC Health.

In addition to PC-to-PC communications, the API also provides a way for the application to enable PC to phone and phone-to-phone telephony features.

Deploying Windows XP

You can use the fooling TechNet links to help learn about deploying Windows XP to your production environment:

Plan Ahead: Upgrading Your Users to Windows XP Professional

Understand the key issues and strategies you should consider when upgrading users to Windows XP Professional and review some of the Windows XP Professional features that make administration easier

Deploying Windows XP Part I: Planning

Need planning guidance for deploying the Windows XP Professional operating system in a corporate environment? This paper addresses the top issues to consider in a deployment plan

Deploying Windows XP Part II: Implementing

Learn about automated deployment options and other tools used in deploying the Windows XP Professional operating system in a corporate environment. As a roadmap to deployment resources, this paper summarizes the advantages and disadvantages of each automated deployment option, and shows where to locate deployment tools

Please make sure you look over the basics of Installations and Deployment to include unattended installations.

Logging in to XP


You can either use the old Windows 2000 view, Fast User Switching or other ways to log in to windows, either way – the log in is a log in, but you have way more options now… some of the more cosmetic than anything else.

Above, you see the obvious graphical difference to logging into the Workstation


File Systems

Your File Systems in Windows XP have been improved from the ones seen in Windows 2000. Here is a listing of the highlights of what is new. Make sure that you know for the exam the difference between the differing file systems and what you can do with them – or between them:

NTFS performance is improved

Some data structures on newly formatted NTFS volumes have been moved to a different location on the physical disk. This new location improves performance from 5 to 8 percent, making NTFS performance similar to FAT. 


Quick Format

A quick-format option is available during Windows XP Professional Setup. If the volume is already formatted and you are sure the disk is not damaged, you can use this option during Setup to decrease the time necessary to format the volume.


Variable Cluster Sizes

Variable cluster sizes are now available on volumes converted to NTFS. The format command in Windows XP Professional now aligns FAT data clusters at the cluster size boundary. This alignment improves the conversion of FAT volumes to NTFS because the convert command can now use a variable cluster size, up to a maximum of 4 kilobytes (KB), for converted volumes, instead of a fixed 512-byte cluster size as used in Windows 2000. 


Default Permissions

Default permissions are applied to volumes converted to NTFS. Convert.exe now applies default permissions on volumes converted to NTFS. This change ensures that converted NTFS volumes receive the same access control lists (ACLs) as natively formatted NTFS volumes. 



A new parameter prevents the master file table (MFT) from becoming fragmented during the conversion to NTFS. To prevent the MFT from becoming fragmented during the conversion to NTFS, the /cvtarea parameter in Convert.exe allows you to specify a contiguous placeholder file at the root folder to be used for the MFT. Using this parameter improves NTFS performance after the conversion by ensuring that the MFT occupies a contiguous space on the hard disk.


Defragging Options

More options are available for defragmenting volumes. Windows XP Professional offers two choices for defragmenting volumes: the Disk Defragmenter snap-in and a new command-line tool called Defrag.exe. Both tools can defragment NTFS volumes that use any cluster size and files smaller than 16 clusters. Both tools can also defragment the MFT on NTFS volumes. 



Windows Interix 2.2 provides portable Operating System Interface (POSIX) support. The POSIX subsystem included with Microsoft Windows NT and Windows 2000 is not included with Windows XP Professional. The broad functionality found on most UNIX systems beyond the POSIX.1 standard is included as part of Microsoft Windows Interix 2.2


Format DVD-RAM discs

Windows XP Professional supports formatting DVD-RAM discs as FAT32 volumes


Perform file system tasks at the command line by using Fsutil.exe. Use Fsutil.exe to perform file system tasks such as disabling long file names, checking whether a volume is flagged as dirty, viewing NTFS-related information about a volume, creating hard links, and managing quotas and sparse files

New Boot Disk Options

Create a Microsoft MS-DOS startup floppy disk.  When you format a floppy disk by using My Computer, you can select the Create an MS-DOS startup disk option. An MS-DOS startup disk is useful when you need to update a computer's BIOS

Windows XP Plug and Play

Plug and Play in Windows XP Professional provides the following services:

