Active Directory Interview Questions Windows
Ravi Chopra  

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1) Differences b/w Conditional Forwarding and Stub Zones.

Ans:- Both do the same thing like forwarding the requests to appropriate name servers who are authoritative for the domains in the queries. However, there is difference in both, Stub Zone are Dynamic and Conditional forwarder are static.

Conditional Forwarding –   Where you want DNS clients in separate networks to resolve each others’ names without having to query DNS servers on the Internet, such as in the case of a company merger, you should configure the DNS servers in each network to forward queries for names in the other network. DNS servers in one network will forward names for clients in the other network to a specific DNS server that will build up a large cache of information about the other network. When forwarding in this way, you create a direct point of contact between two networks’ DNS servers, reducing the need for recursion.

Stub Zone– Stub-Zones are dynamic -A stub zone is like a secondary zone in that it obtains its resource records from other name servers (one or more master name servers). A stub zone is also read-only like a secondary zone, so administrators can’t manually add, remove, or modify resource records on it. But the differences end here, as stub zones are quite different from secondary zones in a couple of significant ways.First, while secondary zones contain copies of all the resource records in the corresponding zone on the master name server, stub zones contain only three kinds of resource records:

  • A copy of the SOA record for the zone.
  • Copies of NS records for all name servers authoritative for the zone.
  • Copies of A records for all name servers authoritative for the zone.

2) How AD Replication Works ?


3) How DNS is important in AD replication?

Ans:- Once DC gets its replication Partner Hostname then it queries DNS for IP Address. Also, _MSDCS zone is required for Domain Controller Locator that enables the client to locate the DC.

For complete details

4) Ports Required for Domain Controllers to communicate.


5) What is GPT and GPC?

Ans:- A GPO (Group Policy Object) is a collection of Group Policy settings, it consists of GPC and GPT.

GPC (Group Policy Container) contains the information of property of GPO like Security Filtering, GPO Status, GPO GUID etc.

GPT (Group Policy Template) contains the data of GPO in Sysvol folder that can be checked after the configuration of the GPO that what settings have been configured to the client.

6) What is new in Microsoft Clustering 2008?


7)  What is Majority Node Set?

Ans:- A majority node set is a single quorum resource, from a server cluster perspective; however, the data is actually stored on multiple disks across the cluster. Each cluster node stores the configuration on a local disk it can have access to when it starts up. By default, the location is pointed to %systemroot%\cluster\ResourceGUID

Further Explained :-

If the configuration of the cluster changes, that change is replicated across the different disks

8) What is NLB?

Ans:- NLB (Network Load Balance)  is a Microsoft implementation of clustering and load balancing that is intended to provide high availability and high reliability, as well as high scalability.

9) Difference Between Unicast and Multicast



Unicast is a one-to one connection between the client and the server. Unicast uses IP delivery methods such as Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and User Datagram Protocol (UDP), which are session-based protocols. When a Windows Media Player client connects using unicast to a Windows Media server, that client has a direct relationship to the server. Each unicast client that connects to the server takes up additional bandwidth. For example, if you have 10 clients all playing 100-kilobits per second (Kbps) streams, those clients as a group are taking up 1,000 Kbps. If you have only one client playing the 100 Kbps stream, only 100 Kbps is being used.


Multicast is a true broadcast. The multicast source relies on multicast-enabled routers to forward the packets to all client subnets that have clients listening. There is no direct relationship between the clients and Windows Media server. The Windows Media server generates an .nsc (NetShow channel) file when the multicast station is first created. Typically, the .nsc file is delivered to the client from a Web server. This file contains information that the Windows Media Player needs to listen for the multicast. This is similar to tuning into a station on a radio. Each client that listens to the multicast adds no additional overhead on the server. In fact, the server sends out only one stream per multicast station. The same load is experienced on the server whether only one client or 1,000 clients are listening

10) What is new in Windows 2008 AD?


Read-Only Domain Controllers

Fine-Grained Password Policies

Restartable Active Directory Service

Backup and Recovery

SYSVOL Replication with DFS-R

Auditing Improvements

UI Improvements

11) How to configure RODC to replicate password of users?

Ans:- You can add users in the PASSWORD REPLICATION POLICY tab of RODC computer properties

12) What is the issue we face while recovering AD from VMware snapshot?

13) Difference between Authoritative and Non-authoritative restore in AD?


14) What is new in Authoritative restoration in windows 2008?

15)  What is new in Windows Cluster 2008?


16) What is Strict Replication?


Strict Replication is a mechanism developed by Microsoft developers for Active Directory Replication. If a domain controller has the Strict Replication enabled then that domain controller will not get “Lingering Objects” from a domain controller which was isolated for more than the TombStone Life Time. TSL is 180 days by default on a Forest created with Windows Server 2003 SP1. A domain controller shouldn’t be outof sync for more than this period. Lingering Objects may appear on other domain controllers if replication happens with the outdated domain controllers. These domain controllers will not replicate with the outdated domain controllers if you have set the below mentioned registry key.You must set the following registry setting on all the domain controllers to enable the Strict Replication:

  •   KEY Name: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\NTDS\Parameters
  •   Registry Entry: Strict Replication Consistency
  •   Value: 1 (enabled), 0 (disabled)
  •   Type: REG_DWORD

17) What is Super Scope in DHCP?


superscope is an administrative feature of Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) servers running Windows Server 2008 that you can create and manage by using the DHCP Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in. By using a superscope, you can group multiple scopes as a single administrative entity. With this feature, a DHCP server can:

  • Support DHCP clients on a single physical network segment (such as a single Ethernet LAN segment) where multiple logical IP networks are used. When more than one logical IP network is used on each physical subnet or network, such configurations are often called multinets.
  • Support remote DHCP clients located on the far side of DHCP and BOOTP relay agents (where the network on the far side of the relay agent uses multinets).

