We have a small server with Win Server 2008 in our office. It is in use for a long time now. I'm new here, and there is no IT guy, but only some IT company that does business for us when we need them.

When I wanted to add new user for login, I saw there is no active directory service installed and configured. But, still, our local computers logon with domain\user.

How is this possible?


  • It could be that a workgroup is configured instead of a domain. – Itai Ganot Jun 25 '15 at 11:00
  • @Itai I think that may be the case. But how are we able to login then? How to create other users? – bosniamaj Jun 25 '15 at 11:01

When working with a workgroup rather than a domain setup, you will have to make sure that each user is added on each machine in the workgroup, or alternatively create one general user, add it to each computer and use it, otherwise a user on a certain machine will not be recognized by another machine unless the user is also added there.

I believe you are able to login using the domain\user method because in the past the computer has been joined to a domain which may no longer exist. While the computer was a member of that domain, an account has been created using the logon name of the domain and that is why you can keep loggin into the computer using the "domain" account locally.

In order to create new users:

Start -> run -> compmgmt.msc , browse to Local users and groups and add the user there.

Edit: By the way, if you have the relevant license for domain services, it's a relatively easy procedure... check this guide to learn how to promote your windows server to a domain controller.

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  • Thank you, sir. I think that is the case here. Server was reinstalled and not recounfigured to use domain, but local computers have domain/user logon... So, now we should configure it all again in order to use domain again. I was afraid to start new domain on server, I thought I could make some things to stop working, and we have our accounting software database on that machine... – bosniamaj Jun 25 '15 at 11:14
  • Will that affect everyone's access to shared folder, etc. Are we going to have to reconfigure every local machine, to enable them to logon to newly promoted domain controller? – bosniamaj Jun 25 '15 at 11:28
  • Promoting the server to a domain controller should not affect your databases, but it would smart to migrate the databases to a designated server. – Itai Ganot Jun 25 '15 at 11:29
  • Well, if and when you will decide to promote your server to a domain controller, you will have to create domain users for each one of the users and you may want to copy the local profile of each user to the domain's profile (locally on each machine). – Itai Ganot Jun 25 '15 at 11:49
  • Thanks again. I promoted the server as domain controller, and assigned user profiles to machines. I found Profile Migration wizard that helped a lot with migrating, so thing are all right now :) – bosniamaj Jun 29 '15 at 6:14

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