Remove laptop from domain

Paul-AC used Ask the Experts™
I purchased a laptop from company running Windows 7, so I want to remove it from company domain, is there an easy way to do without loosing the user data? (I know I'll do backup first).
Thanks in advance.
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as long as you have a local account login that is in the local administrators group you will be able to browse to all user profiles on the laptop. Even after you remove from the domain the profile will still be on the hard drive to browse.
It's quite simple, just join it to a workgroup (System properties > Advanced system settings > Computer Name > To rename this computer or change its domain or workgroup > Click Change > and select workgroup.

All the files in profile folders will stay unchanged, nad as a local admin, you should be able to take ownership of the files, and allow access to you local admin account.
Once you leave the domain it may be difficult to access the user data.


I look under Manage, there only Administrator account and guest.
it will not let me create another account at all.


I did removed the domain and join workgroup. but when the computer reboot, it comes up administrator account (instead of my name). but I don't know the administrator password.
Blessingly, I was able to roll back my laptop to an earlier time.
Once you leave the domain then you are dependent on the local PC for access.
Here's some things you could try on the Win7 laptop.

If all else fails you could wipe and start over. If you have an image on an exteranl drive that could be realtively painless.
You can also reset the password from a Linux bootable CD as in this article -


Ok, this is what I've done and work so far but still need a little help.
1.  I went into Manage, create the an account with my name (the same account username as under the domain). explain: before, the user name was Domain/Paul. so I created the user Paul give it a password.

2. I also was able to change the administrator pw.

3. remove the company domain.


I can 2 account: administrator and Paul

I can log into both.

but Paul has a different profile now.

I notice that in the c:\users it has both (Domain.Paul and Paul).

the new profile is Paul.Paul and the old profile is Paul

Is there a way to change the preferred profile in the registry, so when I login as Paul it will get the profile C:\users\paul (instead of C:\users\paul.paul)?

KarlSenior Technical Consultant
just copy/move the contents of domain/paul or paul that you want to keep to the new profile paul.paul so things like Documents/Desktop/Downloads etc
The things that you are most likely to miss are My Douments and Desktop.  

Add to that Favorites if you want your IE favorites and even fonts if you have installed extra fonts.
that's My Documents


I didn't change the registry but copy files from old profile to new profile.

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