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Is it possible to join a computer to a domain when it is not in the domain network? The user has company VPN connected when logged in to local account. But I am thinking once joined the domain via VPN, it will restart and there is no way to authenticate his domain account with the DC. Is there a way to inject the domain credentials into the computer before I restart it?

The user is stationed geographically separated from our office network. His computer was joined to the domain, configured and shipped to his location for use. Months down the road, the laptop crashed and had to be reformatted.

He currently access some resources via company VPN + remote desktop; while I can control his computer using the likes of TeamViewer and LogMeIn. However, I am struggling to get a mapping of the DFS drive. I have a strong feeling it is to do with permissions but the Windows "Unsepcified Error" shown each time a fail mapping occurs is not helpful at all for debugging and confirmation of problem.

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You should be able to start the VPN prior to user-login, which is an easy workaround for a lot of the issues you get with VPN-connected domain machines. –  HopelessN00b Mar 22 '13 at 12:52

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This is possible and quite simple:

  1. Join the computer to the Domain using the VPN connection
  2. Restart the computer, have the user log in with previous LOCAL credentials.
  3. Start up your VPN again
  4. Have the user "Switch user" (do NOT log out of the local account)
  5. Login to the domain account.

And then your credentials should be cached.

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Finally got the chance to test it. And it worked! –  Jake Mar 25 '13 at 11:24

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