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70-410 exam prep tools from the perspective of Exchange Server 2013

When I first decided that I wanted to go after my exchange 2013 certification, I began the process of searching for the 70-410 exam prep tools to assist me in preparation for this examination. The exchange 2013 training requirements are bundled up with the MCSA requirements for windows server certification.  Both certification goes hand in hand.70-410 exam prep

Exam collections 70-410 was one of the required training modules along with 70-411, and 70-412. My focus will be on the MS 70-410 module first.

This article is my beginning article hopefully, in a series of other articles that I will be writing, on my journey to becoming certified, as an MCSE in Exchange Server 2013, and beyond.

The decision to go after the exchange server MCSE certification did not just “pop up” into my mind. I was inspired to go after this certification only after one of my colleagues that I managed, decided to get serious about becoming more prepared, for the job that he was hired to do.

My colleague informed me that he wanted his Bachelors of Science degree in computer science so he had something to “fall back” on, in the event there was a situation change at the company where we were employed. He enrolled in an on-line college called Western Governors University that focused on Microsoft Certifications heavily, as a part of the curriculum. Graduation from that institution required that you pass several Microsoft certifications, as a prerequisite to graduation.

The MTA, or the Microsoft Technology Associate programs that I wrote so much about in a book I had written at Amazon, was one of the first certifications that enrolled student at that institution had to acquire.

The MTA track was the starting point to any other certifications, at that institution. In fact, if you were to go to the main certifications page for Windows Server 2012 the question was asked whether you were new to IT, and if you were new it was suggested that you start with the MTA program first, before doing any other Microsoft certified courses.

Several other persons that I managed decided to also pursue the challenge of becoming certified, but only with Windows Server 2012. Self study rather than enrolling in an institution was my way of pursuing the MCSE track. My other colleagues decided also on self studies.

Why should anyone pay thousands of dollars at an on-line college to study certifications when you can achieve the same success using self study methods. The only disadvantage with self studies may be the discipline to work with minimum supervision.

The Journey Begins

Whether you are trying to achieve your Exchange Server 2013 certification, or your Microsoft Certified Solution Associate in Windows Server 2012, the certification path is basically the same. In order to become an Exchange Server 2013 MCSE, you must first take the same courses that are required to achieve the Microsoft Certified Solution Associate, in Windows Server 2012. In my case I decided to go after the Exchange Server MCSE so I have to focus on both certification tracks.

Seeing that the the MCSA in Windows Server 2012 have to be achieved first, the first thing I did was visit the MCSA main site to see the requirements necessary to achieve this certification.

Click Here to visit the MCSA certification site. At the site I noticed several recommended options in the resource section to choose from. I quickly chooses the resource “Read the e-book:Introducing Windows Server 2012” and proceeded to download the book.

The book comes in a PDF document and kindle format that can also be downloaded from the kindle store at Amazon , if you prefer this method. I took the kindle option because I learn better reading from kindle rather than using a physical book.  

The first book I downloaded from Kindle was the Windows Server 2012 release to manufacture version.

Introducing Windows Server 2012 RTM Edition

The next book that I downloaded from  Amazon kindle site was a more updated book with information related to Windows Server 2012 R2.  In fact this book suggested that you first download the one above then download this one next.  That is what I did first.

You do not need to have a kindle reader to read the book though. Click on the book image below to download the second recommended book.  

If you prefer to get a copy of the pdf, all you have to do is visit the MCSA official site. When you visit the site just scroll to the bottom under “Resources” to see the pdf link.

There are many other resources available as you can see, but to keep it simple you only need to use one resource at a time. You can even use the option in the recommended resources section of the website to find a 70-410 practice exam for windows server 2012 from a company called Measure Up.

No need to worry about a practice exam at this time. Just want to highlight this option, since it is one of the more critical resources required.

As you can see the 70-410 exam prep tools are recommended resources that can assist you in preparing for the first exam in the MCSA series. As I said in the beginning of this article, I will record my progress here as I proceed on my journey to becoming and MCSE for exchange server 2013.

