Windows Operating System Fundamentals

This exam has been retired

For currently available options, please see the Microsoft Certification exam list.

Skills measured

This exam measures your ability to accomplish the technical tasks listed below. 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. View video tutorials about the variety of question types on Microsoft exams.

Please note that the questions may test on, but will not be limited to, the topics described in the bulleted text.

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Understanding operating system configurations (15–20%)
  • Configure Control Panel options
    • Configuring administrative tools; configuring accessibility options
  • Configure desktop settings
    • Configuring gadgets, profiles, display settings, shortcuts, and Aero configurations and capabilities
  • Understand native applications and tools
    • Understanding Windows Internet Explorer, the snipping tool, Windows Media Player, Windows Media Center, and MSCONFIG
  • Understand mobility
    • Understanding Sync Center, Windows Mobility Center, and Remote Desktop
  • Understand remote management and assistance
    • Understanding MMC and Windows PowerShell

Preparation resources

Installing and upgrading client systems (15–20%)
  • Identify Windows Operating System editions
    • Identifying system requirements; using PC Upgrade Advisor
  • Identify upgrade paths
    • Identifying upgrade paths from Windows XP, Windows Vista, and other operating systems; identifying application compatibility
  • Understand installation types
    • Understanding removable media installations (DVD, ZTI, LTI, and USB), cloud and network installations, and product identification keys
  • Understand virtualized clients
    • Understanding Windows XP Mode, Remote Desktop, and Remote Desktop Services

Preparation resources

Managing applications (15–20%)
  • Understand application installations
    • Understanding local vs. network applications, Group Policy, and application removal
  • Understand user account control (UAC)
    • Understanding standard user vs. administrative user; understanding types of UAC prompts and levels
  • Remove malicious software
    • Understanding Windows Defender, Action Center, the Malicious Software Removal tool, Windows Registry, and Microsoft Forefront Endpoint Protection
  • Understand virtualized clients
    • Understanding service start-up types, service accounts, and service dependencies
  • Understand application virtualization
    • Understanding Med-V and VDI

Preparation resources

Managing files and folders (15–20%)
  • Understand file systems
    • Understanding FAT, FAT32, NTFS, and 32 bit vs. 64 bit
  • Understand file and print sharing
    • Understanding NTFS and share permissions, HomeGroup, print drivers, and effective permissions; creating public, basic, and advanced shares; mapping drives
  • Understand encryption
    • Understanding BitLocker, encrypting file systems (EFS), and compression
  • Understand libraries
    • Understanding offline files, adding multiple local locations to a library, adding networked locations

Preparation resources

Managing devices (15–20%)
  • Connect devices
    • Connecting plug-and-play devices; connecting and disconnecting printers; installing third-party software for devices
  • Understand storage
    • Understanding disk types (NTFS, FAT, etc.), security (encryption), storage device types (eSATA, USB, USB 2.0, IEEE 1394, iSCSI), storage drive types (basic, primary, extended, logical, dynamic disk, VHDs), and cloud storage (Windows Live OneDrive, OneNote to OneDrive, Live mesh)
  • Understand printing devices
    • Understanding local printers, network printers, print queues, print-to-file, and Internet printing
  • Understand system devices
    • Understanding video, audio, and infrared input devices; understanding Device Manager

Preparation resources

Understanding operating system maintenance (15–20%)
  • Understand backup and recovery methods
    • Understanding local, online, and automated backup methods; understanding backup options; understanding System Restore, recovery boot options such as Last Known Good, and various Safe Mode options
  • Understand maintenance tools
    • Understanding Disk Defragmenter, Disk Cleanup, Task Scheduler, Action Center, and System Information
  • Understand updates
    • Understanding Windows updates, Microsoft updates, and hotfixes

Preparation resources

Who should take this exam?

Candidates for this exam should have knowledge of fundamental Windows Operating System concepts in a Windows 7 environment.

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Preparing for an exam

We recommend that you review this exam preparation guide in its entirety and familiarize yourself with the resources on this website before you schedule your exam. See the Microsoft Certification exam overview for information about registration, videos of typical exam question formats, and other preparation resources. For information on exam policies and scoring, see the Microsoft Certification exam policies and FAQs.


This preparation guide is subject to change at any time without prior notice and at the sole discretion of Microsoft. Microsoft exams might include adaptive testing technology and simulation items. Microsoft does not identify the format in which exams are presented. Please use this preparation guide to prepare for the exam, regardless of its format. To help you prepare for this exam, Microsoft recommends that you have hands-on experience with the product and that you use the specified training resources. These training resources do not necessarily cover all of the topics listed in the "Skills measured" section.