70-689 Windows 8 MCSA Part 0

Being in line with IT ways of counting I’m numbering this series of posts starting from 0. As you may already know from my earlier blog post I decided to upgrade my Windows client certification to Windows 8.1 and to Windows 10 afterwards leveraging interesting offer from Microsoft.

As I’m eligible for upgrade track I’ve already scheduled my 70-689 exam.


If you are starting fresh with Windows client certification you have to pass 2 exams to obtain MCSA Windows 8: 70-687 (Configuring Windows 8.1) and 70-688 (Supporting Windows 8.1), 70-689 upgrade path combines topics from both of the previous exam leaving out some which person previously certified on Windows 7 should know very well and where changes are not as drastic, namely: Configure network connectivity, Configure access to resources and Monitor and Maintain Windows Clients domains which are included in 70-687 are not included in 70-689, but all other domains from 687 & 688 are included and almost all weighted equally in case of 70-689 exam:


So for those who starts fresh there are 2 exams: one covering configuration domain and other covering support domain whereas upgrade path offers composite exam. In a way it is similar to route for CCNA certification you may take ICND1 and ICND2 or go for composite CCNA exam with that difference that 70-689 composite exam is not available for people starting from scratch with their certification.

Detailed drop down of topics covered by 70-689 exam looks as follows:

(1) Install and upgrade to Windows 8.1 (25–30%)

Evaluate hardware readiness and compatibility

– Choose between an upgrade and a clean installation; determine which SKU to use, including Windows RT; determine requirements for particular features, including Hyper-V, Miracast display, pervasive device encryption, virtual smart cards, and Secure Boot

Install Windows 8.1\n- Install as Windows To Go, migrate from previous versions of Windows to Windows 8.1, upgrade from Windows 7 or Windows 8 to Windows 8.1, install to VHD, install additional Windows features, configure Windows for additional languages

Migrate and configure user data\n- Migrate user profiles; configure folder location; configure profiles, including profile version, local, roaming, and mandatory

Preparation resources:

Install, deploy, and migrate to Windows 8

Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 upgrade paths

Getting started with the User State Migration Tool (USMT)

Utility spotlight: Are you compatible with Windows 8?

(2) Configure hardware and applications (25–30%)

Install and configure desktop apps and Windows Store apps\n- Install and repair applications by using Windows Installer, configure default program settings, modify file associations, manage access to Windows Store

Configure Hyper-V\n- Create and configure virtual machines, including integration services; create and manage checkpoints; create and configure virtual switches; create and configure virtual disks; move a virtual machine’s storage

Preparation resources

Try it out: Sideload Windows Store Apps

Client Hyper-V

(3) Configure remote access and mobility (20–25%)

Configure mobility options\n- Configure offline file policies, configure power policies, configure Windows To Go, configure sync options, configure WiFi direct

Configure security for mobile devices\n- Configure BitLocker and BitLocker To Go, configure startup key storage

Preparation resources

Deploy Windows To Go in your organization

Understanding Wi-Fi Direct in Windows 8

BitLocker Group Policy settings

(4) Configure system and data recovery options (25–30%)

Configure system recovery\n- Configure a recovery drive, configure system restore, perform a refresh or recycle, perform a driver rollback, configure restore points

Preparation resources

Deploy Push-Button Reset features

Windows 8 Jump Start module 6: Recovery and security

(5) Support operating system and application installation (25–30%)

Support operating system installation\n- Support Windows To Go; manage boot settings, including native virtual hard drive (VHD) and multiboot; manage desktop images; customize a Windows installation by using Windows Preinstallation Environment (PE)

Support desktop apps\n- Desktop app compatibility using Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT), including shims and compatibility database; desktop application co-existence using Hyper-V, RemoteApp, and App-V; installation and configuration of User Experience Virtualization (UE-V); deploy desktop apps by using Windows Intune

Support Windows Store and cloud apps\n- Install and manage software by using Office 365 and Windows Store apps; sideload apps by using Windows Intune; sideload apps into online and offline images; deep link apps by using Windows Intune; integrate Microsoft account, including personalization settings and Trusted PC

Preparation resources

Deployment considerations for Windows To Go

ACT deployment options

Microsoft Office 365 management and deployment

(6) Maintain resource access (25–30%)

Support data storage\n- Distributed File System (DFS) client, including caching settings; storage spaces, including capacity and fault tolerance; optimizing data access by using BranchCache; OneDrive

Preparation resources

Deploy BranchCache

(7) Support Windows clients and devices (25–30%)

Support mobile devices\n- Support mobile device policies, including security policies, remote access, and remote wipe; support mobile access and data synchronization, including Work Folders and Sync Center; support broadband connectivity, including broadband tethering and metered networks; support Mobile Device Management by using Windows Intune, including Windows RT, Windows Phone 8, iOS, and Android

Support client compliance\n- Manage updates by using Windows Update and Windows Intune, including non-Microsoft updates; manage client security by using Windows Defender, Windows Intune Endpoint Protection, or Microsoft System Center 2012 Endpoint Protection; manage Internet Explorer 11 security; support Group Policy application, including Resultant Set of Policy (RSoP), policy processing, and Group Policy caching

Manage clients by using Windows Intune\n- Manage user and computer groups, configure monitoring and alerts, manage policies, manage remote computers

Preparation resources

Enabling mobile device management with Windows Intune

How to: Setup and use File History on Windows 8

Manage Windows Intune

Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack

Here is a list of other publicly available resources which may help you to prepare:

Get Started with Windows 8.1 on TechNet (strongly recommended)

Officially approved practice tests (those are not free of charge):

Kaplan SelfTest (69$ for 30 days online access / 99$ download)

MeasureUp (79$ for 30 days online access, 99$ for download)

Transcender (most expensive, 109$/139$)

I’m going to write number of post about all exam topics as a part of my preparation process – stay tuned 🙂

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