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Migrating from a domain to a workgroup

Posted on 2014-09-11
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Last Modified: 2014-09-29
I have a client with Server 2003 domain. They don't want to upgrade from Server 2003, but just want to share file s and resources like printers. What is the best method to migrate the user accounts on their individual workstations to a workgroup?

Thanks in advance.
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Question by:mapalaska2003
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by:rindi
rindi earned 1000 total points
ID: 40318971
You'll have to setup all the accounts on all PC's, and the one acting as a server you'll have to setup the needed shares on. This requires a lot more administration and time. Besides that, M$ desktop OS's have limits to the number of connections you can have open simultaneously, so depending on the number of users you could run into problems.

I'd very much suggest that either they upgrade their server to another m$ server OS, or move to another server OS that gives you the benefit of central management like Active Directory does.

A very good upgrade from an m$ Server OS would be Zentyal Server, which can be setup as an AD server, you can also add modules like groupware which is compatible to exchange etc. It is much easier to setup and manage than m$ servers are, and if you don't need the advantages of their paid versions, where you get support included, you can use the free community edition.

http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=zentyal
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Davis McCarn earned 1000 total points
ID: 40319946
While M$ has pushed heavily the idea of Active Directory and the ease of its management; to my mind, one of the oxymorons of the past 20 years is that "Microsoft Works".
I have always setup the opposite; the "server" is part of the workgroup and the workstations are as independent and self contained as possible.
IF you have more than 10 workstations, you do need a server O/S with adequate CAL's.
Printers are setup as standard TCP/IP ports so the workstations can print if the server goes down.
EMail is hosted by an outside webhosting company with collocated, redundant, fallback servers.

Undoing a domain; though, can be tricky!
1) Add every existing user to the domain admin group.  Logout and back in to get that change.
2) Backup all of their sh*t, just in case and don't forget Outlook!
3) Create a new user that is a domain admin and login to it on every workstation.
4) Remove the PC from the domain and, the first time, use the new user to login.
5) Logout and try the old username (pray to the Bill Gates gods while it does it!)

If you are lucky, everything will be fine; but, expect a few users to hit the fan, possibly deleting all their sh*t.  If that happens, create a new local user, login to it, and restore their stuff.

When I did exactly this at an office in May, two out of eight PC's had the stuff hit their fan; but, since I finished the job, they have not been down at all.
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Author Closing Comment

by:mapalaska2003
ID: 40350490
Thanks guys. I still need to give this a try, but I need to close the question.

Thank you both for your suggestions.
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