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I have Windows 7 Ultimate and some few other XP Pro machines. I would like to setup Domain Controller in some sort of way, (Without having a Server OS I know this is a long shot ) so that my XP machines can join the domain.

I am looking for workarounds or any other feasible method without me having to spend money on additional software (but if its little I would not mind much)

I suppose many power users here would have done this through a hack or some third party software. Thanks

EDIT: What I would like to achieve is, first of all, centralised users accounts management. This would be more useful, because I run certain software like SVN which can take advantage of AD. And Next I would surely love to have Group Policy management etc. (This is a nice to have)

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closed as not a real question by Jason Berg, Oskar Duveborn, Zypher, John Gardeniers, RobM Sep 20 '10 at 5:53

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

This is actually a small pet-peeve of mine - centralized user accounts makes a lot of sense in a modern computerized home, but not even Windows Home Server uses it - it makes no sense ^^ – Oskar Duveborn Sep 17 '10 at 7:36
I'd suggest you add more detail to your question in order to get better quality answers, specifically what you are trying to achieve. Do you just want centralised user accounts? Or do you want to play around with a proper Active Directory environment, i.e. Group Policies, Software Deployment, etc.? – ThatGraemeGuy Sep 17 '10 at 13:45
@Graeme, I have edited the question – user54538 Sep 20 '10 at 5:37

There's no hack or third party software. If you want an Active Directory environment, you need a server edition of Windows.

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you need windows server to setup a domain controller in Windows at least. – aduljr Sep 17 '10 at 7:29
@aduljr, isn't that what Graeme just said? – Wesley Sep 17 '10 at 7:33
yes, tired answer. I did make a suggestion to use linux – aduljr Sep 17 '10 at 7:51

The entire Active Directory structure isn't exactly something that you can "hack". If you want, you can set up an open source directory service, but I doubt that's your intent. Perhaps 389 Directory Server or OpenLDAP? Of course, there's that little annoyanace factor of not having GPOs to play with.

If you want to use Active Directory for test purposes you can always get a trial of Windows Server. Just don't use it for any production purposes, of course.

You can make a poor man's AD with something like the pstools suite. PSExec can be used and abused in so many ways.

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Now you could take a crack at linux and setup samba as a domain controller or tale look at a appliance like this one.

which may suit your needs. It just runs on a VM.

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