Can I join a domain that does not exist?

Home Forums Client Operating Systems Windows 2000 Pro, XP Pro Can I join a domain that does not exist?

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    I have been sent a laptop by a customer 250 miles away (they have no VPN) and I have formatted it and reinstalled XP Pro from scratch. When I send it back to them, they will expect it to “just work”. There is already a computer account on their SBS2003R2 server in the default “Computers” OU. I named the laptop with the same computer name as it used to have.

    How can I setup the laptop here at my workshop with the correct login-to-the-domain settings? I can’t go through the normal “join computer to the domain” procedure because on my LAN their domain does not exist. On the laptop’s XP login screen they will expect to see username, password and drop down list with the domain already in it.

    There is another scenario to clarify this odd request: I have to setup 40 Pcs before they go onsite. I can clone one of them 39 times, but I need to setup that first one as if it was already joined to the domain. I can easily create computer accounts for them in readiness on thier server (which is already deployed), but when those 40 PCs are delivered to site, they will need to already be presenting the domain logon dialog.

    Thank you.

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