I’m 25. I’m trying to learn Windows Server 16 with no IT background and I need help.

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by Russell Smith Russell Smith 1 year, 1 month ago.

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    I live and work in Japan, and recently got a job in the IT department of a Japanese company. I interpret, translate, and teach English to the IT members, but in my downtime they want me to get certified for Windows Server 2016 (specifically MCSA 70-740,70-741,70-740).

    I currently am reading this book as well as using this site for self-learning. I also have a laptop from the company connected to a hub (to simulate a network), with a trial version of Windows Server 2016, so I can simulate and test.

    I have virtually zero background in IT. I have done my best to make progress but feel helpless due to the load of new information…I almost want to go back to school haha. Any advice for someone in my situation? Anything is appreciated!


    If you have little IT background, you are really being thrown into the deep end (with added sharks :twisted:). The main thing, IMHO, is to practice breaking things until you become comfortable. Rather than using a trial version, I would set up a virtual network (Windows 10 Pro supports HyperV) so you can learn about domain controllers vs member servers, resource access, DNS and DHCP (just as a starting list)

    Everyone has their own ways of learning – I like books and the MS Press exam guides for the 3 you mention are generally good, others prefer video learning and again there are some good sites.

    IMHO (and as an MCT I would say it…) get to at least one instructor led course to talk to other people and learn from their experiences, and of course feel free to ask questions here.

    Best of Luck!


    YouTube videos.
    CBT companies, PluralSight, Lynda, CBT Nuggets PluralSight has a 7 day FREE trial. Lynda has a month FREE trial but I don’t know about CBT Nuggets.
    eBooks (FREE!)

    To run Virtuals in Hyper-V, make sure you have lots of RAM. 8GB is the absolute minimum IMO. 16GB would be better. RAM is more important than CPU. I ran a Hyper-V Server with an i3 CPU but 16GB RAM. It did get slow and eventually put a better CPU in it for sanities sake (but that still didn’t work).


    Not something that is impossible to achieve but it will be difficult.

    I’ve been reading the Insode Out for Server 2016 and while its not great it does me.

    Only thing i can recommend is to start at the beginning and download a hyper-visor and the Evaluations and start learning. I would say that the best place to start for something like this would probably be the MS TLG’s (Haven’t been updated for a while but still good to learn from IMHO).

    Here is where you can get the eval iso files from


    Here are the TLG’s

    Start with the base lab and try to understand the actual processes of what you are doing before moving on. I.E. understand why you need to create a DC what it does and what not having one does.


    You’ve got a heap of learning on front of you so make sure you learn from everything.

    Ohh and don’t forget to start delving into powershell. MS is moving back to the CLI way of doing things, the standard install for 2016 is Core, you can select gui however, and moving forward that is what it will be. While core can’t do everything YET it won’t be long before it can.

    Russell Smith
    Russell Smith

    <span style=”display: inline !important; float: none; background-color: #ffffff; color: #333333; font-family: Georgia,’Times New Roman’,’Bitstream Charter’,Times,serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;”>Take baby steps and try to understand the concepts as you go along. </span><b></b><i></i><u></u><span style=”text-decoration: line-through;”></span>

    Try networking two devices without any help from a domain using static (fixed) IP addresses. If you can, use two physical devices instead of VMs. Get name resolution working, i.e. can you connect to one from the other by name and not only IP address. Then try creating a file share on one device and see if you can map a network drive from the other. You will need to read up a little on IP addressing, DNS, and permissions. Once you’ve done that, try to install a Windows Server domain controller and join a device to the domain. You’ll see how much easier it is to network devices that are joined to a domain once everything is in place. This should help you understand Active Directory concepts and DHCP. Taking a course for a specific exam will also take you step-by-step through all the required concepts.

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