By Andrew Moss

active directory operation failed insuff_access_rights

Active Directory Operation Failed insuff_access_rights

Encountering and error like “active directory operation failed insuff_access_rights” can only originate from Exchange Server 2010 or Exchange Server 2007, if you are trying to remove an Active Directory user, with an Exchange mailbox using the Exchange Management Console.  The error message can also appear if you are using the Exchange Management Shell.

active directory operation failed insuff_access_rights

Having a Summer Interns working with you as an Exchange Server Administrator can help you clean up many databases that you normally would never have time to clean up, especially an Exchange database.

More about the summer intern later, lets us get to the solution for this error first.  This error is normally triggered due to a permissions problems.  Even though you may be in the administrators group in Active Directory, or even a part of the Enterprise group you would still receive this error, as long as access rights are not inherited, from containers above.


Active Directory operation failed on *DomainController*. This error is not retriable. Additional information: Insufficient access rights to perform the operation. Active directory response: 00002098: SecErr: DSID-03150E8A, problem 4003 (INSUFF_ACCESS_RIGHTS), data 0 The user has insufficient access rights.

Exchange Management Shell command attempted:

’*OUStructure*’ | New-MoveRequest -TargetDatabase ‘Mailbox Database 1985885663′ -BadItemLimit ‘-1′


This error is very easily resolved.  This is so simple that even a newbie can resolve. I use the term newbie because every so often we all sometimes need assistance working with error messages that we have not conquered or seen before.  There is always good old Google. That is how you found this solution.

Step 1

Open Active Directory Users and Computers, and ensure that Advanced Features are selected by clicking on “View” and selecting “Advanced Features”.  Once this is done all you have to do is navigate to the users, or user account that you are experiencing the error message with.

Step 2

Open the properties of the user in question and select their “Security Tab”. Next click on the “Advance” tab and ensure that the check box is checked in front of the words “Include inheritable permissions from this object’s parent”.


Step 3

Click Next about two, or three times and then try to delete the user account in Exchange Management Console again.

active directory operation failed insuff_access_rights3

Now back to the Summer Intern, if you have time to read.  In the Country where I live, my Government created a program whereby they asked private Companies to Employee College and High School students at no cost to the Company.

The student is compensated by the government at the end of every week.  In my opinion, I thought this was a good idea.  It gives the student the opportunity to have been exposed to areas they normally would have not had an opportunity to do so. Because of the summer student that was assigned to my department, I was able to do extensive mailboxes cleanup in Exchange.

So, whenever you receive this message, “active directory operation failed insuff_access_rights”, remember your personal assistant Google, and you should easily be able to resolve this.

Exchange 2010 Distribution Group Not Receiving External Email2

Recovering Deleted Items in Outlook 2010 – A Typical Day in the Life of an Exchange Server Administrator

Recovering deleted items in Outlook 2010 is easy, as long as you the Administrator previously activated the retention policy on your back-end server, prior to your employees attempting to recover emails that they had deleted. Whether the emails were occidentally deleted, or intentionally deleted, once retention has been activated, recovery is possible.

Every Exchange Administrator already knows the challenges and difficulties associated with trying to restore an entire system, just to recover an individual email. At least this was the case in previous versions of Exchange Server, especially exchange server 5.5.  In newer versions of Exchange Server a term called Single Item Recovery is now possible.

A typical day in an Exchange Administrators life may include calls from users who accidental deleted one or more of their important emails.

Outlook 2010 deleted items recovery involves more than just the outlook client itself.  Exchange server on the back end plays an integral part in the recovery process.

Every trained Exchange Administrator knows that the retention policy for Exchange Server has to be activated on the back end, in order to be able to recover deleted items from outlook 2010 successfully.

To eliminate the problem associated with your users not being able to recover deleted emails, you should ensure that the retention policy on your Exchange Server is activated.

