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MCSE Help : 70-067 - Implementing and supporting Microsoft NT server 4.0 (Part 2)
Richard Adams guides us through the second half of examination 70-067 – Implementing and Supporting Microsoft NT Server 4.0
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Introduction

In the last article about exam 70-067, I began an in-depth analysis of the Windows NT Server examination by concentrating on the Planning, Installation and Configuration and Managing Resources exam sections. This articel will conclude by taking a looking at the final three exam sections - Connectivity, Monitoring and Optimisation and finally Troubleshooting. In each section I list the relevant topics that you will need to revise, followed by more specific help with some of the questions that you are likely to be asked.

The Connectivity Section

What to Revise


Authentication over RAS, Using WINS to reduce broadcast traffic, Differences between SLIP and PPP,Changing protocol binding order, NetWare support, DHCP server – which parameters can be assigned, RAS Autodial, TCP/IP minimum configuration, Advantages of PPTP, Using the Callback option, DHCP lease renewal times, Using the Migration Tool for NetWare, Configuring frame types.

Watch For:

Differences between SLIP and PPP
NetWare support
RAS Autodial
TCP/IP Minimum Configuration
DHCP Lease Renewal Times
Using the Migration Tool for NetWare
Configuring Frame Types

1. Differences between SLIP and PPP

SLIP is an older protocol that only supports TCP/IP. PPP supports NWLink, NetBEUI and TCP/IP. NT only supports SLIP as a RAS client, not as a RAS server.

2. NetWare support

To support NetWare clients accessing NT file and print resources, install NWLink and GSNW.

To support NetWare clients accessing NT application resources, install NWLink only.

3. RAS Autodial

RAS Autodial is enabled automatically and maps network drives to TAPI dial-up connections.

4. TCP/IP Minimum Configuration

In a routed environment, the minimum configuration required for TCP/IP is IP Address, Subnet Mask and Default Gateway. If there is only a single subnet, the Default Gateway is not required.

5. DHCP Lease Renewal Times

At 50% of the lease renewal time, the DHCP client attempts to renew its lease by contacting the DHCP server that leased the IP address using a directed message. If by 87.5% of renewal time it has failed to renew, it attempts to renew its lease by sending a broadcast to any DHCP server.

6. Using the Migration Tool for NetWare

The Migration Tool for NetWare requires NWLink and GSNW to be installed. You must be a supervisor or equivalent on the NetWare server.

7. Configuring Frame Types

If you are supporting NetWare servers then IPX/SPX frame types become an issue. For NT, NWLink defaults to automatically setting the frame type to be the same as that detected over the network. In the instance of it detecting both 802.2 (NetWare 3.12 and above) and 802.3 (NetWare 3.11 and below) frame types on the network, it sets the frame type to 802.2. To either choose your own frame type or to select multiple frame types, override the default of Auto Select and manually select instead.

The Monitoring and Optimisation Section

What to Revise:

Server Service Properties
Page File Configuration
Performance Monitor
Foreground Application Processing
Network Monitor

Watch For:


1. Server Service Properties

On NT Servers (but not Workstations) you can select properties of the Server service. To do this, go to Control Panel, Network, Services, select the Server service and select Properties. There are four possible settings:

Minimize memory used – select if less than ten connections to the server

Balance – select if up to 64 connections to the server

Maximize throughput for File Sharing – select if the primary task of the server is file and print sharing

Maximize throughput for Network Applications - select if the primary task of the server is for distributed applications that perform their own memory caching (such as SQL Server).

2. Page File Configuration

To improve the performance of a page file, it should be moved away from the boot partition (that is the disk that contains the NT system files) and spread over multiple physical disks (multiple volumes on the same physical disk do not bring a performance enhancement).

The initial page file size is RAM + 12mb.

3. Performance Monitor

Not all Performance Monitor counters are installed by default. To obtain the Network Segment counters, install the Network Monitor Agent service. To obtain the TCP/IP counters, install the SNMP service.

You are not expected to know the purpose of every counter, but be familiar with the workings of the following:

You should also be familiar with the four Performance Monitor views and the purpose of each one.

4. Foreground Application Processing

To set the NT Server to give processing priority to the foreground application, select the Performance tab from the Control Panel, System utility and move the slider to the right. There are three possible settings: To the left – no priority boost, centred – a boost of one priority level to the foreground application. To the right - a boost of two priority levels to the foreground application.

5. Network Monitor

There are two versions of Network Monitor – the version that comes with Windows NT and the version that comes with Systems Management Server (SMS). The versions are identical in all respects except that the SMS version can monitor data sent over the network that neither originates from nor is being sent to the monitoring computer. To do this it puts the network interface card into promiscuous mode. The Windows NT version is limited to monitoring data sent to or from the monitoring computer plus broadcast traffic.

Network Monitor is installed as a service and there are also two different services that you can choose from. Network Monitor Agent is the component that binds with the network interface card to pick up data on the network. This service must be running on the computer that will be used to pick up the data. Network Monitor Tools and Agent includes both the agent and the utility that the user interfaces with. This must be present on the computer used to start, stop and analyse data captures.

Familiarise yourself with how to start and stop a capture and how to filter the results of a capture to display just frames to/from a particular computer or just frames sent using a particular protocol (eg SMB).

