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Rejoin Windows Workstation to Small Business Server 2003 Domain

I was recently working in a clients office where they have very little IT Support and they had a new member of staff on board without a PC. The person that setup the IT infrastructure at the beginning had left a hard drive with an image and a CD to copy the image to any new machine that was added to the network. Sounds simple so I said I would help out. It took some time but eventually the image copied across and I disconnected the slave drive and booted the machine. I joined the machine to the SBS2003 domain and got a warning about another machine on the network with the same name(oops, the image had been built with a machine name currently in use!). Next thing I know is that the user of the first machine using this name can no longer login to the network and now the new machine can’t because of the clashing workstation names. After a lot of head scratching and some reading of various forum posts on similar topics it became apparent that the best solution was to remove both machines from the domain, rename them and rejoin them to the domain., and here is how I did it.

  1. Remove the workstation from the domain by moving it to a workrgoup, no reboot required although it does ask you to
  2. Change the machine name to something new and unique
  3. Login to SBS2003 and remove the workstation from Active Directory
  4. Rejoin the workstation to the domain
  5. Reeboot

Once the machines had rebooted I was able to successfully log into the domain via both workstations. Hopefully this is of some help to others, I think I haveĀ coveredĀ all of the steps I performed however I do not claim to be a Small Business Server expert I just know what I need to know and try and learn it if I don’t so would be interested to hear of other solutions to this problem in case it crops up again.

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