·         Detects a Plug and Play device and determines its hardware resource requirements and device identification number

·         Allocates hardware resources

·         Dynamically loads, initializes, and unloads drivers

·         Notifies other drivers and applications when a new device is available

·         Works with power management to install and remove devices

·         Supports a range of device types

After Windows XP Professional detects a Plug and Play device, the device driver is configured and loaded dynamically, typically without requiring user input. Some buses, such as Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) and USB, take full advantage of Plug and Play. Older buses, such as ISA, do not take full advantage of Plug and Play, and require more user interaction to ensure devices are correctly installed

Mobile User Support

Windows XP Professional offers several new features for mobile users. In addition, several Microsoft Windows NT version 4.0 and Microsoft Windows 2000 features, as well as processes such as starting, hibernating, standby, and resuming, are enhanced in Windows XP Professional in order to increase functionality for mobile users

Fast system startup

Windows XP Professional provides improved system boot and resume performance, resulting in fast system startup. The standby feature reduces power consumption by turning off the display, hard disk, and other system components while preserving the contents of memory. Standby also allows you to return to work quickly after waking the system. The hibernate feature saves the entire system state to the hard disk and turns off the computer. When the system restarts from hibernation, the desktop and all applications are restored to their previous state.

Folder Redirection

Folder Redirection allows the administrator to direct the contents of special shell folders, such as My Documents, to an alternate location on a server or a network share. When Folder Redirection is applied to these special folders, the redirection is transparent to the user; he or she can continue to work with documents on the server as if the documents are on the local drive. Folder Redirection is best used in conjunction with Offline Files.

Offline Files

The Offline Files feature allows users to disconnect from the network and work as if they are still connected. When the computer is offline, files and folders appear in the same directory that they appear in online. By using Offline Files, users can continue to work with copies of files that are available on a network when they are not connected to the network. Offline Files stores the data in the computer's cache to make network files available offline. When users reconnect to the network, Offline Files synchronizes the files stored on the local drive with the files on the network.


The hibernation feature allows the Microsoft Windows desktop to be restored quickly after a computer is shut down. When a computer is put into hibernation, the current system state is saved to the hard disk before the computer is turned off. Then, when a user restarts the computer, Windows restarts any programs that were running when the computer entered hibernation, and restores all previous network connections.

ACPI and APM support

Windows XP Professional supports the Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) specification for robust power management and system configuration. Windows XP Professional also provides some power management features for portable computers with a legacy Advanced Power Management (APM) version 1.2–based BIOS.

(Make sure you know ACPI and APM well for the exam)

Enhanced battery life

Windows XP Professional provides several new features to enhance battery life. Windows XP Professional automatically dims a laptop’s display when it is switched to battery power, and turns off the display panel when the laptop’s lid is closed. In addition, Windows XP Professional features intelligent processor throttling to reduce CPU power consumption. Windows XP Professional also provides more accurate estimates of remaining battery life

Processor performance control

Windows XP Professional provides native support for processor performance control technologies such as Intel SpeedStep Technology, AMD PowerNow!, and Transmeta LongRun. Windows XP Professional also features an adaptive processor performance control algorithm that dynamically balances system performance and power consumption, based on the current CPU workload and remaining battery life

Battery and processor metrics

Windows XP Professional displays information about processor performance and battery activity in System Monitor. The processor performance data available includes the current processor frequency and power consumption. Battery information provided includes the charge and discharge rates, voltage, and remaining capacity

Wake-on-critical battery

Windows XP Professional supports wake-on-critical battery for portable computers that implement this feature. This allows a computer to awaken from standby when battery power becomes critically low and switch to hibernation to prevent data loss

Dynamic configuration of hot added devices

When you insert and remove devices such as CardBus cards or Universal Serial Bus (USB) devices, Windows XP Professional detects and configures them without requiring you to restart the computer

Hot and cold docking or undocking

With your portable computer fully powered, you can dock to a docking station and undock from a docking station without shutting down the computer

Managing Files and Folders

Your ability to manage files and folders differs depending upon whether the Active Directory service is available. Organizations that use Active Directory can use Group Policy settings, Folder Redirection, and Offline Files to help centrally manage files and folders. In network environments that do not use Active Directory, you can achieve some of the same functionality by using other options such as local Group Policy, System Policy, and Windows XP Professional features on client computers

