In the last post I summarized the content underlying domain 2, section 1 (“Configure a forest or a domain”) in the Microsoft 70-640 Active Directory Configuration certification exam blueprint. Today I will provide a sample practice question and a detailed explanation and analysis
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You are the administrator of a multi-domain Active Directory forest in which all domain controllers run Windows Server 2003. You want to introduce a new Windows Server 2008 R2 computer as a domain controller into one domain in the environment.

Sample practice question

Which of the following actions should you undertake in order to accomplish your goal?

a. Install the R2 update on all existing Windows Server 2003 domain controllers.

b. Run dcpromo /forestprep on an existing domain controller.

c. Run adprep /domainprep on an existing domain controller.

d. Run admt computer /n on the Windows Server 2008 R2 computer.

The correct answer, explanation, and analysis

The correct answer is C. We need to run adprep /domainprep from an elevated command prompt on one of our Windows Server 2003 domain controllers in order to prepare the forest for the introduction of a new Windows Server 2008 R2 domain controller.

Microsoft Exam 70-640 - Running adprep from the supportadprep subdirectory on the Windows Server 2008 DVD

Running adprep from the support\adprep subdirectory on the Windows Server 2008 DVD

The first thing that we need to do in attacking this item is to figure out what’s going on. From the first sentence, we observe that the source domain is working from a “downlevel” perspective with Windows Server 2003. Because Microsoft always stresses their “latest and greatest” technology on their exams, we should already be thinking in terms of adprep and the interoperation among different versions of Active Directory.

Second, we are told outright that we need to add a computer running the most recent version of Windows to our environment. Note that we are NOT being asked to install Active Directory; this allows us to throw away choice B from consideration.

Another easy way to dismiss choice B is to see that we are applying an incorrect parameter to dcpromo; we use the /forestprep and /domainprep switches with the adprep.exe command-line tool.

Finally, we have in choice A what is known as a red herring. A red herring in this context is an answer choice that looks plausible to the untrained eye, but is easily dismissed by somebody with some preexisting technical know-how.

Although the presence or absence of a Release 2 (R2) update to Windows Server definitely does make a difference in terms of domain functional level and the availability of other features, in this case our current environment is running Windows Server 2003—that is all we need to know.

This underscores a test-taking skill that I know that I have harped on in earlier installments of this series but truly does bear repeating again and again. We must be certain never to “read into” Microsoft exam items. If an item stem states that the current environment is populated with Windows Server 2003 computers, then that’s all we are intended to know about it. Service pack levels and associated detritus are completely irrelevant unless they are mentioned explicitly in the question.


I hope that you found working through this sample practice question to be fruitful to your certification studies. If you remain unclear on how to use Adprep and Dcpromo, see the companion piece that I wrote for You are also free to leave your questions, comments, and concerns in the comments portion of this post.

Next in this series is Active Directory trusts.

  1. Paul 12 years ago

    The correct answer is C. We need to run adprep /forestprep

    But C says
    c. Run adprep /domainprep on an existing domain controller.

  2. Tim Warner 12 years ago

    Whoops! Thanks for the catch, Paul. I will get that fixed immediately. -Tim

  3. Paul 12 years ago

    Sorry I am going to have butt in again.

    This may be the wording of the question but….

    In order to introduce a W2K8R2 DC to a domain running windows 2003 domain controllers you would have to run both adprep /forestprep and adprep /domainprep.

    forestprep prepares the forest for 2008 DCs and domainprep prepares a single domain for 2008 DCs

    As I said this could be the wording and we could be assuming that we are the admins of a single domain within a multi domain forest. In that case the answer is correct. If however we are a single domain forest then the answer would be to run adprep /forestprep and adprep /domainprep.

  4. Tim Warner 12 years ago

    Hey Paul, thorough review is how practice questions become top-notch study tools! I submitted a change request to Michael concerning this item–it should be online soon. Thanks, Tim

  5. paul 12 years ago


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