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Log onto domain from a workgroup machine running Vista Ultimate

Posted on 2008-06-16
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Last Modified: 2008-08-07
My laptop [Vista Ultimate (32-bit)] is a configured as a member of a workgroup. The workgroup name is the same as the name of the domain at my consulting client's office. I have a domain user account, but the laptop is not a member of the domain.

I am trying to use NET LOGON to log onto the domain -- but the NET command does not have a LOGON option. When I try to use it from a command prompt, it politely lists the available options:

NET
    [ ACCOUNTS | COMPUTER | CONFIG | CONTINUE | FILE | GROUP | HELP |
      HELPMSG | LOCALGROUP | PAUSE | PRINT | SESSION | SHARE | START |
      STATISTICS | STOP | TIME | USE | USER | VIEW ]

NET USE works fine, and I can map drive letters to various domain server shares using my domain credentials.

How can I log onto the domain?
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Question by:lwebber
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Rob Williams earned 1000 total points
ID: 21793987
You can only logon to the domain if you join the computer to the domain. Having the same workgroup name doesn't help. To do so right click on my computer choose computer name, then "Chang", and enter the domain name. You will need to have a domain administrators account to do so. If by any chance the server is running Small Business Server, please advise as the procedure is different.

You can , as you been doing, just map a drive and then supply credentials when asked.
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by:lwebber
ID: 21796935
So what happened to the NET LOGON command? When I Google that, I see lots of pages talking about using NET.EXE with the LOGON parameter to log onto a workgroup or a domain. The docs even mention a /DOMAIN option for logging onto a domain. Was that removed from NET.EXE in Vista?
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Expert Comment

by:Adam82
ID: 21797440
It appears as though Net Logon command is only available in Windows 2000 and prior.  After Windows 2000 Net Logon is used as a service only and not interactively.

If this information is incorrect please let me know.
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by:Rob Williams
ID: 21797546
To the best of my knowledge there has been no Net Logon command since DOS days. By that I mean real DOS rather than a DOS shell in Vista/XP/2000. There is a Net Logon service and a Windows domain has a NETLOGON share for policies and scripts but these are more or less unrelated.
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by:Rob Williams
ID: 21797573
Are you running a Vista home version and trying to attach to a domain? If so, it looks like you are aware of that, and I am afraid the only option is to just connect to a share by mapping a drive or similar and then supply the user name and password as requested. User name will need to be in the form of domain\user  
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by:Rob Williams
ID: 21797595
Sorry I see now you are using Ultimate. Can you not join the domain? If you are trying to do so from a command line the current command you want is netdom.
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by:lwebber
ID: 21802931
Joining the domain isn't an option -- the client only allows its own equipment to join the domain, although they have permitted me to attach my own laptop to the network.

Too bad about NET.EXE losing the LOGON option. I wonder what would happen if I copied NET.EXE from a W2K system and ran it on my machine? (Er, right after saving a system restore point!).
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by:lwebber
ID: 21803008
The real reason for my question was to be be able to use LDAP. Because I am not logged onto a domain, the usual LDAP shorthand tricks don't work (see code snippet). This doesn't work, because without being logged into a domain, the ADSI provider doesn't know where the domain controller is. But when I specify the domain controller, I get various errors that appear to be caused by the fact that Active Directory won't allow me to use LDAP unless I'm logged in. My script works fine, BTW, from a machine that is logged into the network. But I'll put all that in a separate thread.


    Dim oRoot
    Set oRoot = GetObject("LDAP://rootDSE")
    Dim sDomain
    sDomain = oRoot.Get("defaultNamingContext")
    Dim strLDAP
    strLDAP = "LDAP://" & sDomain

Open in new window

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by:Rob Williams
ID: 21819432
>>" wonder what would happen if I copied NET.EXE from a W2K "
Is it there? I thought it was a pre Win2K feature and it changed with the introduction of active directory.
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by:lwebber
ID: 21833773
Hmmm. There has to be a NET.EXE, I think, because you can execute it from the command line. But your point about pre-AD days is probably the clincher. I bet the old NET.EXE expected to find a Windows NT domain controller, not an Active Directory one. Still, how much harm could it do to try it out? Other than the network police breaking down my door and arresting me.  :-)
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 21834562
Sorry, Net.exe is there but the logon option is not on 2000. I just looked at a Win98 machine and it was present. You can try copying it, but you may also have problems with 16/32 bit applications issues.
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 22144642
I am not convinced this should be deleted. It has been explained to lwebber that the option no longer exists in current operating systems. As mentioned in the EE guidelines 'sometimes you can't do that is the correct answer'.
--Rob
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