I'm a small business owner, I did have a server in my office but recently de-commissioned it and paid an IT company to come and do whatever was needed to remove the computers from its control. They have now done this, but it appears the domain is still pointing to it as on each computer next to the processor, memory etc stats it still says 'five star.local' and has the name the computer was under the domain.

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I don't really know what that means or the potential consequences of it. Can anyone here shed any light? I mainly want to know will it cause any issues in the future?

  • Can you provide a little bit more details and perhaps a screenshot? The IT company removed a server (did they replace it with something?) was it your only server? Was it the domain controller for your site?
    – Abraxas
    Jun 16, 2015 at 3:30
  • Thanks for replying Abraxas :) The server was turned off and we moved to cloud systems for our needs. Intermedia for email hosting, Dropbox for file storage etc. Yes it was our only server. When you say was it the controller for our site do you mean website? No, websites are hosted elsewhere. It did used to host our emails and files on shared drives. I'll get a screenshot.
    – Lauren
    Jun 16, 2015 at 8:51
  • Here's a photo- dropbox.com/s/amldln8ysnlihux/IMG_2626%20%281%29.JPG?dl=0
    – Lauren
    Jun 16, 2015 at 8:55
  • What have you attempted so far? Right click on My Computer and select Properties. In the resulting window, does it show a domain listed under Computer name, domain, and workgroup settings?
    – CharlieRB
    Jun 16, 2015 at 11:49
  • Thanks for replying CharlieRB. We haven't attempted anything ourselves- we engaged an IT company with instructions of 'decommissioning the server and removing all computers from the server so they operate independently'. They came, the did stuff, they left, they sent invoice. Then we noticed this. They are saying that the computers showing this is fine. We don't understand enough about servers etc to know whether this is correct, so wanted a 2nd opinion from IT people who do :)
    – Lauren
    Jun 17, 2015 at 0:04

2 Answers 2


The company who removed the server should really have informed you about what happens when a domain-joined computer has no DC to contact and some of the things you'll notice you can or can no longer do since the computer is still part of a domain...

It shouldn't harm anything by keeping the machine as part of a domain, however, it makes no sense to keep it on a domain if you have no domain controller to manage the trust between your computer, the DC and the other computers on your domain.

It would be easier to remove the computer from the domain and you will then have a standalone machine as you originally purchased. You will also lose any Group Policy settings and security groups that the domain provided.

To remove the computer from the domain all you need is a local administrator username and password to put the computer back into a Workgroup.

  1. Click Start
  2. Right click Computer
  3. Click Properties
  4. Under Computer name, domain, and workgroup settings click Change settings - you will need to have the local Administrator account details to hand
  5. A new window will open with some tabs - Click the first tab Computer Name
  6. Click Change... to rename this computer or change its domain or workgroup
  7. Select the Workgroup radio button
  8. Enter a workgroup name - you will need to re-use this on the other computers
  9. Click OK
  10. You may be asked to provide local Administrator account details again
  11. When the computer is joined to the new workgroup you will be asked to restart your computer - do so as this is crucial.
  12. Repeat for each computer on your LAN

To then be able to share files on your new workgroup - especially with Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 and 10 - you should create a HomeGroup where this will allow you to share files if you keep them on your LAN. You have cloud storage so if this works well for you then keep using this.

  • 6
    Re Step 10: You will actually be asked to provide domain administrator credentials, because Windows will try to contact the domain server and remove the computer from Active Directory. However, if you just enter the computername\localadmin credentials, it will not complain and just move the client out of the domain. Any domain user accounts that have settings or documents that you want preserved should have been migrated to local accounts, see shofkom.com/2009/03/14/… for how do to this.
    – cdonner
    Nov 1, 2016 at 14:19

you forgot step 0... Make sure you have a local administrator account and password (and not use the "old" domain admin account)

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