How to Ensure Retention Is Setup on Back End Exchange Server

  1. Open your Exchange Management Console, and then navigate to your Organization Configuration container. Click on “Mailbox” location in the displayed tree just below the Organization Configuration container.
  2. In the Right pane ensure that the “Database Management” tab is selected.

recovering deleted items in outlook 2010

In Exchange 2010 Server, the retention is setup on individual databases in the organization.  Each database can have its own retention policy setup.

  1. Double click any database from the display pane to setup and activate the deleted items retention settings, for the selected database.  This will bring up a screen like the one below.

recovering deleted items in outlook 2010_4


The configuration tabs above shows my deletion item retention to be seven days, and my mailbox retention policy to be fourteen days.  You can set you retention to be whatever amount of days you prefer, as long as the build in policy allows you to.

When I receive calls from uses enquiring about how to recover outlook deleted items all I normally do is take them through the steps below on how to retrieve deleted emails from outlook 2010.

Steps to Recover Deleted Emails in Outlook 2010

To recover you deleted item in Outlook all you have to do is open your Outlook Client and navigate to the “delete items” folder, in the left pane. See screenshot below.

recovering deleted items in outlook 2010_2


Next, click the “folder” tab from the menu bar, at the top of the outlook client to bring up the next set of menu items.

recovering deleted items in outlook 2010_3

Select “recover deleted items” folder from the sub menu and this will open a dialog box with all items that you have permanently deleted within the last seven days, or whatever amount of days the retention is set to.

Next, you will need to highlight the items that you want to recover and then “click the email icon at the top of the dialog box, to return the permanently deleted items back into your deleted items folder.

So, as you can see. Recovering deleted items in outlook 2010 is possible, once retention policies are setup on the backend of the Exchange Server.




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Exchange 2010 Distribution Group Not Receiving External Email – Does this term Sounds Familiar?

If the term “exchange 2010 distribution group not receiving external email” sound familiar to you, then you are one of the many exchange administrators that experiences this issue from users on a daily basis, in your environment.Exchange 2010 Distribution Group Not Receiving External Email

Just the other day we created several email distribution list for our marketing department to be used for their marketing campaigns.    These distribution lists consisted of many other departments in the marketing department, including sales and residential sales.

Distribution lists may include groups within groups. By being and exchange server administrator, you should already be familiar with the term a group, being a part of another group.

When an email distribution list is created we would normally send a test email from an external email address to ensure that mail flow was working correctly, to the members of the list. Unfortunately, after the lists were created we totally forgot to do the normal test to one of the list.

Forgetting this step could sometimes be to you detrimental.  Detrimental does not imply the loss of a job, but sometimes you could be assumed by your peers as being careless, if they find out about it before you do.

Shortly after the distribution list was created, one of the members of the list send an email to the distribution list from and external email address, but did not receive the test email to their inbox.  Another test was send from an internal account, and the email was delivered successfully.

In conversation with the user, the question was asked “what happened to the email that customers send to us using the distribution lists?” My response to the user was that the customer should have received a non delivery report, and may have attempted to send the email again.

In trouble shooting the error I also did the same test, and did not receive an email to my inbox, when I used my external test account.  Sending the email internally worked fine.  Before I did the test I added myself to the distribution list, as a member so I could have tested the flow of emails to the group.Exchange 2010 Distribution Group Not Receiving External Email2

To cut a long story short, I immediately went to my favourite place, and typed my keywords “Exchange 2010 Distribution Group Not Receiving External Email” into the search box.  Immediately I was presented with many solutions that I had to sift through, for the correct solution.

As an administrator working in the field of Information technology, you should know by now that Google is your best friend, and is always your best source for finding most solutions, to issues that you may experience daily, as an exchange server administrator.

After sifting through the results that was presented to me by Google, I came across one solution that pointed me in the direction of how to resolve the issue.  Even though the result was not directly related, the answer that was given to the question on the forum was the correct solution.

