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Where should computers be listed in Admin tree?

I've been administering my small SBS 2003 network for years.  But at a "sophmoric" (with all that that entails!) level.
When adding a computer to the network, I've been EITHER:
doing so at the Server by right clicking on the Tree on "MyBusiness\computers\SBS computers" and then right clicking and selecting New, etc.
Doing so at the workstation, joining the Domain and providing the Credentials needed to add the computer.
I had thought that the two methods were effectively the same.  

I now notice that 3 computers are listed in the windows described above, but 4 others are listed in   MyDomain.local\Computers.

Does it matter?  I have no group policies or other "stuff" that would affect all (to my knowledge).   When on a workstation, I can "see" all the other workstations regardless or how they were joined.

I realize this is a broad question but ....
3 Solutions
WORKS2011Austin Tech CompanyCommented:
Does it matter?

No especially if you're not using any type of group policy outside of the default domain policy. You can move them so they are in one if you wish, do this in active directory.

FYI by default SBS2003 places them under the MyDomain.local / Computers container.
Rob WilliamsCommented:
Actually if you properly join the domain SBS will place them in the following OU:

With SBS you should create the computer account in the SBS "Server management" console under computers.  Then you join the domain using a web browser and  http://SBSname/connectcomputer.

No doing so bypasses MANY SBS features.  Please see the following article by Susan Bradley:
So exactly "what" does connect computer do anyway?
Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
To add to what Rob stated above, overall you need to use the SBS Management Console for ALL management and configuration of your server.  

Overall Best Practices for managing your SBS 2003 can be found here:

Since this server has been around quite awhile, you will no doubt be wanting to upgrade your systems in the near future.  In order to achieve a successful migration at that time, it will be necessary for your current server's configuration to be in top shape.  You can check the rest of your configuration by using the SBS Best Practices Analyzer (found at http://sbsbpa.com).

When you eventually do upgrade your systems, be sure you follow all of the documentation as it is a somewhat complex process and failure to do even one step in the process can cause you to spend lots of unnecessary time and effort trying to get things working (not to mention lost productivity in your office).


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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
I don't understand at all why you selected WORKS2011's response as a correct solution when, in fact, it is definitely not correct.  Not only does it matter how you join a workstation to an SBS 2003 domain, the default location which he specified is incorrect as well.

In the future, please be sure to ONLY select answers which are correct, there is no need to give points just for participating -- this is a violation of EE's membership guidelines.


FrittersAuthor Commented:
I "understand" your concern.  Unfortunately, I wouldn't (and didn't) recognize what you're telling me about WORKS2011's response.  He said I could move them and found that I could drag & drop them into the Doamin.local\MyBusiness\Computers\SBScomputers that RobWill told me.  

I rely on you experts to check each other's comments.  Remember, if I knew what the right answer was (or could recognize a wrong one) I wouldn't be posting the question to begin with.

Are you or RobWill recommending that I delete each computer that I dragged from local.computer container and reinstall thru the SBS Management Console?  I take it from both your comments that there IS a difference in how a computer joins a domain.
Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
RobWill did actually counter what WORKS2011 said.  He not only provided the correct default location that SBS uses (Doamin.local\MyBusiness\Computers\SBScomputers) but he also provided a good resource of why it is important to use the connectcomputer method.

The question of whether or not to rejoin the workstations to the network is dependent on whether or not there is anything currently not working correctly for those computers that you moved.  For instance, if a user was to attempt to connect to one of them via Remote Web Workplace, it most likely wouldn't connect.  However, if they aren't using that feature then it doesn't make sense to stir things up.

As I suggested in my comment above, I would assume that this network has been in place for a number of years now and you really don't need to make any wholesale changes to it if things are working as you expect --- with the exception of getting it in shape for an eventual migration -- as I would assume that your current server is nearing the end of its life cycle.  

When you do eventually migrate, workstations which are NOT in the correct OU (Doamin.local\MyBusiness\Computers\SBScomputers) will not migrate correctly.  But they only need to be in the correct OU, they do not need to have any of the other configuration items which connectcomputer sets.

If you do decide to rejoin them to your network through connectcomputer, please be sure to follow all the steps I've outlined here:  http://sbsurl.com/rejoin

Rob WilliamsCommented:
I find those that have never properly configured an SBS, or joined the domain correctly, don't see a problem, as they have no idea of what they are missing.  A properly configured SBS domain doesn't really need an IT admin to do much of anything other than maintenance.  Users could join the domain and have most features and services completetly configured for them automatically; local profile moved, redirected my documents configured, printers added, applications installed, home page set and company links added, faxing configured, remote access enabled and configured, and so much more.  Well worth looking into the advantages if you have a chance.

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