In multinet configurations, you can use DHCP superscopes to group and activate individual scope ranges of IP addresses used on your network. In this way, the DHCP server can activate and provide leases from more than one scope to clients on a single physical network.

Superscopes can resolve specific types of DHCP deployment issues for multinets, including situations in which:

  • The available address pool for a currently active scope is nearly depleted, and more computers need to be added to the network. The original scope includes the full addressable range for a single IP network of a specified address class. You need to use another range of IP addresses to extend the address space for the same physical network segment.
  • Clients must be migrated over time to a new scope (such as to renumber the current IP network from an address range used in an existing active scope to a new scope that contains another range of IP addresses).
  • You want to use two DHCP servers on the same physical network segment to manage separate logical IP networks.

18) What is the requirement to configure Full memory Dump in windows?


To generate a complete memory dump file:

  1. Click Start > right-click Computer and select Properties in the menu.
  2. Click Advanced > Settings > Startup and Recovery > Settings > Write debugging information > Complete memory dump.
  3. Click OK twice.

19) Which DNS record is required for Replication?

Ans:- Host A records of replication partners (Domain Controllers), Srv Records to find out the Domain Controllers  GUID in _msdcs zone (DC Locator)

20) Tools to analyze Memory Dump?


Windows Debugger (WinDbg.exe) tool


21) Tools to troubleshoot Group Policy issues?

Ans:- You can use AD inbuilt features to troubleshoot group policy issue like RSOP.msc or can run RSOP by selecting users in Active Directory users and computers, gpresult -v, gpt.ini in sysvol under Group Policy GUID folder can be checked to find out the GPO settings configured

22) What AD parameters can be added to enable the Monitoring for AD?

23) How to troubleshoot AD replication issues?

Ans:- It can be troubleshooted by repmon command that generates the error result in eventvwr. DNS can be checked between two destination. Network/Firewall issue

24) Booting sequence in windows 2008?

Here’s the brief description of Windows Server 2008 Boot process.

  1. System is powered on
  2. The CMOS loads the BIOS and then runs POST
  3. Looks for the MBR on the bootable device
  4. Through the MBR the boot sector is located and the BOOTMGR is loaded
  5. BOOTMGR looks for active partition
  6. BOOTMGR reads the BCD file from the \boot directory on the active partition
  7. The BCD (boot configuration database) contains various configuration parameters( this information was previously stored in the boot.ini)
  8. BOOTMGR transfer control to the Windows Loader (winload.exe) or winresume.exe in case the system was hibernated.
  9. Winloader loads drivers that are set to start at boot and then transfers the control to the windows kernel.


25) How to edit Schema in AD?

Ans:- Firstly, schmmgmt.dll has to be register. Then ADSIEdit tool can be used to edit schema.

26) Difference between Windows 2003 & Windows 2008 boot process


Windows 2003 Boot Process:

2.The MBR reads the boot sector which is the first sector of the active partition.
3.Ntldr looks path of os from boot.ini
4.Ntldr to run to get information about installed hardware.
5.Ntldr reads the registry files then select a hardware profile, control set and loads device
6.After that Ntoskrnl.exe takes over and starts winlogon.exe which starts lsass.exe

Windows Server 2008 Boot process.

  1. System is powered on
  2. The CMOS loads the BIOS and then runs POST
  3. Looks for the MBR on the bootable device
  4. Through the MBR the boot sector is located and the BOOTMGR is loaded
  5. BOOTMGR looks for active partition
  6. BOOTMGR reads the BCD file from the \boot directory on the active partition
  7. The BCD (boot configuration database) contains various configuration parameters( this information was previously stored in the boot.ini)
  8. BOOTMGR transfer control to the Windows Loader (winload.exe) or winresume.exe in case the system was hibernated.
  9. Winloader loads drivers that are set to start at boot and then transfers the control to the windows kernel.


27) Name of utilities that is being used to check multipathing

Ans:- FCInfo utility or Storage Explorer (windows 2008) can be used to check the same.

For complete details:

28) How to create Host A record remotely?

Ans:-  dnscmd command can be used for creating a Resource Record on DNS server. Below is the command:

dnscmd [<ServerName>] /recordadd <ZoneName> <NodeName> <RRType> <RRData>

29) What is glue record?


Name servers in delegations are identified by name, rather than by IP address. This means that a resolving name server must issue another DNS request to find out the IP address of the server to which it has been referred. If the name given in the delegation is a subdomain of the domain for which the delegation is being provided, there is a circular dependency. In this case the name server providing the delegation must also provide one or more IP addresses for the authoritative name server mentioned in the delegation. This information is called glue. The delegating name server provides this glue in the form of records in the additional section of the DNS response, and provides the delegation in the answer section of the response.

For example, if the authoritative name server for is, a computer trying to resolve first resolves Since ns1 is contained in, this requires resolving first, which presents a circular dependency. To break the dependency, the name server for the top level domain org includes glue along with the delegation for The glue records are address records that provide IP addresses for The resolver uses one or more of these IP addresses to query one of the domain’s authoritative servers, which allows it to complete the DNS query.

30) What is Loopback Group Policy?

Ans:- Group Policy applies to the user or computer in a manner that depends on where both the user and the computer objects are located in Active Directory. However, in some cases, users may need policy applied to them based on the location of the computer object alone. You can use the Group Policy loopback feature to apply Group Policy Objects (GPOs) that depend only on which computer the user logs on to.

31) Difference between Windows 2003 and Windows 2008


32) TCP/UDP ports used in Windows?


33) Types of RAID


34) DHCP Failover/HA configuration


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