I have a new laptop that I intend to use both at home and at work. I happen to have a windows server setup with active directory at home, and I want to join the laptop to both domains. Is this possible?

Result: I've decided to join it to the work domain. I definitely need to be able to log in to windows using my account on that domain at times, while the home network is much simpler (mainly just file/print sharing, though there is more to it). I think I can manage at home by manually authenticating to the needed resources, and perhaps even script some of that away.

  • I always thought one could always provide his domain credentials when accessing a remote service, no matter if the local system was on it or not. :| – grawity Mar 19 '10 at 20:27
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    @grawity - Depends on the service. I think it's very difficult to connect to an MS SQL server using Windows Auth if you're not logged into a trusted domain. I don't think ODBC or SSMS let you put in alternate credentials when you specify Windows Auth. – mfinni Mar 19 '10 at 21:08

Short answer: no.

Since you're talking about work and home domains, I don't imagine you can set up a trust between them. OTOH, if you're even allowed to join a personal PC to the domain at work, maybe it's a small, informal company?

Workarounds: Join the home domain and just map individual resources and give your work credential, or maybe set up a VM on the laptop that's joined to the work domain.

Edit: while looking into this a bit more (because it's something a few of our remote users have asked about), I came across Globesoft MultiNetwork Manager, which says it can join one computer to two domains and switch easily between them.

  • AD can be nasty at times, I would vote for the VM route for work at that point. – Urda Mar 19 '10 at 17:20
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    I'm the sysadmin at work. So while my policy says "don't join home computers to the domain", it's my policy after all, and the main reasoning behind that policy is that I can't enforce company standards like virus protection to the home pcs, standards which in this case have been accomplished to the, ah, sysadmin's satisfaction. – Joel Coel Mar 19 '10 at 17:45
  • If it comes to a VM, I think I might prefer an old-fashioned dual-boot scenario. – Joel Coel Mar 19 '10 at 17:46
  • Or you could do a site-to-site VPN (if allowed by your administrator) and set up a domain trust (if allowed by your administrator)?... now ive seen.. you are the sys admin, so you could do it this way... – Nicolas Marengo Mar 19 '10 at 17:47
  • That MultiNetwork Manager software says it can enforce policies like anti-virus. I'm going to be looking at it for a couple of remote staff who spend most of their time connected to someone else's network (where they're sharing space) but sometimes come into ours. – Ward - Reinstate Monica Mar 19 '10 at 17:49

Easiest way to handle this is to have your machine's "workgroup" be the same as the work domain... then have a UID on the local "workgroups" other machines the same as the uid for your work uid... then keep the passwords in sync... windows tries to 1st connect via the current uid/pwd (w/o the domain prefix), then if it doesn't authenticate, it prompts you... been years and years since I studied that, but been using it all along since winnt4

  • I'm not inclined to change the name of my home domain at this time, but this looks really cool (+1) and I might try it some time. – Joel Coel Jan 7 '12 at 2:07

You can partition your hard drive and have the machine dual boot into separate OS's. One for home one for work. That is about the only way.


You can add the computer in multiple domains , 1.login as local user and join the computer with your 1st Domain. 2.Again log off from the domain and login with local admin --> join the 2nd domain. Now you can see the 2 domains in the drop down at the user login.

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    This is just plain wrong. – Massimo Sep 24 '14 at 21:22

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