The Troubleshooting Section

What to Revise


Troubleshooting Printers
Display Configuration Problems
The UPS Service
Creating a DEVICE.LOG for the RAS Service
User Logons
Wrongly Configured Drivers
Installing SCSI Drivers
Missing/Corrupt Registry
Fault Tolerant Volumes
Fault Tolerant Boot Disk
Using Event Viewer


Watch For:


1. Troubleshooting Printers

If print jobs build up in Print Manager but do not get sent to the print device, stop and restart the Spooler service to clear the jam. (Print jobs will need to be re-submitted by users).

If you are attempting to install a JetDirect printer and are not shown the JetDirect port, the DLC protocol is missing and should be installed.

The spool file can be optimised for performance by moving it to a different volume from the boot partition (where the system files reside). To do this either use Advanced Properties of the printer or edit the registry. (HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Current_Control_Set\Control\Print\Printers).

2. Display Configuration Problems

The easiest way to troubleshoot display configuration problems is to reboot and choose VGA mode from the boot menu.

3. The UPS Service

Problems with the UPS system not communicating with NT properly could be due to configuring the relevant signal polarity incorrectly (positive or negative) in Control Panel, UPS.

4. Creating a DEVICE.LOG for the RAS Service

To create a DEVICE.LOG for troubleshooting RAS problems, set HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Services\Current_Control_Set\Services\RasMan\Parameters\Logging to a value of 1.

5. User Logons

If you change group membership for a user to enable them to access a resource, the resource will still not be available to them until after they have logged off and back on, when new group membership will take effect. If they are a member of a group with specific No Access permission granted for a resource, the user will still not be able to access the resource until you have removed them from that group and they have logged back on again.

6. Wrongly Configured Drivers

The easiest way to troubleshoot a wrongly configured driver is to restart and select the Last Known Good option.

7. Installing SCSI Drivers

If NT does not auto-detect the presence of your SCSI device during installation, you can either press S to specify additional devices manually, or wait until after installation and install the driver from the Control Panel, SCSI utility.

8. Missing/Corrupt Registry

To troubleshoot a missing or corrupt registry, boot from the three setup diskettes and select R to perform an emergency repair using your emergency repair disk.

9. Fault Tolerant Volumes

To troubleshoot a damaged mirror, remove and replace the broken disk then in Disk Administrator select the mirror and from the Fault Tolerance menu select Break Mirror. Select the remaining volume plus free space on the new drive and from the Fault Tolerance menu select Establish Mirror to recreate a new mirror.

To troubleshoot a damaged stripe set with parity, remove and replace the broken disk then in Disk Administrator select the stripe set plus free space on the new drive and from the Fault Tolerance menu select Regenerate Stripe Set. This can take quite a long period of time for a large volume.

10. Fault Tolerant Boot Disk

A fault tolerant boot disk is used to boot the machine to the mirror of the boot partition (where the NT system files reside) in the event of the original failing. To create a fault tolerant boot disk, copy the boot files to a floppy disk then open BOOT.INI with a text editor. Edit the ARC path of the default option to point to the volume on the mirror instead of the original volume, then save the change.

11. Using Event Viewer

Make sure that you are familiar with the three different logs that you can view using Event Viewer:

Security Log: Security events for auditing successes and failures of system and object use. These can only be viewed by an administrator. The list of security events to be logged is configured using the Audit Policy in User Manager for Domains from the Policies menu. Again, only administrators have the right to configure the Audit Policy.

System Log: Events that the system services and drivers write. These include information events which inform us of what is happening, warning events that draw our attention to potential future problems and error events that are created when errors occur and can be a useful source of information for troubleshooting the problem that is causing the error.

Application Log: Events written by applications that have been programmed to make use of the event log (such as SQL Server) and are therefore not relevant to the NT Server examination.

This concludes our two-part scrutiny of the Windows NT Server 4.0 examination. As you will have observed if you have also read our NT Workstation examination articles (published in the September and October editions of NTExplorer magazine) there are many similarities between the two exams. It may be worthwhile to consider revising for both exams simultaneously. For the server examination the pass mark is 764. Concentrate on revising the points shown above and once you are familiar with the subjects that we have gone through during this month and last month, you should be in the position to pass your examination first time


New examination format

As you may have read elsewhere, Microsoft has recently released a new format for their examinations. The old exams are rapidly being phased out in favour of the new; the NT Workstation and Server examinations are already being given in the new format, and others are sure to follow. The good news is that you’ll face far fewer questions than before: expect a total of fifteen rather than 60-70. The bad news is that the questions have changed. To be more precise, the way the questions are selected has changed. The examinations are now adaptive - they change as you answer them. What this means is that, although you will be asked fewer questions, with each question you answer the next question is made harder or easier, depending upon whether you answered right or wrong. The exam starts off with a question of moderate difficulty; in effect you find your level from that point on. One of the side-effects of this system is that, because your answer to each question determines the difficulty level of the next question, you cannot go back to questions that you have answered earlier.

As you might expect, marking the exam is rather more complex than adding up the correct answers out of fifteen! Marks are assigned on the basis of a complex, statistical analysis of your answers, with correctly answered harder questions being weighted differently to easier questions. From the perspective of revision, the new exam format does not change everything: the subject areas you will be tested on are the same as before, so courses or books that you have used for your revision (and the valuable advice to be found in the pages of NTexplorer!) will be just as relevant now as they were with the old exams. What you do need to consider is which prep-test software to buy; almost all testing software available at the moment emulates the old exams, not the new ones.

For more detailed information and to download a sample adaptive test, point your Web browser to
http://www.microsoft.com/train_cert