Preparing for Beta Exam 70-660: TS: Windows® Internals

Microsoft Advanced Windows Debugging and Troubleshooting team disclosed the exam preparation information for 70-660 (71-660 while in beta).

You’ll find what you need to know at:

Since there currently is no prep material, I’ll recommend some books that I think will help prepare those who might want to take this exam.

First and foremost is Mark Russinovich’s Windows Internals currently in the 4th Edition. The 5th edition should be released later this year.


These books will give you the fundamentals of Windows internals.

For get a developer’s perspective on Windows internals reach out to Jeffrey Richter’s Windows via C/C++.

To get insight into debugging take a loot at John Robbin’s Debugging Applications for Microsoft .NET and Microsoft Windows :


I’ve read a few chapters from it – mostly the managed code debugging ones, but there’s a lot of information on native debugging.

Although I haven’t read Advanced Windows Debugging, is has been highly recommended, so I’ll list it here too.

That is a lot of stuff to read and study and it sure is not an exhaustive list. For just one exam! But what did you expected from an exam that caters:

     "Candidates for this exam are typically in the upper echelon of the technical staff at their companies."

So get prepared and good luck!

Studying for MCSA/MSCE

I’m a strong believer that the only way to build really good software is knowing your platform.

That’s why since from my early days of software development, I’ve made myself read at least a part of every recommended book about any topic I was interested in.

The the Internet came along and suddenly I was stroke by a tsunami of good and bad information sources.

Searching the Internet after information can be time consuming even with the aid of search engines. There’s so much information that it’s hard to know the best place to start and keep a track on your progress.

For that matter, I prefer learning through books. Since I started learning .NET, I bought more than 30 books and read at least a part of each of them. Books give you a path to follow and whenever it doesn’t give as much as detail as you’d like, you can always resort back to the Internet to gain deeper knowledge on a specific topic this time knowing what to look for.

Recently I noticed a trend in my learning patterns. Whatever problem I had that was development related, I could find something helpful in a couple of minutes because most of the time I knew what to look for.

The same has not been happening with infrastructure related stuff, though. Since I’ve been working a lot with distributed systems such as web services and web site infra-structure software, I’ve been spending more time than I would like to troubleshoot things like network connectivity and authentication issues.

For that reason, I decided sometime ago that I would start studying for the MCSA/MCSE certifications. I’m not sure I’ll pursue the whole path, but at least I’ll try to learn as much as I can about Active Directory, Network topologies, authentication and other stuff that I believe will help me do a better job developing distributed systems.

Late last month I bought MCSE Self-Paced Training Kit (Exams 70-290, 70-291, 70-293, 70-294): Microsoft® Windows Server(TM) 2003 Core Requirements, Second Edition. It hasn’t arrived yet, but after I bought it I gained access to MS Press books on Books 24 x 7 from the MVP program. The books I paid almost 150 bucks for are all there! Well at least the printed books are much more portable and I can read them while commuting to and from work.

There’s a lot of interesting books on 24 x 7. In the coming months I’ll eventually post my findings.

Good reading!

Certification News

During the week end I learned that I passed the "70-503: Windows Communication Foundation" beta exam. 🙂

Meanwhile, beta exams are still (through May 4th) available for ADO.NET 3.5 and ASP.NET 3.5.

70-561 – beta code = 561B1

70-562 – beta code = 562B1

Source: and

70-502 WPF Beta Exam Released!

Microsoft Learning released the beta exam for WPF 70-502 (71-502 while in beta) and you can schedule it for free at Prometric using the following promo code: 502B1*

So prepare yourself and good luck!

Here are a couple of good books on the topic:

Windows Presentation Foundation Unleashed (WPF) (Unleashed)

Windows Presentation Foundation Unleashed (WPF) (Unleashed)

I’m currently reading this one and I have to say that I’m very impressed. The book is all in full color. Sometimes too much color 🙂 But Adam Nathan really knows his stuff.


Applications = Code + Markup: A Guide to the Microsoft  Windows  Presentation Foundation (Pro - Developer)

Applications = Code + Markup- A Guide to the Microsoft Windows Presentation Foundation (Pro – De

This one is from Charles Petzold. After hearing so much about him, I got a little disappointed with the first book from him I got in my hands: Programming Windows with C# (Core Reference). This new one however was highly recommended, so I bought it and I’ll give it a try probably after reading Nathan’s book.

*Promo code courtesy of Manoj Agarwal.

Happy Old Year / Happy New Year!

I passed two more exams and became:
MCPD Enterprise Applications Developer
MCTS SQL Server 2005
MCSD .NET is the top developer’s certification for .NET 1.x and MCPD EAD is the top developer’s certification for .NET 2.0.
When I started the certification path back in 2003, the plan was to become MCSD, MCDBA and MCSE.
Since then MCDBA has started to fase out in favor of the new MCITP certification.
I already passed two exams in the new path. There’s only one to go.
Then I’ll see if I will still try to pursue MCSE or if I’ll wait for the Longhorn Server exams;
Oh.. By the way… Happy new year!

Certification Update

This week I passed another couple of exams:

70-551 – UPGRADE: MCAD Skills to MCPD Web Developer by Using the Microsoft® .NET Framework

70-300 – Analyzing Requirements and Defining Microsoft .NET Solution Architectures

With 70-551 I became an MCPD Web Developer and as a side effect, an MCTS .NET Framework 2.0 Web Applications