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on 26 July 2004
This is a big book but one that is worth getting, especially if your chosen field is within the IT helpdesk role. Having said that, you will also find this book a great assistant if you are looking to get into the role or are due to be working within that role of helpdesk support. And of course, if you are due to take the exam then this will be your bible. The book itself is excellent. It's detailed and well structured layout is a strong point and its description regarding the role of Desktop Support Technician is very impressive. The book has a split personality. On one side it explains and suggests ways to diagnose, troubleshoot and solve end user problems and how your thinking needs to be logical and structured. Where as on the flip side it looks at the relationship you must build in a short time with the caller, how to communicate on all levels with different types of customers and how to explain and talk through the ways to fix the possible problems. One key element the book uses is the end of chapter questions - there to make sure you have read, but understood what has been documented. The book covers all aspects of the helpdesk and shows the tiers/lines of support to work your way up to, for example 2nd line support. This is a new certification from Microsoft and one which will prove to be hugely popular and probably the most successful. Especially as the first step into the IT sector. You will benefit hugely from this book and it will give you as much as you give time to it. You might also expect from Microsoft an over the top and self glorified dsecription of this certification. This is not true. It has been a long time coming but this book will become as much of an important tool as your BIOS is to your OS. Excellent.
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on 5 April 2005
Very well presented book, highly relevent to the Microsoft examination.
Although (IMO) not the hardest of the Microsoft MCP qualifications, this book will provide the reader with just about everything that is covered in the exam.
Well sectioned up into relevant chapters and good multiple choice questions at the end of each one. Also an added bonus of a 15 percent discount for sitting the exam.
A definite 5 star book !
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on 23 February 2006
I bought this to pass the associated exam that the book is about. I did have some prior knowledge about XP, so this books just reinforced my own knowledge.
I would have preferred to have seen more computerised questions on the CD-ROM, most of the practice questions are in the text. The book is on the included CD-ROM as well, which means you can study it conventionally, or on your PC screen through Acrobat.
I passed the exam, so I suppose the book did its job!
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After just over 2 years working in IT support, with the CompTIA A+ and Network+ under my belt, I thought it was time to get some Microsoft certs under my belt to back up my experience.

Just in case you didn't know, the MCDST comprises two exams; 70-271 and 70-272. Pass one, and you're an MCP. Pass both, and you're an MCDST.

Don't assume just because Windows 7 is out, that the MCDST is a dead cert either; many large organisations still have and will continue to use XP for years to come and, unlike the newer M$ certificates, the MCDST will never expire (newer certs expire when support for the relevant OS expires).

The MS Press books are the de-facto texts for the MCDST exams. The book is well laid-out, clear, and has few errors. The end of chapter review questions are quite good, though the readiness questions on the accompanying CD leave a little to be desired; they are poorly worded and littered with grammatical and spelling errors. If you're after review questions only, I would look at an Exam Cram book; if it's a good overview of material you want, then get this book.
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on 11 February 2008
I brought this book for two junior technicians at work. They both used this and not much else to revise and prepare for the exam. I personally never read this book so can't truly comment 100% but..................both technicians passed the exam so the book must be doing something right!
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on 18 April 2011
I'd really like to know, who wrote the other reviews. Are they Microsoft employees? Because I really can't understand why the reviews are so good, for such a DULL and throughly HARD TO READ peace of tish!! To say that its been written in a vry DRY manner, is an understatement!!

A much better book, and a much better read, is Mike Myers A+ tome that you can also buy on here. At least the guy has written it with humour, and in a interesting way. The same alas, cannot be said for this book.

To be fair, it does tell you how to do stuff, but it could have been done in a much more interesting way, and a few more pictures would help make things easier too!

So...if you're an insomniac wishing to find a cure, here it is. Dig in!!

MCDST is going to be phased out soon (End of June 2011) so, sayonara to it, and this book!!!
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on 25 November 2010
Like most of the Microsoft Press book sets, this one is pretty hefty, but that reflects the amount of detail contained. It is well structured, authoratative and can be relied upon.

If you manage any size of computer network based upon Windows, then you really need to make sure that you have a copy of this. It's not just about how to do things, but contains some good advice on how to decide on the appropriate strategy for your organisation.

You can dip in and out, and probably will; I don't think that it is possible to read it start to finish!
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on 17 December 2009
I bought this book after reading the reviews posted here and I passed the exam at first try. Although the book is very big it helps one to understand a broad area of the course. The CD with the practice test is very good as it shows the type of exam questions that you have to expect. I recommend the book to anyone who wants to go for the exam. Use the CD to practice and study using the study mode. Good luck!
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on 4 March 2012
I purchased this XP MCDST learning manual to help me through multiple IT related exams. It helped me no end - from the very basics through to more advanced (and hidden) interfaces within XP were fully covered and brings new life to a now outdated OS.
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on 11 June 2012
Great book. Passed my exam using it and was able to take advantage of the 20% voucher too.
Informative book.
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