I have a Windows 2008 Server Standard x64 machine that I need to install SQL Server 2008 R2 Standard on then ship it to a different site where it will be joined to a Active Directory domain.

The server is now using the default "WORKGROUP" workgroup and i need to know if i can install SQL Server on it then ship it to the other site where it will be joined to the domain without issues.

What are the possible problems that could happen? are there any workarounds?


You should be able to. Here are some points:

  • Double check with your client whether or not they have any SQL Server configuration policies set in AD that might interfere with your installation
  • You'll need to change service accounts for SQL services if you want to run them in the context of domain accounts.
  • Make sure you install SQL in mixed authentication mode
  • Obviously none of the domain users / groups will be available to SQL until joined to the domain at which point they'll need to be manually added

I'm not a replication expert, so there might be some things to consider there if you plan on using replication.

  • i'm a complete SQL newbie, so could you tell me where i should manually add those domain users to the server? p.s I will have remote access to the server after it's shipped to the remote site. – Zero Subnet Mar 7 '11 at 15:34
  • @Zero: After the machine is joined to the domain you would open up SQL Server Management Studio, expand Security, right-click on Logins and do New Login. Or use the T-SQL commands for doing so. Then you would also need to add them to any databases as appropriate. – squillman Mar 7 '11 at 16:17

The first thing that comes to mind is the service account. If you are running the SQL service as a local user you may want to change this to being a domain user account.

You may also want to create logins for domain users to use the SQL server.

Finally if you are going to change the servers name you will need to follow this steps in this article to ensure this is changed in SQL.

  • luckily no change in server name will happen. If i use mixed authentication, wouldn't the already existing domain users be able to use the SQL server? – Zero Subnet Mar 7 '11 at 15:31
  • @zero yes if you used mixed mode the domain users can use the SQL logins to get access. – Sam Cogan Mar 7 '11 at 15:33

Do you plan to use the SQL Server just as a database engine? If yes, then it should be not be an issue.

All you may have to do is add the domain user to the SysAdmin group of SQL Server after the machine is added to the domain for management using that user. Alos consider giving access to the the required domain users to the SQL Server.

  • yes it will only be a database engine for a client application that will be installed on users' desktops – Zero Subnet Mar 7 '11 at 15:54

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