Added an XP computer to workgroup. Now I can’t rejoin our no-longer-existant domain.


  • Break the second most important computer in the office.      CHECK
  • Make it all better.    CHECK

My sysadmin wanna be self made a big mistake today. To sum it up:

  • 2004, we got a server and joined our PCs to its domain “server1”
  • 2008, Rebuilt server with the domain “server2”
  • 2008-2014, Didn’t want to loose any setting for “User1” on computer “XP1”, so we kept logging in as Server1/User1
  • 2014, Tried to solve networking issues by connecting XP1 to WORKGROUP.
  • 2014, Discovered that workgroup connected computers CANNOT log in to a domain!
  • 2014, Could not rejoin the “server1” domain since we no longer have that server.
  • 2014, Could not even login to XP1 . The local machine usernames and passwords were lost long before I started working here.


I can not guarantee that my way was the best way, but it worked and in the end that is what matters.


  • Working, internet connected computer that can burn CDs. (USB key should work too)
  • Freshly broken, internet connected WindowsXP Pro computer
  • 2 blank CDs
  • External harddrive (or other storage device)
  • (( Original server was Win2k3 SBS – Windows 2003 Small Business Server. Not that it really matters ))

Backups First!

Our first step was to backup important files from our computer. Just in case something goes wrong. For this, I created a bootalbe KASPERSKY antivirus disk and ran it in GUI mode. (where it works kinda like Windows xp)

  • Boot into Kaspersky

Password Reset

Trinity Rescue


Migrate over old profile

Create new user

use ForensIt


((( this is a draft. the most important notes are here but I will add more details when I get time. ))