Exam 70-410 – Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012 Study Guide

70-410 study guide




70-410 is the first exam installment in the MCSA 2012 certification path. It is often regarded as the hardest of the 3 exams and has the highest failure rate. Although this exam covers a significant amount of content, the high rate of failure is often due to the fact that it is the first Server 2012 exam. Consequently, many people do not know what to expect, how to study or what to focus on.

There are vast amount of resources available for the MCSA Server 2012 exams including practice exams, video tutorials, books etc. Although many of these resources can be beneficial, I can almost guarantee that using study material such as Transcender, CBTnuggets or an exam book will not amount to a pass on their own. The absolute BEST material you can possibly study is the Technet library. Not only is this developed by Microsoft, it covers absolutely all of the content that you will find on these exams. The best part about Technet is that it is free to use. The only downfall is it is not very intuitive for studying for the 70-410. That is why many people opt for something easier to follow such as CBTNuggets.

Technet offers a very detailed overview of all objectives. It also excels in providing important commandlets and powershell commands that will be a necessity for the exam. It lacks in providing an overall understanding of concepts, thus is may be important to use another resource such as a book or eLearning Video to help get an overall understanding of concepts. You can visit reviews for these resources one our website

Keep in mind that many of the objectives have been extensively covered in previous versions of windows. Microsoft does not release new documentation unless the technology is new or has been greatly overhauled. Therefor, some of the links in this study guide may be referencing Server 2003 or 2008 information. The information provided is still valid for Server 2012 services and features.


What to Focus On – Difficult Objectives for the 70-410

Powershell –  This is the topic that scares most people away from pursuing the 70-410 certification. You do not have to know powershell inside and out. However, get familiar with the commands that are shown to you in Technet as you may see them on the exam.

Group Policy – GPO plays a big part in this test. You will need to know how they work, how to create and link them, security templates as well as importing/exporting.

Gui and Core – Get familiar with the newest GUI changes in Server 2012 as well as understanding how to configure and install core.

IPV6 – IPV6 has not been implemented in the majority of IT environments, thus it is likely you may have little to no experience working with it. You will definitely see a few questions on the 70-410 examination so make sure you cover this objective well. Know how it works, how to implement with IPV4, how to subnet and the different address types.

IPV4 Subnetting– Its probably safe to say that every IT professional has done some subnetting sometime in their career. Make sure you do a quick refresher so you aren’t caught off guard during the exam.

Active Directory – Active  Directory is a large part of this exam. Even though you may work with it on a daily basis, be sure to read through the Technet articles for a good review of concepts and commands.

Hyper-V – This is a large topic that covers a big scope. Make sure you get a lot of lab experience working with Virtual machines. It is important to understand the various configurations and knowing the new enhancements such as NUMA and SR-IOV

Exam Breakdown

70-410 Exam Breakdown

The 70-410 exam consists of 6 main objectives:

– Install and Configure Servers (15-20%)
– Configure Server Roles and Features (15-20%)
– Configure Hyper-V (15-20%)
– Deploy and Configure Core Network Services (15-20%)
– Install and Administer Active Directory (15-20%)
– Create and Manage Group Policy (15-20%)

70-410 Breakdown

Objective 1: Installing and Configuring Servers

Objective: Installing and Configuring Servers (15-20%)


Sub Objective: Install Servers


Sub Objective: Configure servers


Sub Objective: Configure local storage

Objective 2: Configure Server Roles and Features

Objective: Configure Server Roles and Features (15-20%)


Sub Objective: Configure file and share access


Sub Objective: Configure Print and Document Services


Sub Objective: Configure servers for remote management

Objective 3: Configure Hyper-V

Objective: Configure Hyper-V (15-20%)


Sub Objectives (combined) : Create and configure virtual machine settings and Create and configure virtual machine storage


Sub Objective: Create and configure virtual networks

Objective 4: Deploy and Configure Core Network Services

Objective: Deploy and Configure Core Network Services (15-20%)


Sub Objective: Configure IPv4 and IPv6 addressing


Sub Objective: Deploy and configure Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) service


Sub Objective: Deploy and Configure DNS Service

Objective 5: Install and Administer Active Directory

Objective: Install and Administer Active Directory (15-20%)


