I have passed the MSCA windows 7 exam. The first (70-680) was not very difficult in my opinion but the second one (70-685) was. Because this was all about trouble shooting. Something you can’t learn but only get from experience. Lucky I worked in a call center before and helped out allot of users with XP. So I did remember allot what came back to me while reading and still have not changed. Like flushdns. Disable and enable network cards. Installing drivers and de-installing. Nice feature in windows 7 is the roll back driver. But enough said about that. I did created a virtual environment with VM workstation on my brand new computer (I7 with 16GB). So I created many windows 7 machine and no I did not bought licenses for that. I use the Microsoft evaluation disk from windows 7. Microsoft provides for all Operating systems evaluation disk. This is the complete OS which you can use for 30 days for clients and 180 days for the server versions. So you can test and learn about this OS in 30 days. This is perfect for building a virtual machine and test everything on it without tampering with your own windows. If you break something then no worries. You just created another VM (virtual machine). So this is what I did
- Downloaded the windows 7 version evaluation disk from Microsoft here http://technet.microsoft.com/en-US/evalcenter
- Got VM workstation. You have to pay for it but there is another option called VM virtual box from oracle which is free. It is less user friendly but it gets the job done.
- Installed windows 7 on a virtual machine.
- Start doing the exercises from the book. Read allot of the internet about stuff that was not clear to me
- Did some practice test which you can find online for free
When I was comfortable enough I went for the exam. First time I failed. He! Don’t blame me. It was 10 years ago since my last exam. I just re-did the exam and passed
So the conclusion of this story is that you do not need overpaid training for this exam which cost around 2k. I paid in total 430 euro. 1 time I failed and the last time I got a discount. So I have saved 1500 bucks. 😀