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SBS 2003 R2, users/computers manually joined to the domain, how to fix.

Posted on 2011-09-27
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Last Modified: 2013-11-05
I am now the admin for another SBS 2003 server.  It's been running for about 4yrs. It was a new install.  The original admin was very familiar with NT40, so he joined the users & computers manually, no wizards.  Not sure why, not how I do it.  But I get to deal with it now.  

In an effort to free up some space on C:\, instead of 'moving' the 'Users folders' he created new, but they do not sync with client machines as SBS doesn't know the location of the new home folders.  This is evident when trying to add a 'test user/computer' to the domain using connectcomputer wizard.  An error is generated saying it cannot create the users folder or set quotas.  The folder Users is in the default location, but is empty. The domain users just open and save docs back to a server share, (their 'home' folder as the call it). Data in their local My Docs folder is just that, local.  Sharepoint was not completely setup. After using POP3 for awhile he did setup Exchange, but did it manually also.  It seems to be working OK but I get a few errors in the event viewer.  The 'TO DO' list in System Manager is blank as the day it was installed.

So basically what I have is SBS 2003 running Exchange.  No CompanyWeb, RWW, Remote Outlook, etc. access except for the admin acounts, no My Docs syncronization.  Basically just a fileserver.  My question is, what is the proper way to correct this?

I assume I first need to fix the Users folder issue, then remove all computers from the Domain, rename them and rejoin them again using the connectcomputer wizard.  Found TechSoEasy's blog on how to do that.  What do I do for the users?  I would prefer to use the same user accounts, setup the Users Folders properly and move the old data into the new, correct folders. Then delete the server share they are using now.

I am sure there are other things I am not aware of, thus this post to the experts. I am reviewing this Blog now.

Server/network info:

SBS 2003 -SP2
A few .Net 40 updates pending
Approx 25 users
Most run XP Pro, a few Win7
Outlook versions 2003-2007-2010
IE7 & 8
The rest run Win7 using BootCamp on Intel based MAC laptops, OSX - another long story that requires beer.
C:\ & D:\ partitons.  Will move Exchange to D:\.  Would like Users folders on D:\ when done.  I know how to move them. Just need the default location setup first.
SBS is handling DHCP & DNS
Single Nic running behind Cisco ASA 5505 appliance
Some have Cisco VPN clients on them too.
Symantec Backup Exec - corporate

It wasn't done, so I did set up monitoring and it is working properly.

I'm sure more info is needed, let me know what you need, and I will get it.

Trying to find a way to correct this, & allow my customer the benefits of all the SBS features they are not aware of without rebuilding the entire server & client machines.


Looking forward to your input!

On a sidenote:  TechSoEasy, are you in Phx by chance?  Just wondering.....
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Question by:Bowtie1965
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LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:Cris Hanna
ID: 36716866
TechSoEasy (Jeff) is in California I believe, however if you're looking for SBS help in Phoenix, there is an SBS MVP in Phoenix.   Michael  Cocanower , owner of itSynergy.

So just to be clear the big issue is the users folder?
Normally the Users Folder is actually on the C drive   c:\Users Shared Folders and is shared as Users

This document might be of help also  http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=8935

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Author Comment

by:Bowtie1965
ID: 36718500
I was reading his blog and he mentioned his family had a restaurant in AZ.  Thought he might be a fellow valley-o-da-sun resident.....

Yep! have that link.  Moving folders is not the problem.  I can fix that.  The question is what are the proper steps to rejoin the users and computers to the SBS domain after removing them.  Understand they all were joined manually, users, computers, & exchange.  So the SBS 'features' are not accessible to basic users right now.

The Admin accounts seem to have access to everything, so the core SBS features are installed on the server as far as I can tell.

Can I just remove the computers from the domain following TechSoEasy's blog.  Rename them and rejoin them via the wizards?

Do I need to do the same for the users too?  Renaming all the users will be a pain, so I am hoping for a way around that.  Although I may be forced to do it.

During the Wizard setup, given everyone has later versions of IE6 and Outlook installed locally now, I assume I would un-check those installs & the wizard would make the proper changes to the existing app versions?

