Home > Articles > Microsoft > MCTS

  • Print
  • + Share This
Exam Objectives

Exam Objectives

The exam objectives are broken up into six different categories. This exam validates in depth technical skills in the area of Windows Internals, which include troubleshooting operating systems that are not performing as expected or applications that are not working correctly, identifying code defects, and developing and debugging applications that run unmanaged code or that are tightly integrated with the operating system, such as Microsoft SQL Server, third party applications, antivirus software, and device drivers.

The percentages indicate the relative weight of each major topic area on the exam. The higher the percentage, the more questions you are likely to see on that content area on the exam.

The objectives for Exam 70-660 as stated by Microsoft are as follows:

Identifying Architectural Components (16%)

  • Identify memory types and mechanisms.
  • This objective may include but is not limited to: nonpaged vs. paged; memory descriptor lists; physical memory vs. logical memory; address translation; heap memory.

  • Identify I/O mechanisms.
  • This objective may include but is not limited to: Plug and play; IRQL levels; I/O request packets (IRPs); I/O manager; device stacks; filter drivers; timers

  • Identify subsystems.
  • This objective may include but is not limited to: Object manager; cache manager; process manager; memory manager; security reference monitor

  • Identify processor functions and architecture.
  • This objective may include but is not limited to: Interrupts; processor affinity; system service calls; 64-bit vs. 32-bit

  • Identify process and threads.
  • This objective may include but is not limited to: Process environment block (PEB); thread environment block (TEB); thread scheduling, states and priority

Designing Solutions (15%)

  • Optimize a system for its drivers.
  • This objective may include but is not limited to: driver signing; identifying filter drivers; timers and deferred procedure calls (DPCs); system worker threads; Driver Verifier

  • Design applications.
  • This objective may include but is not limited to: Application Verifier; gflags; kernel mode vs. user mode threads; structured exception handling (SEH); memory mapped files; authentication mechanisms; synchronization primitives

  • Deploy compatible applications.
  • This objective may include but is not limited to: Application Verifier; Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT); gflags

  • Identify optimal I/O models for applications.
  • This objective may include but is not limited to: synchronous vs. asynchronous I/O; I/O completion ports; multithreaded applications

Monitoring Windows (14%)

  • Monitor I/O latency.
  • This objective may include but is not limited to: Perfmon; disk I/O; application performance; device I/O

  • Monitor I/O throughput.
  • This objective may include but is not limited to: filter drivers; cache manager; xperf; kernrate

  • Monitor memory usage.
  • This objective may include but is not limited to: nonpaged vs paged pool; user memory vs. kernel memory; debugging memory leaks; memory corruption; heap corruption

  • Monitor CPU utilization.
  • This objective may include but is not limited to: thread time; kernel vs. user time; thread states; Perfmon; WinDbg; Xperf; Kernrate

  • Monitor handled and unhandled exceptions.
  • This objective may include but is not limited to: Adplus; Dr Watson; Windows Error Reporting (WER); default post-mortem debuggers; exception handling

Analyzing User Mode (18%)

  • Analyze heap leaks.
  • This objective may include but is not limited to: UMDH (User-mode dump heap); user mode stack tracing; WinDbg; Application Verifier; Gflags; Perfmon

  • Analyze heap corruption.
  • This objective may include but is not limited to: Page heap; WinDbg; Application Verifier; Gflags

  • Handle leaks.
  • This objective may include but is not limited to: Procmon (Process Monitor); Perfmon; WinDbg; htrace; Process Explorer; Handle.exe

  • Resolve image load issues.
  • This objective may include but is not limited to: Tlist; loader snaps; dll dependencies; application manifests; 64-bit applications vs. 32-bit applications; tasklist

  • Analyze services and host processes.
  • This objective may include but is not limited to: sc.exe; services; service dependencies; service isolation; services startup types; service registry entries

  • Analyze cross-process application calls.
  • This objective may include but is not limited to: RPC; LPC; shared memory; named pipes; process startup; winsock

  • Analyze the modification of executables at runtime.
  • This objective may include but is not limited to: WinDbg; image corruption; detours; hot patches

  • Analyze GUI performance issues.
  • This objective may include but is not limited to: spy++; message queues; Application Verifier; TraceTools; ATL Trace; Task Manager

Analyzing Kernel Mode (19%)

  • Find and identify objects in object manager namespaces and identify the objects’ attributes.
  • This objective may include but is not limited to: Winobj.exe; symbolic links; object namespace; security descriptors; global namespace; device objects; file objects; object manager; semaphores

  • Analyze Plug and Play (PnP) device failure.
  • This objective may include but is not limited to: removal failures; global device list; WinDbg; device adds and removes; power handling

  • Analyze pool corruption.
  • This objective may include but is not limited to: Driver Verifier; WinDbg; pool tags; Poolmon; guard pages

  • Analyze pool leaks.
  • This objective may include but is not limited to: WinDbg; poolmon; Driver Verifier; crash dump analysis; paged and nonpaged pool; cache trimming

  • Isolate the root cause of S state failure.
  • This objective may include but is not limited to: System power states and transitions; power IRP handling

  • Analyze kernel mode CPU utilization.
  • This objective may include but is not limited to: kernrate.exe; WinDbg; deadlocks; Performance monitoring; event tracing

Debugging Windows (18%)

  • Debug memory.
  • This objective may include but is not limited to: Heap; pool; virtual memory vs. physical memory; stack; analyzing crash dumps and user dumps

  • Identify a pending I/O.
  • This objective may include but is not limited to: WinDbg; deadlocks; I/O manager; IRP processing

  • Identify a blocking thread.
  • This objective may include but is not limited to: thread state; locks; synchronization objects

  • Identify a runaway thread.
  • This objective may include but is not limited to: thread priorities; processor affinity; Perfmon; kernrate

  • Debug kernel crash dumps.
  • This objective may include but is not limited to: WinDbg; DPCs; Assembler; forcing kernel crash dumps; trap processing; register usage; call stack composition (prolog/epilog); processes vs. threads

  • Debug user crash dumps.
  • This objective may include but is not limited to: dump types; forcing user crash dumps; gflags; system resource utilization (CPU, disk, network; memory)

  • Set up the debugger.
  • This objective may include but is not limited to: WinDbg; physical connection (USB, rs-232, 1394); boot.ini; bcdedit; remoting; NMI; debugging system processes

Where to Go from Here

After you pass the Microsoft Windows Internals (70-660) exam, you may want to take Exam 70-685: Pro: Windows 7, Enterprise Desktop Support Technician.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

Related Resources

There are currently no related titles. Please check back later.