stand alone and pdc - difference.

What is the actual difference between a stand alone server and a primary domain controller(pdc)?
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PDC is the computer all others look to to log in and a stand alone server is just a lonely server on a network.  If you're not running a domain, nad you don't want your NT machine to be the center of that domain, don't install NT as a PDC, install it as a stand alone server.
Another school of thought would be to install the server as a PDC and then you have the option to grow, once you install the server as a stand alone then you can't change it to a PDC without reinstalling NT. you can then turn off the authentication service. The true difference would be authenication (the yes you live here, come on in service).
One important point (cmarks55 described it, but did not explain the working of it):
If you install a Stand Alone Server it will have a User database of its own. So when you want to log on from an NT Workstation, you have to Add user to the Server and the Wrokstation as well! It can be a really pain to do it for several users! You cannot have Roaming profiles with a Stan Alone Server! (The login problem only applies to NT Workstation and not to Win 9x)
Iy you choose a PDC, you can Join the domain with a Workstation and won't have to bother about user database, it will be managed centraly.
I won't recommend a Stand Alone Server!
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A stand alone server is basically a glorified workstation as seen from the point of using it in a network.

Its main benefits is that it can move between domains with minimal network changes just like a workstation. It can handle server based programs like Exchange that require user authentication which can be handled by a domain controller therefore splitting work load between application and authentication servers.

The standalone server can NEVER be promoted to a domain controller.

Well it can, but requires expensive software. Or Win2K will have this feature, just wait and upgrade, then convert... :))
THe followinf features are available on NT Server but not on NT Workstation:
- Service for Macintosh
- RAID fault tolerance
- DOmain logon validation
- Directory replication
- Windows NT Directory Services (NTDS)
- Multiprotocol routing and advanced network services, such as DNS, DHCP, and WINS

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