If you are managing Windows XP Professional client computers in a Microsoft Windows 2000 Server Active Directory environment, you can use Group Policy to implement IntelliMirror management using Folder Redirection and Offline Files

Group Policy

Group Policy is the administrator's primary tool for defining and controlling programs, network resources, and the operating system. Using Group Policy, you define a configuration that is subsequently applied on all specified client computers. Group Policy lets you create as many different client configurations as needed for different kinds of users in your organization

Folder Redirection

By using Folder Redirection, you can redirect folders such as My Documents to network servers. Users can then access their files from any network location, and the files can be automatically backed up during routine server backups.

Offline Files and Synchronization Manager

Using Offline Files, you can make redirected user folders available offline, so users can continue working even when they are not connected to the network. Offline Files can also be used to make other files and folders that reside on the network available offline. When users reconnect, updated local copies of files can be synchronized with copies on file servers by using Synchronization Manager.


Realizing the full benefit of IntelliMirror components in an Active Directory environment takes careful planning. If your organization has implemented or is planning to implement Active Directory and you want to deploy IntelliMirror, there are many resources available to help with planning and implementation.

Booting Files Overview

Just a basic overview of the files you need to know, that are also a part of XP Pro


Reads the Boot.ini file, presents the boot menu, and loads Ntoskrnl.exe, Bootvid.dll, Hal.dll, and boot-start device drivers.


Contains options for starting the version of Windows that Setup installs and any preexisting Windows installations.

After the boot selection is made, Ntldr loads and executes this 16-bit real-mode program to query the computer for basic device and configuration information. This information includes the following:

·         The time and date information stored in the system's CMOS (nonvolatile memory)

·         The types of buses (for example, ISA, PCI, EISA, Micro Channel Architecture [MCA]) on the system and identifiers for devices attached to the buses

·         The number, size, and type of disk drives on the system

·         The types of mouse input devices connected to the system

·         The number and type of parallel ports configured on the system



Contains memory data that Windows is unable to fit into physical RAM. During Startup, the virtual memory manager moves data in and out of the paging file to optimize the amount of physical memory available to the operating system and applications



If either the boot or system drives are SCSI-based, Ntldr loads this file and uses it instead of the boot-code functions for disk access

Windows Driver Protection

Windows Driver Protection features in Windows XP Professional prevent users from installing, loading, or running drivers on their system that are known to cause problems in Windows.

Microsoft maintains a database of known problem drivers that is used to determine which drivers Windows Driver Protection prevents from being installed or loaded. A driver is included in the database if there is a high probability that it will cause the system to hang or crash. The driver is identified in the database by file name, driver version, and link date. Updates to the database are downloaded to your computer from Windows Update.

If you try to install a driver that is listed in the known problem driver database, you will get a message notifying you that this is a driver that will cause system problems and the driver is not installed. The message also contains a link to a Web page that gives you more information and might offer updates to the drivers.

If you install drivers by using a custom executable, the problem driver database might not be checked during installation and notices about problem drivers might not be displayed. However, drivers that are missed by installation detection will be detected at load time and blocked successfully regardless of installation method.

The known problem driver database is also checked each time the computer is started and each time a driver is loaded to catch any problem drivers that might be loaded at startup. If a problem driver is installed after the computer is started, the next time you start the computer the loading process prevents the problem driver from being loaded.

When you log on to a computer where a driver has been blocked, an icon and a Help balloon display in the notification area. Clicking the icon accesses the My Computer Information-Health page in the Tools Center of Windows XP Professional Help and Support Center, where details are provided for the list of drivers blocked since the last time the computer was started. For each driver in the list, a link is provided that opens an appropriate help file that describes in more detail the problem with the driver and contact information for the device manufacturer.

Each time a known problem driver is blocked, an entry is made in the computer's event log.

This is a very cool option.

Final Tips:

This is a solid exam, along the same difficulty as the Windows 2000 Professional exam. The Advice we can give is to not underestimate learning the new additions to Windows XP. It is critical to your success that you set up and evaluate this system yourselves. The evaluation software can be downloaded online and you will find it much easier to study for this exam if you can play with the OS. Good Luck!

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