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Switch from domain to workgroup

We have 5 domain workstations on Server 2003 LAN.  Ultimately plan to move shared files to NAS, eliminate the server, and run same 5 stations as a workgroup.  How can I preserve user desktops,etc. (locally) once I kill the AD overhead?  Stations are all Win7.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018
Commented:
The domain account is a completely different account from the local account. You can certainly remove from the domain but you will need to set up the local account.

Author

Commented:
I understand the need to create new local accounts on each workstation, as well as the networking changes that need to be made.  What I hope to do is maintain (by copying/transferring/whatever) the existing domain users' desktops to the new local accounts.  I'm assuming the current user profiles are available on the server and could possibly be migrated to the local users  ?
NVITEnd-user support
Commented:
You would unjoin each workstation from the domain. I believe the user profiles i.e. desktop  and files will remain. Of course, as a related factor, you'd also have to work out prior domain specific dependencies, i.e. shortcuts to server based files will no longer be there.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
The profiles will not move to the new local account so far as I know so you would have to move them manually. With the obvious need to reset networking , it may not be worth it.
Will SzymkowskiSenior Solution Architect
Most Valuable Expert 2015
Top Expert 2015
Commented:
This is pretty straightforward. People have mentioned that profiles will need to be created which is true, however you can just backup your profiles i.e desktop,favorites, etc and move them over to the new profiles that get created. A side from that profile settings will not get copied or moved automatically.

Will.

Author

Commented:
If    user1\mydomain   becomes simply  user1  (new local user in new workgroup)   and I log in to the new local account,
wouldn't all of the domain user's files, etc. become unavailable (as they reside on the server?)  Users can currently log in to their domain accounts from any workstation.

Commented:
Businesses running on a NAS were the bane of my existence when I was working as a consultant. If you can avoid it, I would recommend doing it. A Domain and a Server might be a little more maintenance but in my opinion is the far lesser evil versus dealing with NAS.

If you really want to bring across the profile in it's entirety including settings, wallpaper etc. you can use USMT: http://blogs.technet.com/b/nepapfe/archive/2013/04/15/using-usmt-v-5-to-migrate-your-profile-data-apps-amp-profile-settings.aspx
or
http://www.windows-noob.com/forums/index.php?/topic/1096-usmt-4/

Author

Commented:
Unfortunately, the decision to move to the NAS is out of my hands.  I suggested using one to preserve files and allow access to them during a migration to a new server (the old one is obsolete and has some issues).  AD is overkill for this particular outfit, so I proposed a very simple new setup.  The NAS would ultimately become the backup device (in my scenario).  It was decided to skip the new server entirely and run off the NAS forever.  OK, but the devil is in the details, as usual.  I am working on a timeline to move the shared files to the NAS, unjoin the workstations (by simply assigning them to a new workgroup), creating new users on each workstation, and repointing the workstations.  There are some networking headaches.  The server is currently providing DNS and DHCP.  Want to do away with that, but had hoped to have some kind of fileserver other than the NAS for ease of management.  My goal (and the reason for my original question) is to avoid surprises and confused users when things look different to them some Monday morning after the migration.  Additional wrinkles include Outlook .pst files, Quickbooks running on one station, but accessed by all, etc.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
Without a server, QuickBooks will have to run in Host Multi User access with the company file on one machine. It will be slower for sure.

And Outlook PST should always be stored locally. Networked PST storage is always prone to damage.
Once the workstations are moved off the domain and the local user accounts are set up it is quite easy to manually move whatever you want from the old profile to the new one.
Browse in Windows Explorer to C:\Users. You will see here the old profile and the new one.
In Folder Options you will need to Show Hidden Files & Folders.
From there you can copy whatever you need to from the old profile to the new one including things like Desktop, Documents, Favourites, etc.
Quickbooks will not necessarily be any slower at all. It really depends on the speed of your network and PC's. In fact, QuickBooks will be much faster on the PC you have the data on so it would make sense to put it on the main  QuickBook user's PC. You just need to make them aware that if they turn off or restart their PC they will be disconnecting all other QuickBooks users.
As John said, Outlook PST files are best kept on the local PC.
Before you take the PC's off the domain, make sure to go into Outlook and look at where the PST files are stored. This is much easier than searching for them later.

Author

Commented:
The company file is currently on one of the workstations.  All QB installs and relationships were created under domain users.  Hopefully the Outlook issues will be straightforward.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
Host User access on a computer for multiple users instead of Server Manager on a Server has ALWAYS been slower in my decade of QuickBooks networking.  If there is only one QB user, then by all means, local PC is faster.

Author

Commented:
Fortunately, the primary QB user uses the machine the Company file resides on.  Other users needs non-trivial but minimal.
Thanks to everyone for the responses to my question.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
@hvserv  - You are very welcome and I was happy to assist.