TrainSignal 70-681 Microsoft Windows 7 and Office 2010, Deploying

Thursday, June 30, 2011

TrainSignal 70-681 Microsoft Windows 7 and Office 2010, Deploying

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Genre: Training

The need for qualified IT professionals who are able to smoothly and cheaply deploy Windows 7 and Office 2010 is on the rise as more and more companies are looking to migrate to the new version of the operating system. The MCTS 70-681 exam tests and validates your skills and knowledge in deploying Windows 7 and Office 2010. The exam is aimed towards IT professionals who deploy and maintain Windows 7 desktops equipped with Microsoft Office 2010 and who have a minimum of one year of experience managing Windows Desktop deployments, including Microsoft Office.

MCTS 70-681: Skills Measured

The 70-681 exam is split into four sections which are all fairly equal in value (or weight):

* Configuring a Deployment Infrastructure (24%)
* Creating and Configuring Images (25%)
* Deploying Windows 7 (27%)
* Configuring and Deploying Office 2010 (24%)

Let’s take a closer look at each of these four sections.

Configuring a Deployment Infrastructure

The Configuring a Deployment Infrastructure section mostly focuses on various configuration tools, especially the Microsoft Development Toolkit (MDT). Aside from the MDT, you’ll also be tested on network configuration, activation configuration in both Windows 7 and Office 2010 and the Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager’s Operating System Deployment (OSD) environment.

Here is a more complete list of topics covered in this section, as listed on Microsoft Learning:

* Configure the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) environment — including deployment database, deployment share, task sequences, and creating deployment points
* Configure networking for deployment — including Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP), IP Helper, Windows Deployment Services, PXE boot, and multicast
* Configure activation — which includes Key Management Service (KMS), Multiple Activation Key (MAK), Volume Activation Management Tool (VAMT)
* Configure the Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager Operating System Deployment (OSD) environment — this includes SCCM and MDT integration, as well as building an operating system installation, a boot image and driver packages

Creating and Configuring Images

As you probably expected, this section is fairly self-explanatory. You’ll be tested on your knowledge in creating and capturing images, automating installation scripts, creating and customizing task sequences (especially for Office 2010), customizing standard operating system settings, adding applications to already existing images, and configuring for application compatibility.

Here is the detailed topic list from Microsoft Learning:

* Create and capture an image — modify a WIM file, modify a Windows PE boot image, and build a base image
* Create automated installation scripts — silent install scripts, unattended answer files, joining a domain, customizing user settings, and configuring auto-naming
* Create and customize task sequences — installation tasks for Office 2010 and additional applications
* Customize default operating system settings –environment settings, user settings, configuring local Group Policy, and Windows Internet Explorer settings
* Add applications to an image — modify or install on a base image
* Configure application compatibility — configuring applications for User Access Control (UAC) and creating and deploying shims

Deploying Windows 7

The next section deals with the different types of Windows 7 deployment methods, such as Lite Touch, Zero Touch, and possibly High Touch deployments (though High Touch deployments are not mentioned, it may be a good idea to read up on the method just in case.) Aside from the deployment methods themselves, you’ll also be tested on your ability to migrate user settings and data, configure security updates and other post-deployment tasks, and customize hardware settings like drivers, hardware-specific applications, and BitLocker Drive Encryption.

Here is the detailed list of topics for this section as listed on Microsoft Learning:

* Perform a Lite Touch Installation of Windows 7 — which includes staggered deployment and permissions
* Perform a Zero Touch Installation of Windows 7 — which includes permissions, configuring a task sequence and configuring scheduling
* Migrate user settings and data — including Windows Vista, Windows XP, local store vs. remote store
* Configure post–operating system deployment tasks — this includes configuring run-once scripts, identifying appropriate log files, as well as deploying language packs and security updates
* Customize hardware settings — including injecting drivers, installing hardware-specific applications, and configuring Windows BitLocker Drive Encryption

Configuring and Deploying Office 2010

At first, I thought this section was a bit simple and wondered why it took up a full 24% of the 70-681 exam. After going through the topics and reading up on Office deployment, I realized that it is actually quite involved.

This section includes configuring user-specific settings like languages and default locations, application-specific settings like add-ins, security settings, updates, and Key Management Services (KMS), and actual Office deployment. Office deployment is probably the most involved portion, since it includes not only clean installation deployment, but also upgrades.

Here is the detailed topic list from Microsoft Learning for this section:

* Configure Office 2010 user-specific settings — which includes configuring Microsoft Outlook settings, configuring Microsoft Office Communicator settings, setting display languages, editing languages, and setting default file locations
* Configure Office 2010 application-specific settings — which includes configuring compatibility settings, removing applications, adding language packs, configuring application add-ins, security settings, updates, and KMS
* Deploy Office 2010 — which includes clean install, Group Policy Startup script, installation package in SCCM, upgrading from Office 2003 and Office 2007 and migrating user settings

MCTS and MCITP Credit

Should you choose to take and pass this exam, you will earn credit towards two certifications. The first credit you’ll receive is for the Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification, which will be granted to you upon successfully passing the 70-681 exam.

The second credit you’ll receive is for the Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP): Enterprise Administrator, for which you will need to pass four additional exams to complete your MCITP certification; the exams include:

* Exam 70-640: Server 2008 Active Directory
* Exam 70-642: Server 2008 Network Infrastructure
* Exam 70-643: Server 2008 Applications Infrastructure
* Exam 70-647: Server 2008, Enterprise Administrator


This would be a great exam for someone who is looking to jump into a new career at a large business or corporation, or someone who already works for one and is planning to deploy Windows 7 and/or Office 2010 in a large-scale environment. It’s also a great way to get started towards the MCITP: Enterprise Administrator certification.

When studying for the exam, be sure to include a few different training and practice methods. I always like to include at least two different methods of training for anything I research or train for to be sure I cover all of my bases. TrainSignal offers a great Windows 7 Deployment training course led by Rhonda Layfield that would compliment your exam preparation in a great way. Depending on what works best for you when training, you should also look in to exam-specific books, practice tests, or even actual classes to go along with the video trainings.

That’s all for now, good luck on your exam!

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