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do machines have to join the domain to see a shared folder?

I have outlying buildings that need to connect to the server at the main building and do I have to have them join the domain or can I just map a drive letter to that folder that they need.  What does it mean to join the domain?  I have a mental breakdown on this.
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teachellen
Asked:
teachellen
2 Solutions
 
JBinRICommented:

You do not need to join a domain to get access to the shared folder. However, you will be prompted to supply a valid user and password who has privileges to that share.

What does it mean to join the domain?

The domain is a set of network resources (applications, printers, and so forth) for a group of users. The user need only to log in to the domain to gain access to the resources, which may be located on a number of different servers in the network.

When you say "I have outlying buildings that need to connect to the server at the main building"

If these people need to use resources on the network it would be best to join the domain and set-up a group policy for them. If yoo don't you will run into many connectivity issues.

GL

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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
JBinRI is generally correct - for NT based systems.  For 9x based systems, things are a little different, but in some respects easier as well.  Whhat are the clients running that need access to the server resources?
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teachellenAuthor Commented:
The outlying buildings do not really need access to the domain controller other than that is where active directory is.  The server in the building is member server and does not have active directory.  The machines that are connecting are xp and the server is win2003.  Would I be creating havoc if I had active directory on the server in the building and that would keep them off of the domain controller.    I have one domain controll and one member server in each building.  I have one person to maintain everything.  There is no software that has to be shared, but maybe  a printer.  any suggestions would help.
thanks in advance
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
How many users?

I used to manage a network of 1000 users and computers with about 30 buildings on one campus and 4 remote sites between .5 miles and 5 miles away.  We handled the active directory for the 1000 users with 3 domain controllers, 2 in one site, one in the other.  We did have a fibre-optic connection between all buildings locally and leased T1s or better between the other sites.  But the point is, you only need a couple of DCs unless your org is multi-thousand large.

By joining the workstations to the domain you gain many benefits - including remote desktop management, single user accounts on each system for logins, MUCH greater management capabilities, just to name a few.  Personally, unless your links between buildings are via ISDN or dialup, I don't understand why you'd want the workstation to NOT be members of the domain.  Assuming the servers are, then everything can access everything else with relative ease.
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teachellenAuthor Commented:
I have about 200 users and they all will hit the same domain controller.  We have one building that has a direct t1, but only 10 mg switches that we are trying to replace.  I was just questions my decisions on the way things  are set up .  thanks for inf
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jjtaylorCommented:
Just make sure you pass the username with the domain name before it from the command line using the users tag.

example:

net use z: \\computer\share /USER:domain\user

you will be prompted for the password and all should work well...
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royjonesjrCommented:
I agree with leew - I would add Active directory to the server down the street and join them to the domain. Make sure you setup Sites and Services so that the PC's in that building will authenticate to that Active Directory Server. This also affords you a back to your main Active Directory. There potentially could be a lot of work setting that all back up for 200 users not to mention down time. In the event of a failure at least they would be able to authenticate somewhere.

My  $.02

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