Windows Server Administrator Scenario Based Interview Questions And Answers

Hi Everyone, Today we will talk some popular interview questions for the profile of the Windows Server Administrator which are commonly asked in an interview. It will help you build confidence and get a step closer to your dream job. Most of these questions are shared by the candidates who appeared in the interview for the Windows Server Admin profile.

Windows Server Scenario Based Interview Questions And Answers:

Scenario 1. You are a Windows Server Admin. Your team manages IIS servers on which different application are hosted. You are contacted by a person from app team complaining that their application URL is not working. How would you act upon it ?

Solution: This is a tricky question. You need to first figure out what error they are getting as IIS websites throw a number of errors. First thing after identifying that it is not related to application code, you can try to check the following things:

1. Check if the server is down due to some activity like patching or any other issue and try to bring the server up.
2. If the server is up then try to reset the IIS.
3. Next, you can check the bindings.
4. Also check if the SSL certificate has been expired, if yes, then obtain a new cert from a certification authority and renew it on the server.
5. Reboot the server.
6. You can also check TLS values from the registry editor if anything changed recently. as most of the time, it is just a little change in TLS value which causes a number of issues.

Scenario 2: When trying to RDP on a server, you are getting an error that The server you are trying to connect has Network Level Authentication failed. Kindly contact your system administrator. What will you do to resolve this?

Solution: You can solve this problem by either of the following two ways:

1. From the console of the server, go to control panel > System > Remote Settings > Remote. Uncheck the Allow Connections from computers running Remote Desktop with NLA. Click on apply and then Check again the same option and click on apply.

network level authentication

2. The second way is to re-apply the RDP certificate again in Remote Desktop Session Host Configuration settings.

Scenario 3: You are a member of the server support team. You got a high severity INC stating that one of the servers is unreachable and you are not even able to log in through the console. How will you access the server?

Solution: In case, when you are not able to access the server from the console with your AD credentials, you can try to login with the local username and password. After logging, perform the following steps to troubleshoot the issue:

1. Check Network adapters, if any of the configured network adapters are disabled.
2. Try to dis-join and join again in the domain.

Scenario 4: You are a Windows Server Admin and you get an INC from the customer stating that He is getting HTTP Error 503: Service Unavailable for one of his websites hosted on Windows IIS Server. How will you troubleshoot this issue?

Solution: HTTP Error 503 error may show up for several reasons. So the first step to solving this issue to identify the root cause of this problem. Below are some of the probable causes and their respective solutions for this error:

1. App Pool Identity: If the account with which App Pool is running is recently reset and if the same has not yet been updated in IIS, then this may result in Service Unavailable error while loading the website.
2. The second cause is also related to the account used in App Pool. If you have updated the correct username and password in IIS and if still, you are getting this error. Then you can try to change the account to AppPool Identity from the currently configured account. But please remember, you will need to update this on each website which is linked to that app pool.
3. There is one scenario that may result in a 503 HTTP error (personal experience). If by any chance due to some other organizational change e.g. SCCM Deployment, someone has renamed the MachineKeys (Path : C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Crypto\RSA\MachineKeys) folder, then you may run into the same problem if your website is hosted on the same server. It can be sorted by just restoring the old MachineKeys folder and resetting the IIS once.


Below we have given some common windows server related interview questions which are asked in most of the interviews:

1. What are FSMO Roles

To prevent conflicting updates in Windows, the Active Directory performs updates to certain objects in a single-master fashion. In a single-master model, only one DC in the entire directory is allowed to process updates. This is similar to the role given to a primary domain controller (PDC) in earlier versions of Windows (such as Microsoft Windows NT 3.51 and 4.0), in which the PDC is responsible for processing all updates in a given domain.

Active Directory extends the single-master model found in earlier versions of Windows to include multiple roles, and the ability to transfer roles to any domain controller (DC) in the enterprise. Because an Active Directory role is not bound to a single DC, it is referred to as a Flexible Single Master Operation (FSMO) role. Currently, in Windows there are five FSMO roles:

Schema master
Domain naming master
RID master
PDC emulator
Infrastructure master

fsmo roles

2. What are the Roles and Responsibilities of a Server Administrator ?

A Windows Server Administrator may have different responsibilities in different organizations. For example:

1. Monitoring Windows Server for any alarms and alerts.
2. Managing Windows Servers and ensure maximum uptime.
3. Managing IIS by installing SSL Certificates and troubleshooting issues related to IIS.
4. Executing Change Requests on request of application teams and providing support.
5. Patching of Windows Servers.

So these are some of the roles and responsibilities that a Windows Admin may be hired for.

3. What are all different versions available of Windows Servers ?

Below are versions of Windows Servers, Microsoft released till date:

1. Windows Server 2000
2. Windows Server 2003
3. Windows Server 2008
4. Windows Server 2008 R2
5. Windows Server 2012
6. Windows Server 2012 R2
7. Windows Server 2016
8. Windows Server 2019 (Current at the time of writing this article)

These versions have further different editions available like Datacenter, Standard, Server Core, Essentials, etc. according to the number of users and size of the corporation.

4. What is Server Virtualization ?

Virtualization is the technology which makes it possible to run multiple servers on a single computer system. As the name suggests, Virtualization is creating the multiple virtual machines on a single server hardware. Hyper-V is the virtualization solution provided by Microsoft and shipped with Windows Servers out of the box.

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