I am developer. Initially, at my client(employer) premises I had been given the company's desktop computer with Windows XP Pro SP3 joined to corporate Windows Active Directory domain (AD).

This is situation 1):

  • 1) AD computer Windows workstation (or, for the sake of discussion, any Windows workstation operating system ).

Since, for developing, I needed full administration of machine and had rather limited in volume hard disk (of only 20 GB), while having the necessity to setup developing tools ((for ex., Vsial Studio 2008+2010) and servers (for ex., (MS SQL Server 2008 R2, SharePoint Server, etc.), I could not install another Windows. so I had to reformat the hard disk and install fresh

  • 2) workgroup Windows XP Pro SP3 (i.e. Windows XP as part of workgroup, not joined to corporate Windows AD).

This resulted in complications to interoperate and develop, test, integrate against AD.

Suppose, I had a bigger hard drive, or for the sake of future similar situations, **what would have been more correct solution ** in order to interoperate, communicate, develop + test + integrate with corporate AD while having full administration of developing machine (without access to corporate AD administration):

A) to install second (dual boot) workgroup Windows XP (for developing) leaving 1) for accessing AD resources + testing + integration, so having

  • 3) dual-boot machine with 1) + 2)


B) to hack the single 1) Windows installation? to simulate/twist between necessities of isolation+full administration for developing+testing (i.e. having Windows as part of workgroup) vs. necessity of having Windows as part of AD?

Anyway, all setups (configurations), that I could imagine, have the disadvantage of separate booting either into AD machine Windows or into workgroup Windows machine (since it is impossible to have Windows to be both a part of workgroup and AD).

Dual-boot solution 3) also has disadvantage in duplication of quite time-consuming setup, configuration development environment.


  • Q1) What are the options of merging in one Windows the necessity of isolated development and accessing/development/testing in AD environment?

  • Q2) What are the differences in accessing both AD computers and workgroup computers under AD Windows local Administrator vs. under workgroup Windows administrator?

Related questions:



Sagar advised VirtualBox or VMWare player (which were lost in rantings).

Bart Silverstrim disadvised dual-boot and advised "look into virtualization (which is free in most cases). Snapshots and backups more handy, and you can simulate networks or multiple workstation configurations easily".

GregD again FAQed me though I again could not understand by which one of them. GregD wrote:

"You asked both of those questions yesterday and BOTH are currently at -1. So not only are you asking inscrutable questions, but you aren't interested in having them answered??"

Yes, Iam interested. What should I have understood from 0 answers and multiple downvotes?



Thanks once more to my ardent readers for close attention and closing this question! Though what was the point since it had been already marked as answered?

jscott just added an answer in similar subquestion

"Could the laptop user just connect to his domain desktop via RDP?

He may access file shares on the domain desktop, from the non-domain laptop, provided he uses his domain credentials to connect."

Thanks jscott, once more, I love you!


Oooops, I formatted hard disk and re-installed everything from scratch (100 hours of work) and there was an answer how to convert domained Windows machine to non-domained one:

BTW, I reinstalled Windows with approval of company's high management. The problem was that sysadmins did not know how to install Windows in workgroup (they had the burned to CD images with all preset for local AD client setup).

  • 3
    Your answers and questions are being down voted on a consistent basis, you ask questions that are convoluted and duplicates (of others that you have submitted no less) and you've made comments that sounded like you might actually enjoy losing rep. I'm actually wondering if you aren't trolling the site. – GregD Aug 12 '10 at 15:25
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    someone made a cleverbot that can post to SF. :-) – ThatGraemeGuy Aug 12 '10 at 15:28
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    @VG8-your question doesn't make much sense. Maybe English isn't your primary language, but the as asked, this post is very convoluted and...well, I have no idea what exactly you're trying to do and what your situation is. That's why it's being downvoted by people. Can you edit your question to make it more understandable? – Bart Silverstrim Aug 12 '10 at 16:07
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    Honestly...I'm kind of lost. I think. Are you asking how whether you need to dual-boot a computer as workstation or an active directory server to test an application? – Bart Silverstrim Aug 12 '10 at 17:25
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    You sound like you're inviting issues if you start bringing "religion" arguments into this. You're asking how we'd solve the problem...virtualization is free in many cases. It's the first thing I'd look into. Otherwise you might want to look at talking to your IT people for a solution because you're going to have problems with anything that won't let you get into the systems with access your applications need. – Bart Silverstrim Aug 12 '10 at 18:01

His question is really not that hard to understand...

vgv: Can your IT admin not give you administrative control of just your machine? That is how we do it in our office. Each of us has administrative control of our own machines, but we are not allowed to access them from outside the office (no VPN unless you have a company provided laptop - in which case you don't get a desktop anyway).

You don't really need to be in a Workgroup to do development. I'm sure your company can work something out. You just need to explain to your IT person(s) that you need at least some level of administrative access for software development.

As for dual boot, that really does not help you much unless you plan to switch Windows ever time you need to go from developing to sharing some files or accessing something on the network.

The other option you have is to get a bigger hard disk and use a Windows virtual machine that is not connected to the AD. Do your development work on this. It will save you time compared to a dual boot system.

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    How do they expect you to show results if you don't have the access you need? That is a bad vicious cycle. – Sagar Aug 12 '10 at 17:53
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    @vgv 1st comment: If the advice people are giving you doesn't fit into the budget, then find another job. Not to sound cold, but if you cannot get any resources inside a year to be able to do your job, you are in the wrong place. – DanBig Aug 12 '10 at 17:57
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    I'd have to agree with Dan, from the sounds of it. Polish your resume. If you keep getting the same advice over and over and you can only insist that the issue is with the organization not letting you do XYZ despite the advice from other people working in IT of other organizations and businesses directing you that this is the "smart" way to do it, then there's a non-tech problem. – Bart Silverstrim Aug 12 '10 at 18:04
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    If you're trying to say you're developing an app that you need to test against both workgroup and active directory configurations, and you don't have technical access to the system to get the app you're paid to work on in order to do it right, then you have a policy problem. Even if that's the case, using VMWare Player or Virtualbox will let you create multiple workstations that you can configure as you want without screwing up your computer and work as a virtual sandbox for testing. No "religion" involved. There's a reason you keep getting this advice. – Bart Silverstrim Aug 12 '10 at 18:06
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    @vgv8-you said in your first comment to this answer "I constantly read this advises" before continuing on to lament that your federal/state boss doesn't allow such upgrades without hassle, so why are you quoting the keep getting the same advice as if we're pulling it out of thin air? And then tell Sagar that the virtualbox/vmware player suggestion is valuable, etc. despite the fact that I brought it up in the comment originally? And you have the nerve to ask how your posts are confusing and convoluted? Nevermind. Done with you. – Bart Silverstrim Aug 12 '10 at 23:42

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