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Convert from Windows Domain to Workgroup

Posted on 2014-04-08
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Last Modified: 2015-06-05
A long time ago, I created a Windows Domain in my home office as a learning aid and business tool. I used Windows Server 2003.

Over time, the network has spread to the rest of the house and has become more trouble than it is worth! The server is old, the Windows version is old, I don't have enough licences to connect everything, plus other reasons such as if the server has a problem it affects everyone / thing else on the network (because it is running DNS).

I would like to "undo" the domain and convert to a simple (?) workgroup. I have a router that can provide DHCP, although I would probably want to assign IP addresses to each device so I can keep certain things grouped and then control their Internet access ;-)

I would still like to keep the server, but just as another computer on the network.

The server is currently running Exchange, which will need to stay at first, but it will either be replaced with an IMAP solution or hosted Exchange.

What do I need to do in order to achieve the above?
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Question by:ascendinternet
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Kimputer earned 250 total points
ID: 39986006
You can't do much wrong here, as it's not business critical anyway.
I would add a seperate local admin account on all client PC just to be sure.
All clients, remove from domain, join workgroup. Use fixed IP or DHCP, whatever you prefer.
If Windows Server won't be used, disable DHCP, let modem take over (or keep using fixed IP, if you have no reservation control in the modem).
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by:Tony Giangreco
Tony Giangreco earned 250 total points
ID: 39986025
The final step to remove the domain (If you really want to do that) is to right click My Computer, select properties, click Change settings for the computer name, type in a name for the work group name and click IK, you will be prompted to enter the domain admin user name and pw.

You may need to extract all email out of exchange and all documents that may be in a domain user's profile before doing this.
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by:ascendinternet
ID: 39986051
@TG-TIS - that's a good point ... is access to Exchange Email (etc) based on domain login IDs? If so, I need to move / sort the email issue first.

We only really use it for email, plus a few notes and calendar items. Of course, the mailboxes are HUGE!
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