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Join a domain

Updated: January 21, 2005

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

To join a domain

  1. Open System in Control Panel.

  2. On the Computer Name tab, click Change.

  3. Under Member of, click Domain, type the name of the domain you want to join, and then click OK.

    You will be prompted to provide a user name and user password to join the computer to the domain.

  4. Click OK to close the System properties dialog box.

    You will be prompted to restart your computer to apply your changes.

Notes

  • To perform this procedure, you must be a member of the Administrators group on the local computer, or you must have been delegated the appropriate authority. If the computer is joined to a domain, members of the Domain Admins group might be able to perform this procedure. As a security best practice, consider using Run as to perform this procedure.

  • To open System, click Start, click Control Panel, and then double-click System.

  • To open System from a command line as an administrator, type:

    runas /user: computername \Administrator "rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL sysdm.cpl"



  • To join the computer to an Active Directory domain, you must have permissions to create a computer account or to join the computer to an account pre-created by the administrator.

    For more information about Active Directory, or about domains in Active Directory, see Related Topics.

  • Computers that are domain controllers must be demoted before their domain membership can be changed.

  • On Windows XP Professional, you can also use the Network Identification Wizard to join a domain. To use the wizard, perform Step 1 above. On the Computer Name tab, click Network ID, and follow the instructions on your screen. You cannot join computers running Windows XP Home Edition to a domain.

  • If your computer does not have TCP/IP networking installed, or it has other networking protocols installed (without TCP/IP), the computer name must be in uppercase 15 or fewer bytes long (depending on which characters are used and the language set as the Language for non-Unicode programs in Regional and Language Options in Control Panel). For more information about how to set the language for non-Unicode programs, see Related Topics.

  • If your computer has TCP/IP networking installed, the computer name can be up to 63 bytes long (depending on which characters are used and the language set as the Language for non-Unicode programs in Regional and Language Options in Control Panel) but should only contain the numbers 0-9, the letters A-Z and a-z, and hyphens. You can use other characters, but doing so might prevent other users from finding your computer on the network. If your network is using a Microsoft DNS server, you can use any characters except periods. For more information about how to set the language for non-Unicode programs, see Related Topics.

  • Microsoft recommends using computer names that are shorter than 16 bytes. If you want to specify a computer name that is longer than 15 bytes and you want to join your computer to a domain that includes Windows 2000 domain controllers, the domain administrator should enable longer names in the computer account of the Active Directory domain.

  • If you rename your computer or workgroup when it is disconnected from the network, duplicate computer names might result. Check with your network administrator before renaming your computer.

Information about functional differences

  • Your server might function differently based on the version and edition of the operating system that is installed, your account permissions, and your menu settings. For more information, see Viewing Help on the Web.

See Also

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