The goal is to allow all of the features of SBS be available to the users when complete.  Without having to rebuild everything from scratch.  If that is possible.

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Accepted Solution

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Cris Hanna earned 500 total points
ID: 36718710
Jeff is originally from the Arizona area I think.

Here's what I think my approach would be
-  Take a copy of the USERS profile and export mail to a pst file (are docs stored on workstation or server?)
-  disjoin the workstation from the domain (YOU MUST KNOW THE LOCAL USER NAME and PWORD)
-  remove user and computer account from AD (iassuming they don't show in the console)
-  create user and computer accounts using SBS console and wizards
- Join computer to domain using ConnectComputer wizard
- restore from profile as needed

You could do this one at a time...so you can work through any bugs as you go.
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Expert Comment

by:pgm554
ID: 36719145
>A few .Net 40 updates pending

Beware of these as they can cause the wizards to malfunction and hang.

If they don't install completely,then you'll need the.net removal tool.

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/astebner/archive/2008/08/28/8904493.aspx
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Author Comment

by:Bowtie1965
ID: 36719555
Here's what I think my approach would be
-  Take a copy of the USERS profile and export mail to a pst file (are docs stored on workstation or server?)
-  disjoin the workstation from the domain (YOU MUST KNOW THE LOCAL USER NAME and PWORD)


Some computers do not have a matching local/domain user accounts.  I will confirm.  Jeff's blog linked above says to use the local admin account when removing a computer from the domain.  I assume that will work if that is the only local account.

-  remove user and computer account from AD (iassuming they don't show in the console)
-  create user and computer accounts using SBS console and wizards


I know I can't use the same computer name again, can I use the same user name?  Remove it from AD and use it again when using the wizard?

- Join computer to domain using ConnectComputer wizard
- restore from profile as needed


what about this question?
During the Wizard setup, given everyone has later versions of IE6 and Outlook installed locally now, I assume I would un-check those installs & the wizard would make the proper changes to the existing IE & Outlook versions?



pqm: I will hold off on the Dot Net updates until I'm done with the above. Thanksfor the tip.
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Expert Comment

by:Cris Hanna
ID: 36719633
As long as you remove computer name and user name from AD as I suggested, you can re-use them.

Yes you can use the local admin account rather than creating a new local account

Yes just uncheck the ones you don't want...I'm pretty sure it finds the newer version anyway and just ignores it
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Author Comment

by:Bowtie1965
ID: 36719883
As long as you remove computer name and user name from AD as I suggested, you can re-use them.

That goes against what I have read & what Jeff blogs.  From his blog:

******************************
At the client machine:

¦Log in with THAT machine’s LOCAL administrator account.
¦Unjoin the domain into a WORKGROUP
¦Change the name of the computer (this is not an option, you must use a name that is unique and hasn’t been used before on your SBS)
¦Delete or rename the following directory C:\Program Files\Microsoft Windows Small Business Server\Clients
¦Delete the following Registry Key entirely: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\SmallBusinessServer (if it exists)
¦Make sure that the network settings are configured to get an IP address automatically (DHCP enabled)
¦Reboot
******************************

Can't re-use computer names on SBS.  On my first SBS install I tried it and it causes other issues. I am not competely sure about user names.  Not trying to be a d!ck, just asking....

-  Take a copy of the USERS profile and export mail to a pst file (are docs stored on workstation or server?)

The local My Docs are not on the server.  They are local only right now, no syncing.  The way he set things up is he created new folders for all the users.  Not the SBS 'Users Folders' as they should be.  These folders are just a network share with R/P set so only the user can access their folder and no one elses.  

Are you talking about copying the local user profile or the SBS user profle?  Or ae those one on the same?
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Author Comment

by:Bowtie1965
ID: 36719960
Thinking more about the profiles.  I am not real worried about keeping their old profiles other than their mail.  The goal is to start fresh on the client side.  So creating a new profile when they are 'rejoined' is ok as far as I am concerned.

Keep in mind they are using SBS as a basic file server that happens to run Exchange.

Or am I missing something related to profiles?
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