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Joining a Domain Without a Domain Present

Posted on 2003-12-10
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Last Modified: 2010-04-14
Hi ya all,

Every now and then we(the place i work at) are required to do clean install on old equipment or install new systems for other companies. I'm just finishing off my first one now. However the client has a domain. To fully setup there pc i need to join it to there domain. I would really prefer not to have to 1. Visit the Client Premises. 2 Have to do it remotely later on. Is there any way of forcing the machine to join a domain that isn't present. I am rather doubtfull but thought i would ask.

Secondly if it's not possible to join a non-existent domain, is there any way of using a script/command to do the same thing when the pc is turned on?

Thanks

Stewart
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Question by:sjmclean
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tstaddon earned 150 total points
ID: 9919086
What you can do, is use the Setup Manager to generate an unattend file called SYSPREP.INF, which will join the machine to the domain when it is rebooted. Use Setup Manager (documented in the Help section of Windows 2000) to create an unattended mini-setup.

For a step-by-step description, have a look at http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=298491 which walks you through the process.

It should contain the following lines:

[Identification]
JoinDomain=MYDOMAINNAME
DomainAdmin=Administrator
DomainAdminPassword=Password

Here, all you do is specify the domain name, admin account to use, and the password for the admin account. Once the machine boots up, it will perform the setup as you described it in Setup Manager, and then join the domain.

You can fully automate and restrict this mini-setup, so that the user at the other end doesn't have to do anything other than perhaps click on a couple of OK buttons.

When you run SYSPREP itself, use the -NOSIDGEN switch if it's a one-off build for that machine only. This will mean that the workstation will retain its own security ID.

If you use GHOST, omit this switch and use -PNP instead; this forces the machine to check for new hardware during the mini-setup.
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