Sub Objective: Install domain controllers


Sub Objective: Create and manage Active Directory users, computers, groups and OUs

Objective 6: Create and Manage Group Policy

Objective: Create and Manage Group Policy (15-20%)


Virtual Labs

Virtual Labs


All labs below are offered for free from Microsoft and relate to the 70-410 exam. They are online virtual machines and don’t require any special configuration on your end. Simply BROWSE HERE, select windows server from the side and then the correct operating system based on what lab you want to do below

Server 2012 R2 Labs

Multiple server Management Using Server Manager
o Manage local and remote server roles and features using server manager

Exploring Hyper v
o Get to know the new features an capabilities in 2012 R2 Hyper-V

Getting to know Server 2012
o Get to know the latest features and capabilities in Server 2012

Server 2012 R2 Evaluation
o Server 2012 Introduction

Desired State Configuration
o Configure and explore the features and capabilities of powershell DSC

Powershell Fundamentals
o Introduction to powershell

Server 2012 Essentials
o Using the essential flavor of Server 2012

Configure and Manage Servers
o Configure roles and features and manage them with server manager

Server 2012 Labs

Active directory Deploy and Manage
o Install domain controllers and manage AD infrastructure

Deploy and configure servers /w server manager
o Using server manager and powershell to implement services

Managing widows server with Server Manager and Powershell
o Manage multiple services and roles on multiple servers

Domain Controller Deployment
o Use Powershell to deploy domain controllers and RODCs

Minimal Installation Shell
o Configure and explore the minimal installation environment

Server 2008 R2 Labs

Active Directory and Server Manager remoting
o Working with AD Admin Center, Powershell and remote Management

Active directory Recycle Bin, Powershell V2, and remoting
o Managing Active Directory and using powershell

Server management and powershell
o Use server manager to manage remote servers and work with powershell scripting

Whats new in AD
o Work with Active directory and perform offline domain join

Lab Guides

Test Lab Guides


Below is a list of pre-built Microsoft test lab guides for the 70-410 objectives. They are used for doing basic configurations for your at-home labs.

IPV6 Deployment Test Lab Guide
Firewall deployment and DC Firewall Configuration Test Lab Guide
Server 2012 R2 Basic Configuration Test Lab Guide

Early Experts Challenge
is an excellent free lab for working with local storage and storage spaces

Video Tutorials

Video Tutorials


Visit our 70-410 Technical Tutorials to view videos of the most challenging objectives of the 70-410. If you need some further knowledge or a better grasp on the concepts below, I recommend checking out these videos!

– Understanding IPV6
– IPV6 Subnetting
– IPV4 Subnetting
– Understanding DNS Zones
– Domain Controller FSMO Roles
– What is Group Policy
– Understanding Group Policy Preferences

Practice Tests

Practice Tests


Below is a small list of practice exams for the 70-410 to test your knowledge. I highly recommend heading to our review section to look at purchasing a high quality paid practice exam.

BorntoLearn Free Practice Test
o Has ~50 questions in the question pool but does not offer explanations to answers. Only available for the 70-410 exam.

Transcender – free review
o Outstanding paid practice exam with great explanations. Great explanations of correct answers and is a great way to validate your knowledge for the exam.

Measureup– free review
o Good paid practice exam to test your knowledge

eLearning Modules

Online Learning Modules


I highly recommend heading over to our review section to look at paid online learning modules to help assist your studies for the 70-410 exam. Below are a few of the popular online resources:

CBTNuggets – free review
o Great online learning series to give a strong overview of objectives. Covers all objectives of the 70-410 and provides a very strong overview and understanding of difficult features such as IPV6, DNS, Hyper-V etc.

Pluralsight – free review
o Another solid online learning series that makes learning objectives short and sweet. Covers the majority of objectives by using very brief and to the point tutorials.

Transcender eLearning –free review
o Not as complete as CBTnuggets or pluralsight but offers a decent overview of some objectives


Available Books


It is worthwhile to head over to our book review section to check out the available books for the 70-410.

Mastering Server 2012 R2– free review
o Extremely indepth book that covers all objectives in great detail including the 70-410 exam objectives

Exam Ref 70-410 free review
o A solid explanation of concepts and objectives

MCSA Complete Study Guide free review
o Covers all objectives in all 3 exams with a fair amount of detail including objectives