Here is the link to the discussion that resolved my issue.

Even though the question was asked in reference to restricting a distribution list from persons sending email to the list. The same solution can be used to move the restriction from the list. If you are unable to access the link to the solution, just look at the Answer that was presented.  This would be the solution to “Exchange 2010 Distribution Group Not Receiving External Email”.




I want to Prevent Internal Email or a Distribution List to send an email to Exchange 2010 Distribution Lists? Is it possible???




If you go to the properties of a Distribution Group | Mail Flow Settings tab | Message Delivery Restrictions | Accept messages from | Only senders in the following list: – you can set there who can send to the DG.


This solution also alerted me to the fact that once a distribution list is created in exchange 2010, by default the security is set to not allow external persons to send emails to the list.  In exchange 2003 this was not the case.  By default any user, whether internal or external has the ability to send to a new distribution list.

By Andrew Moss


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Information Technology Careers for Women in the 21st Century and Beyond

Women working in the field of Information technology are sometimes looked upon as non-logical thinkers, by their male counterparts.  Information technology careers for women are numerous in numbers, if you know what IT jobs to look for. In most cases, women are able to perform in many of the same Information Technology jobs as men. This statement is based on experience, and not speculation.

Information Technology Careers for Women 3

Personal Computer Support, which is commonly referred to as PC support is a good  example of how a woman can do the same job as a man.

Even though this job function is physical in nature, and mostly dominated by men, a  woman can perform this job function just as good as a man.   One minor issue associated  with this job function would be the lifting of physical machines, and other heavy  computer equipment at times.  This problem can easily be resolved by asking the male to  assist whenever the needs arises.

In my experiences, a woman always seems to be better than a man in administrative job functions such as Active Directory, and Exchange Server Administration. I am not saying that they are not capable of performing other job function though.  All I am referring to is what I have seen from experience.

You would think that creating technical diagrams related to a network infrastructure would be performed better by a male.   I know of incidents when instructions were given to a male  worker to document the environment which they were responsible for, with not much success. The same assignment was referred to a woman in the same department and was completed with little to no issues at all. In every case, the woman outperformed their male counterpart, by “leaps and bounds”.

Top 3 Second Level Information Technology Administrative Jobs 

Information Technology Careers for Women 2

While there are many Information technology careers for women available today, career roles like Active Directory, Exchange Servers and SQL Server will give women the best chances for success, in my opinion

I have seen woman successfully outperformed their male counterpart in the area of SQL server administration. Just the other day I did an informal interview with a SQL server administrator in my work environment.  I asked her how she first got involved with SQL server.  She responded by saying that she had no formal training at all in this area but learned everything she knew, by working with others that knew SQL server. So you see, even in the absence of a degree, or some formal training in IT, you can still be successful in information technology.

SQL Server, Active Directory and Exchange Server positions are all non-entry level position available in Information technology that a woman can perform successfully in. While these three positions can be considered as second and third level positions in information technology, with a little work and dedication any one can be successful doing them. Through working experience, I have seen many females out performed males in these areas.

Other IT Administrative Jobs for Women

Other job function and careers can include the following roles below. These roles are commonly found in most business organizations.  Detail explanation of the careers below can be accessed by reading one of my earlier articles on entry level information technology jobs.

Information Technology Careers for Women

  1. Help Desk
  2. First Level Tech Support
  3. Second Level Tech Support
  4. Network Operation Representative
  5. PC Support technician
  6. Data Center Technicians

College graduates who have completed studies in Information technology will always have an advantage over a person who has not studied computers at all.  This does not mean that a person who has not studied computers would not be able to work in a computer room.  All this is referring to is that different paths have to be taken by each individual, to get to the same place.

I know of persons who literally advanced through the ranks in a computer room, to many of the top career position in information technology, without having a college degree. These persons normally join information technology departments, beginning with help desk positions, or similar.

By Andrew Moss