Computer account reset so comp out of domain, but need user profile on that machine

Okay well here is the scenario -- due to some miscommunication a user reset a computer account which disjoined a workstation from the domain (I believe it is XP pro) from a 2000 or 2003 domain. So when she tried to login with this account she go the error "windows can not connect to the domain either because the DC is down (which it wasnt) or otherwise unable or because computer acccount is not found"

Now the user account we want to logon to was named lets say Jake -- we could just rejoin this machine to the domain and then logon as Jake but that would wipe out  Jake's local user profile which we would like to have when we logon
with his domain login.

Now we could just go into the local machine as admin and copy all the user data to an external drive and then just copy it into the new "Jake" after the machine is joined to the domain and the user logs in. However, it would be helpful to have all the settings:

Craylord solved a similar problem but was not sure if his solution applied:

Here is how he put it:

The key is to login to windows with the user first! Windows creates a profile folder at this time and associates it with the user account. Once this folder has been created, you can delete/rename it and rename/add the correct folder in its place. Skip the Advanced user copy button thing, takes waaaay too long. Once you get the hang of it, this process can be done in less than 5 minutes.

Restart and logon as a local administrator or another user with admin rights.
Rename the C:\documents and settings\username folder to username_bak
Delete (or rename) any bad folders that were created in a similar manner.
Add user to the pc's local administrators group. Login to pc with the "correctusername" or domain username. Restart and logon as a local administrator or another user with admin rights. (Restart is necessary because if you logoff, windows will still have some of the users files locked)
delete the newly created profile folder c:\documents and  settings\correctusername folderrename the c:\documents and settings\username_bak to the name of "correctusername" (the
newuserfolder)Logout and login as the new user. Tada done. You may have to reconnect Outlook .pst files.
So, gentlemen, would Craylords solution apply or would this procedure have to be modified for this situation?

Who is Participating?
EricConnect With a Mentor IT ManagerCommented:
what if you remove the eithernet cable. use cached credentials. .  then use the xp file and settings transfer wizzard?

PberConnect With a Mentor Solutions ArchitectCommented:
So let me try and understand this.  The machine just got disjoined from the domain and the user can't logon.  You are worried if you just rejoin the domain, the users domain profile will get lost.  Is this right?

If so you can safely rejoin the domain and the user will automatically connect back to the original profile as they are assigned to the SID of the domain account and that didn't change.

Profiles usually never get over written, it just creates a new one with a suffix.  i.e. jake, jake.000,, etc.

If you are worried about it, log on locally and copy the profile from documents and settings to another location before you try the above, but you'll be ok.
appsoluteAuthor Commented:
Yes, but its a bit more complicated than that. How you back up -- from
my computer/advanced/user profiles or just from Explore makes a difference? Dont security settings get transferred with the profile?

artthegeekConnect With a Mentor Commented:
It's frustrating, I know - we've been thourhg this on a large scale in a poor disaster recovery environment -

Correct, the user profile should not get overridden, and yes, permissions can be a pblm - so you'll have to add the new domain user to the permissions & force inheritance.

Best approach other than rebuilding the profile from scratch:
Rename the profile (usernameBACKUP)
Rejoin to the domain,
Log in as the user, log out again,
Log in as Administrator, replace the newly created profile with the backup (rename or delete the new, rename the backup to the username)
Add the user to the ACL of the profile folder and force inheritance.

Test, test, test.

Good luck!
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.