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MCSE Help : 70-073 - Implementing and supporting  NT Workstation 4.0 (Part 2)
Richard Adams guides us through part two of the NT Workstation 4.0 examination.

Welcome to part two of our in-depth guide to the NT Workstation 4.0 examination. Last month we looked at the Planning, Installation and Configuration and Managing Resources exam sections. This month we conclude by reviewing the Connectivity, Running Applications, Monitoring and Optimisation and Troubleshooting sections. The major topics that you must revise are listed; I then outline the specific pitfalls and questions that you may encounter.

The Connectivity Section

What to revise:


Dial –Up Networking & RAS, The functions of DHCP,Connecting to NetWare, TCP/IP Configuration, Installing & configuring CSNW, NetWare utilities & procedures, The Point to Point Tunnelling Protocol, Using SNMP, Internet security measures, Working with multilink, RAS protocols, Name resolution methods, Peer Web Services & Internet Information Server, Using UNC’s & URL’s.

Watch out for:

1. Dial-Up Networking & RAS.

The quickest and easiest way to troubleshoot your dial up networking problem is to view information in the Dial Up Networking Monitor. This can be used whilst connected and does not affect the speed of your connection. To enable logging, you need to edit the local registry. Set the value of HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\RasMan\Parameters\Logging to 1.

2. Using Multilink with Dial Up RAS

You can connect to a RAS server using any combination of analogue and ISDN phone lines so long as the same connections are available on the server. You need a single dial up connection created for each phone number, therefore if you have two analogue lines, two ISDN lines using a single phone number and a third ISDN line with a separate number, you need three dial up connections.

3. Security issues with a permanent Internet connection

If you have a server that is permanently connected to the Internet, consider disabling the Server service (Control Panel, Services) so that hackers cannot establish NetBIOS sessions to break into your network.

4. Using Novell NetWare with NT

If you are using NetWare purely as an application server, then the only requirement for the client is a common protocol – usually NWLink. If you wish to connect to shared volumes or print queues, you will also need CSNW installed on each workstation or GSNW working as a gateway on an NT Server.

5. RAS Protocols

Microsoft’s Remote Access Server works with Point to Point Protocol (PPP) only. The RAS Client however works with both PPP and Serial Line Internet Protocol (SLIP). SLIP is an older, slower protocol that is included for backward compatibility with existing SLIP servers. SLIP only works with TCP/IP, whereas PPP will work with NWLink, NetBEUI or TCP/IP.

If you connect using PPP and TCP/IP, your IP address, subnet mask and default gateway can be dynamically allocated from the RAS server. If you connect using SLIP, you must configure a script to run from the client side to provide this information.

The Running Applications Section

What to revise:


Pre-emptive & co-operative multi-tasking
Components of a process
Supporting DOS & Win 16 Applications
Using AUTOEXEC.NT & CONFIG.NT
Switches used with START command

Watch out for:

1. Definition of a process


A process consists of an executable, the address space it is running in, resources it is using and one or more threads.

2. Differences Between DOS, Win16 and Win32 applications

Each DOS application runs in a separate address space and is supported by an emulation of the DOS environment called an NTVDM (NT Virtual DOS Machine). DOS applications have a single thread of execution. All Win16 applications run in the same address space to allow for co-operative multitasking. They are supported by an emulation of Windows 3.x called a WOW (Win16 on Win32), which in turn is supported by its own NTVDM. All Win16 applications share a single thread. Win32 applications each have their own address space and can have multiple threads.

3. Switches with the START command

You can alter the priority level of a process’s threads by starting it using the appropriate switch: /HIGH, /LOW, /NORMAL or /REALTIME. You can force a Win16 application into a separate address space by using /SEPARATE. Using /MIN will run the process in a minimised window.

4. AUTOEXEC.NT and CONFIG.NT

AUTOEXEC.NT and CONFIG.NT are used to define the initial environment in the NTVDM and WOW for Win16 applications to run in.

The Monitoring and Optimisation Section

What to revise:


Optimising the page file
Optimising the binding order
Using Network Monitor
Counter in Performance Monitor
Using task manager

Watch out for:

1. Optimising the page file


To optimise the page file, spread it over multiple physical disks. Spreading the page file over multiple volumes in the same disk drive will not enhance performance. To reduce the amount of paging increase RAM. Increasing the page file size will not reduce the amount of paging.

2. Optimising the binding order

The protocol binding order should be optimised on the client, as the server responds to client requests with whichever protocol it received the request from the client in.

3. Default counters in Performance Monitor

Know which counters in Performance Monitor are commonly used for monitoring basic resources:

CPU - % Processing Time is used to determine how “busy” your processor is. A value consistently over 80% may indicate a processing bottleneck.

Interrupts/Sec is used to determine how much time the processor spends dealing with hardware requests. A high value may indicate hardware driver problems.

Memory - Pages/Sec is used to determine the total amount of paging to and from RAM. A high value may indicate that more RAM is required.

Page Ins/Sec and Page Outs/Sec are used to breakdown the total paging into what is going into RAM and what is coming out. If your system always has to page out prior to paging in, your memory is indicated as a bottleneck.

Hard Disk - The hard disk counters are divided into two sections – Physical Disk and Logical Disk. Use Logical Disk to determine problems with specific volumes. Use Physical Disk to determine problems with disk drives. The counters must be ‘turned on’ before they are available, due to the extra system overhead involved. To turn the disk counters on type DISKPERF –Y from the command prompt and restart your computer. To turn the counters off type DISKPERF –N and again restart your computer.

%Disk Time is the amount of time that the hard disk or volume is busy. A high percentage may indicate that your hard disk is a bottleneck.

4. Network and TCP/IP counters

To obtain network performance counters, install the Network Monitor Agent service. To obtain TCP/IP counters, install the SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) service.

The Troubleshooting Section

What to revise:


Troubleshooting the installation process
Common printer problems
Creating a crash dump file
Use of last known good option
The boot process
Supporting Windows 95 clients

Watch out for:

1. Installing NT with a Non-Supported CD-ROM Drive

If your CD-ROM drive is not supported on the HCL (Hardware Compatibility List), you have a couple of options:


1.(a) Boot into your previous operating system or use a boot diskette (where your CD-ROM drive is supported) and use the WINNT /B command to install NT from the CD.

(b) Boot into your previous operating system or use a boot diskette (where you have network support) and use the WINNT /B command to install NT from a network share.

2. Resolving problems with the Spooler Service


If a print job is ‘stuck’ in the print queue and can neither be deleted nor printed, stop and restart the spooler service from Control Panel, Services. A stuck print job can cause the entire queue to stop printing.

3. Creating a crash dump file

To create a crash dump file in the event of an NT system crash, use Control Panel, System, Startup/Shutdown. To create a crash dump file in the event of an application error, use Dr Watson.

In conclusion

Concentrate on the topics listed above and test yourself using a software application (such as Transcender). The exam is closed book, meaning you cannot take anything into the examination room, but take your revision notes to the examination centre and arrive a little early to review any specific facts and figures. When you get into the examination room, you could write down any facts and figures that you wish to on paper provided by the centre, prior to actually starting.

It just remains for me to wish you every success with your NT Workstation 4.0 examination. In future issues we shall be looking at the NT Server 4.0 examination.

Richard Adams is an Executive Technical Director for Additional Resources, an IT training company