Cleaning up PCs after removing them from a Domain

Posted on 2004-10-22
Last Modified: 2010-04-14
I'm removing a few PCs from a domain. They are going to be joining another domain. How do I ensure all of their settings from the old domain still doesnt take effect?  Is there a way? I want them to be "clean" before I join them to a new domain.

Question by:dissolved
    LVL 4

    Accepted Solution

    Hi there.

    There's some assumptions I'm making here since the question does not include these details:

    1) Both Old & New domains are using DHCP for addressing
    2) Both Old & New domains are using login scripts to control possibly control network drive and other configuration items
    3) Both Old & New domains are using Active Directory
    4) Client operating system is Windows 2000 or XP

    To remove the PCs from the Old domain, you can release their IP configuration obtained from that network. At the command prompt, type in: IPCONFIG /RELEASE

    Are these computers going to be used by the same user? Different user? User profiles for these operating system are stored in the following location: C:\Documetns and Settings\Username (where username is the actual username of the user). If the same user will be using the computer with the same username, you can leave these directories as is. If a different user is going to be using the computer, a new directory will be created for their settings when they login with their new username. If you'd like to get rid of the previous user's info, you can delete the folder that matches their username. However, I'd suggest backing up that data in case it's needed. I would also assume that if the computer is being moved, and users are being changed, that the previous user of the computer being moved would want their data on their new computer.

    Most other login settings should be controlled through the user of login scripts, or through the user's Active Directory setup. In Active Directory, you can setup items such as their "Home Folder" and so on. Therefore, these settings shouldn't necessarily be configured on the client machine, but rather a function of the login to the domain controller.

    Once the machines are installed on the new network, you can force the machine to obtain an IP address from the new domain by using the command prompt: IPCONFIG /RENEW. (This is assuming that the PC does not automatically obtain an IP address upon booting up).

    Hope this is helpful.
    Good luck!

    Author Comment

    Thanks. Did most of the above as you mentioned. My problem is some of the policies from active directory still seem to be applied to the pc. Even though its not a member of the domain anymore. Is there a way to fix this? Maybe delete the user profile and create it again?
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    If the computer is a member of a domain, usually the group policy for the domain will take effect. If it's removed from the domain, then look at the Local Policies for that client machine. You should be able to make changes to the Local Policy.

    However, if all the changes to the policy were made using Group Policy on the old machine, I would think that adding the computer to the new domain would allow the group policies from the new domain to take effect.

    These policies can be found under Control Panel > Admin Tools > Local Security Poilcies.

    Hope that further answers your question. Good luck!
    LVL 2

    Assisted Solution

    The reason this is happening is that you had a setting in group policy defined on the old domain and that same setting in the new domain is set to "not defined".  Since the machine remembers the settings it had, not defined will not reset it.  If you know which specific object in the policy that is causing the problem, just change it from not defined on the new group policy to what you want it to be.

    Author Comment

    I swear there was a way to do this by running a command.   I believe was the command.
    Sound familiar?

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