Server 2008 Standard User Accounts

Posted on 2011-10-24
Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I have a server running Server 2008 Standard.  Originally it was used for testing a new software solution.  This machine was never promoted to a domain controller and local user accounts were being used.  Since the server went in to production the number of local user accounts have grown.  In order to provide better management for the growing number of accounts active directory would help considerably.  My question is this: If I were to promote the server to a domain controller what would happen to the local user accounts?  Would they be put into active directory since the local machine becomes the domain?
Question by:aando
    LVL 39

    Accepted Solution

    No, unfortunately they won't be migrated to domain automatically. Their accounts will be created in domain as new users. You may transfer all users data, apllication settings using USMT
    For more details please check this MS article at

    LVL 2

    Expert Comment

    There's a tool for that:
    Good luck! :)
    LVL 22

    Assisted Solution

    by:Brian B (TBone2K)
    Let me just make sure of one thing... You would be creating a new domain? The local users will remain, but there really isn't such a thing as a local user on a domain controller.

    If you need to recreate all the local users as domain accounts, you can't export the current ones. However you might be able to save yourself some work by using a tool such as ldifds or csvde to create your domain users as a batch.

    Author Comment

    I should also mention that this production server serves the role of the Terminal Server and all the accounts would be local to the box.
    LVL 22

    Expert Comment

    by:Brian B (TBone2K)
    I looks like the tools mentioned will move the profile data, if that is important to you, but will not move their actual user accounts.

    Also keep in mind that its a bad idea for your domain controller to be a terminal server. I have done this another way in the past: Since Win2k8 allows for a free virtual machine, make the physical machine the domain controller and then set it up with a virtual machine to run the terminal server. That way you have more control and aren't going to risk either a rogue process bring down you whole network, or a user accidentally corrupting your domain.

    Author Closing Comment

    Local user accounts will not become domain accounts when promoting to a new domain.  The profile data will remain however and can be imported.

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