How do I configure a client laptop to be a member of two different domains?

Posted on 2006-07-08
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
I have a laptop that I use in the office. It is a client on the MYWORK domain. (Our work Domain Controller is running Server 2003.) I log in natuarally as MYWORK\Greg and I'm connected to the domain.
When I travel, obviously I use this same login on my laptop. It authenticates me locally and lets me log in even though I am not connected to the domain. So far, this is natural behavior and works well. In summary, I always log in as MYWORK\Greg - that way, my desktop and personal settings stay constant.

(Note: Sometimes when I travel and I have access to the Internet, I can VPN into work. This works fine. What I usually do is log on locally, then initiate a VPN connection after login.)

When I bring my laptop home, I do the same. However, I now have a domain running at home too. I'd like to be able to connedt to it, too. (It's name is MYHOME and my home domain controller is running SBS 2003.) Here's what I want to be able to do with my laptop:

1. When I log in at work, I want to be authenticated on the MYWORK domain.

2. When I log in at home, I want to be authenticated on the MYHOME domain. and I want to be able to see my local home network (printers, MYHOME domain controller, etc.). Additionally, I want to be able to VPN into my MYWORK domain, as well.

3. I want to log in using only one username. I am one person, yet I want to have access to two different domains while at home, sometimes at the same time. (In other words, I don't want to have to manage two different logins.)

In summary, I want one login (one consitent desktop), such that when I am at work, I see MYWORK, and when I'm at home, I see MYHOME with the ability to VPN into the office. This would allow me to do things like print locally on a home printer and access the network at work, at the same time.

Is there a clean way to do this? I'm thinking there might be a way to configure my home SBS 2003 server to authenticate my laptop via my MYWORK login.

Thanks in advance for any help.


Question by:Chief_Architect
  • 2

Expert Comment

ID: 17067740
What kind of VPN client are you using?  Typically, VPN clients will authorize and authenticate based upon credentials which have nothing to do with the machine you are using as the connecting machine (i.e. you could be in a workgroup).

You cannot have one instance of an operating system joined to two separate domains.  If you are in a workgroup, you will have to authenticate every time you use a domain resource and this will soon get very tedious.

Your solution is VMWARE.  I would partition your laptop hard drive with at least three partitions, load VMWARE on one and XP on the other two (you might be able to use the same XP license too).  I would join one instance of XP to your work domain and the other to your home domain.  You need to be concious of the need to separate your work and home networks.  VPN should work from both domains.

Author Comment

ID: 17068757
I am using Windows XP's VPN client under Network Connection to connect to the MYWORK domain.

Perhaps if I simply my request, it will be easier.......

How can I take my laptop home, log in as MYWORK\Greg and yet be authenticated on the MYHOME domain. I don't know much about Domain Trusts and Forests, but would that be something that I could do? I am running SBS 2003 at home.

Accepted Solution

isd503 earned 2000 total points
ID: 17069376
I know what you're trying to do and you cannot do it without a 3rd party tool.  Even then, it is not recommended.  NetSwitcher is the only tool I have heard of that will do this kind of thing.


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