I need some Windows 2003 Server technician advice.


Question: What kind of bear is best?
I am about to take a server position at my company. I have been a desktop tech for the past couple of years here and they just promoted me. The job will start pretty soon, and the promotion was a complete surprise to me, so I am in a bit of a time crunch. I was a Windows NT server tech years ago, but I have been out of the server loop since then. Obviously, I need to study up before I dive in. Since I am going into this pretty blind, I am asking for some tech advice from my fellow WB geeks...:icon_mrgr

If you had to choose 5-10 things to study up on, what would they be? In other words, what are the things that a Server 2003 tech absolutely needs to know and will absolutely have to know in order to do their job? Obviously, I do not expect someone to teach me how to manage a server farm, but I need to a hint at where to start.
The basics like TCP/IP, NTFS, etc are covered already, I just need to go beyond that. I guess I need advice on the newer technologies that Windows in using (DFS, etc?), and familiarize myself with the (vast?) differences between NT Server and 2003.

BTW - I am not expecting anybody to go through the task of teaching me an MCSE course, I just need some topics to research. I know a lot of people on this board are very good with all that is tech, so I figured there was probably a lot of server experience floating around on WB.

Any advice?


Aero 1

Registered User
its pretty much the same as xp but your not asking anything specific. what are you going to do with this? I assume your going to administer the whole network?

well, you have to know Active directory and the principals of a domain. is it going to be in a forest? are you going to replicate domain controllers? PDC and BDC. you have to know DNS and LDAP, possibly WINS. are you going to use an exchange server? know how to manage the global catalog and what it does. there are a lot of things to know.


There's always time for lubricant
Active directory and DNS are where your biggest issues pop up. Some features like shadow copies make your life very easy. I get calls at least every other day asking to restore an accidentally altered file.

Group policies and profiles are another area where you can hurt the performance of workstations and the network if your not clear on what you are doing.

Grab a study book for the 70-290 test - Windows 2003 Environment Management and Maintenance. It will give you a good basis for the basic workings and differences.


Well-Known Member
Agreed. AD, group policy editor, and DNS/DHCP are biggies. Domain management is also a good call. 2003 works very similarly to 2k server, just prettier. If you know your basic AD stuff you'll prolly do okay.


Registered User
I went through the same thing a while ago. AD and group policy are biggies (like everyone else said). Also, exchange, if you guys use it, 2000/2003 are quite different from 5.0/5.5. I read a book called Master Active Directory Visually, I can't remember the publisher, but it was quite handy. If your company has it, look through the AD stuff on technet, if you don't have it, get it.


Well-Known Member
Exchange! I knew there was something I forgot. Exchange is tough as hell, but once you get it running right it's sweet.


Doesn't need your acknowledgement on Twitter
Wackbag Staff
Yeah covered already...

Active Directory. Everything else is secondary.