What does Active Directory really REQUIRE for a user name?

I've been adding new users to our network and giving them all user names like:  FirstnameLastname (BillBrown or JaneSmith).  Is this really necessary?  Would AD recognize the difference between Bill Brown (with a space) and Bill Baker?
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It all depends on the logon name more than anything

your naming convention is good so far, i use firstlast, lots use first letter of first name and full last  

choice is yours, what you are doing so far is fine
JayMulkeyAuthor Commented:
What if a user brings me their PC or laptop and they've been using it for some time with a user name like "Bill" (without the quotes)?  I can't add them to AD as "Bill" because it would only work until I get the next "Bill", right?

My other questions is this:  If I create a new user profile on someones PC - like "Mary Smith" - can I add a new user to AD called "Mary Smith" and will it work?
1) yes thats right,

2) you can add a mary smith to AD yes, but i am not sure what you mean about a new user profile on a local machine and then it just working......if it joins the domain it will create a new domain profile
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JayMulkeyAuthor Commented:
Okay, well, that gets us into another wierd situation I still don't quite understand.  We have a domain here but only a few users have XP-Pro.  The vast majority use xp_Home but are still able to use all of the network resources (shared network drives, network printers, etc.).

So if a user logs onto their computer as Mary Smith ... and if I have created a new user in AD as Mary Smith ... will I run into trouble if we get a new user called Mary Baker?  I guess the question is: are spaces allowed?

the space is allowed in a username or login ID for windows.
xp home will still be able to use the resources like you have said, depending on the permissions of the shared resource, hte account you are creating in AD is not doing anything
JayMulkeyAuthor Commented:
Whoa!  Are you serious?  "The account you are creating in AD is not doing anything".  I don't think that's totally correct.  

I know we're getting off the thread a bit - perhaps I'll start a new one - but I just HAVE to get this straight in my head.  If 90% of the users on my network are using XP-Home, what exactly should I be focusing on in AD regarding them?  I usually create a user account in AD for the user (using the exact username and password that they use when logging on to their pc) and I usually add the name of their computer to the computers folder in AD.

If there's any work I don't HAVE to do, I'd like to stop doing it.  Yunno?

I'd have to say over 80% of the problems I have on a day-to-day basis are with pc's that were not setup "my way".  I am totally interested in learning more about using XP (pro and home) in a networked environment.  Many people have told be I can't do what I'm doing.
:-) your permissions on the shares and resources are more what you are looking for...... your AD user accounts are very different accounts than your local home accounts. as you know, home cannot be a part of a domain, a user account in AD only effects members of that domain, you cannot use an AD account to log on to a home machine.......

your identical accounts come into play when you are in a workgroup situation, i think that if you trial a machine next time without creating the AD account, you will still have success

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JayMulkeyAuthor Commented:
Okay.  So the fact that I make them all part of the same WORKGROUP is what is making this work?

Is it possible to create an asset (like email server or company web page) which is only available to users whose names occur in AD?

What is the purpose of the Computers folder in AD?
it would be the permissions on the resources more that anything else including the workgroup

you can set up an intranet site that is only accessible for AD authenticated users

the computer folder is where client machine accounts are located, you can apply computer policies to these accounts and lock them own etc....
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