XP , Vista, and W7 Clients to connect WK8R2 ressources


I am to migrate our file server WK3 enterpise edition (with AD activated) to WK8R2 standard edition.

Currently the pc clients (all pro version) are not member of the domain but workgroup.
Network shares on WK3 file server are accessed with login/password credentials.
ie ;

WK8R2 server will be dedicated exclisively for file and printer sharing. If needed I ll activate Active Directory and DNS services. I don't need options like Terminal services.

2 Questions ;

1- Are the clients pcs obliged to join WK8R2 domain in order use files and printer ressources

2- If I can keep clients member of workgroup (not member of any domain) will I need to change any configuration on the clients. ie users credential becoming ie ;

The reason why we kept clients out of the domain is mainly because logins were too long. I guess these might be due bad DNS configuration but the company who set up the server could not solve the problem

Thank you

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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
IF logins were too long then DNS was messed up OR you were using Roaming profiles - which I never recommend.

NOT using a domain generally INCREASES your management costs and LOWERS productivity.   I would strongly recommend that the company you had setup the server should be fired and you hire a company with skills.  

More directly,
1.  They are not "obliged" to, but they definitely should.  Group Policy cannot work on workgroup machines.  IF they don't you'll be forced to authenticate each time the user attempts to connect to the server for the first time following a reboot.
2.  If the clients don't join the domain AND you setup as a domain, then your clients should be able to provide their domain credentials to access the server.  If you don't setup a domain, then they will have to use local accounts.  But without a domain, you cannot easily preserve permissions and other settings if/when you upgrade the server again.  (You're going to be able to this time either).

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Alex AppletonBusiness Technology AnalystCommented:
They dont necessarily need to join the domain to access network resources but as leew mentioned above the domain makes management much easier and less costly.  Pass through authentication will work just fine, you can setup local users on each machine that is a member of a separate workgroup and if their credentials match with the corresponding domain account then it will work just fine, same as 03.
Brian PiercePhotographerCommented:
While they dont NEED to join the domain to access resources it makes sence to use the domain, after all, you've paid for it so you may as well use it. A domain will make yor network easier to administer in the long run.

You are correct is summizing that DNS was probably the issue - if the company you empoyed to sort this could not do it - then sack them and get a more competent one.

Slow logons are noormally a result of configuring you server/clients with an external DNS server. In essence you need to make sure that the server points to ITSELF ONLY for DNS and install active directory and when prompted install DNS as well. The Domain controller and ALL clients MUST use the Domain Controller as the ONE AND ONLY DNS Server since they need to resolve internal names and this server is the only place that information is found. Access to internet domains is accomplished by setting up a FORWARDER on the DNS server to pass external names on to a DNS server on the internet - normall one provided by the ISP (see http://www.petri.co.il/configure_dns_forwarding.htm)

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