A friend has a small business with only 7 computers in a Server 2003-based domain. The server is acting up; and is also rather dated, so he's asked me to move him to a new system with as little expense as possible [emphasis on "small" business :-) ]
This is not a business that's likely to ever grow in terms of employees (small bakery), or computers. Their e-mail, web site, and e-commerce (on-line ordering) are all done via external providers with no ties to the local network. The current server is used purely as a domain controller and file server, and there's no IT staff to administer it, so it's been hands-off for several years (fortunately without issues). What they'd like to do is just move to a Workgroup, with a Win7 Pro (or possibly Win 10) system doing the file serving, and a small NAS (or possibly just a RAID array on that system) set up for automated backups.
My question is what is the best process to move the clients off the domain to a local login without losing any of their current data? Should I simply attach an external drive to each system and copy that client's data before making any changes? The clients are all fairly old systems -- ranging form XP to '7 (nothing newer). Is there anything special I need to do to remove a system from the Domain? ... or is it as simply as just checking Workgroup instead of Domain?
Basically, the plan is to (a) backup all of the data for each of the 7 clients; (b) change all of the workstations to a Workgroup; (c) shut down the server; and (d) set up the new PC with a share for each of the users.
I know a new server with Server 2012 would be a "better" choice ... but cost is a major factor here; and with only 7 users a workgroup should work just fine. Just want to be sure I haven't forgotten anything regarding transitioning off the domain, as I do NOT want to lose any of their data !!