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Adding a computer to a Windows 2003 domain remotely

Posted on 2006-07-22
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Last Modified: 2008-02-01
Maybe this is a weird question but I have a Windows 2003 domain controller that is on a client site 8 hours away. They have order 15 new computers that were shipped directly to us. Our only access to their network is via RDP. I need to prep these computers so that the users do not have to join them to the domain themselves. We already have all the applications setup to install at logon based on GP's on OU's. How can I prep these computers to automatically join the domain or have them already joined before sending them to the client? I just want them to plug them in and start working.
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Question by:dsechrist
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oBdA earned 500 total points
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If you don't have access to their domain via VPN, there's no way to add them at your place.
The computers need to be joined to the domain by a user that is a local administrator and knows the credentials of a domain administrator (don't rely on the 10 machines a regular user can add!).
So you could add a batch script on the desktop, so that a domain administrator can log on and then only has to execute the script. You can use netdom.exe in this script to join the machine (it's included in the Support Tools on the install CD).

@echo off
REM *** Name of the domain administrator used to join the machine to the domain:
set JoinAdmin=Administrator
REM *** Name of the AD domain:
set JoinDomain=fqdn.of.the.ad.domain
REM *** Timeout before reboot in seconds:
set TimeOut=30
REM *** Optional: DN of the OU where the machine account should be created:
REM *** Format: ou=Some OU,ou=Some Top Level OU,dc=domain,dc=local
set JoinOU=

if not "%JoinOU%"=="" set JoinOU=/OU:"%JoinOU%"
REM *** Ask for the password, join the machine, reboot.
netdom.exe join %ComputerName% /domain:%JoinDomain% %JoinOU% /UserD:"%JoinAdmin%" /PasswordD:* /Reboot:%TimeOut%
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