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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.
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 4sysops.com. You are also free to leave your questions, comments, and concerns in the comments portion of this post.