Moving a Windows 7 system from one domain to another

If you need to move a Windows 7 system from one domain to another and also migrate a user's profile from the old domain to the new one, you can take the steps listed below, which I've used to migrate a Windows 7 Ultimate system from a Windows Small Business Server (SBS) 2003 domain to a Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials domain.

If you need to migrate a user profile, you can run the Windows Easy Transfer wizard first to copy profiles to a location on the system from which you can import them after moving the system to a new domain or to a USB flash drive, etc. that you can use after the transition has been completed. Or you can the ForensiT User Profile Wizard even after you've migrated the system to the new domain to reuse profile information from the old domain.

You can transition the system from the old domain to the new one with the following steps:

  1. Click on the Windws Start button.
  2. Right-click on Computer
  3. In the System window, scroll down to the "Computer name, domain, and workgroup settings" section and click on Change settings.
  4. In the System Properties window, click on the Network ID button.
  5. For the "Select the option that describes your network" window, leave "This computer is part of a business network; I use it to connect to other computers at work" selected and click on Next.
  6. At the "Is your company network on a domain?" window, leave "My company uses a network with a domain" selected and click on Next.
  7. At the next window you will be informed that you need the following:
    • Your user name
    • Your logon password
    • Your user account domain name

    You might also need:

    • Your computer name
    • Your computer domain name

    If you don't have this information, conact your network administrator.

    Click on the Next button at this window.

  8. At the next window, provide an administrator user name and password and the domain name for the new domain then click on Next.

    User name, password, domain name

  9. Provide a computer name for the computer that you are going to join to the domain. The default value that will appear in the Computer name field will be the existing name, but you can change it. Put the new domain name in the Computer domain field.

    Computer and domain name

  10. You will then see a Domain User Name and Password window. Provide the name of an administrator account in the new domain and the password for the domain and put the new domain name in the Domain field. Then click on OK

    DOmain User Name and Password

  11. You will then see a window informing you that "You must restart your computer to apply these changes". Click on Finish.

    Restart Computer

  12. If you have been working on anything in open applications that you haven't yet saved, save anything you need to save and when you get to the "You must restart your computer to apply these changes" window with the Restart Now button, click on that button to reboot the system.

    Restart Now

After Windows reboots, you will see a password field for the account in the old domain that you last used to log into the system. Click on the Switch User button and provide an account name and password that are valid in the new domain.

If you changed the computer name when you joined the system to the new domain, the computer description may still reflect the old name. You can change it also by clicking on the Start button and selecting Control Panel at the Start menu. Then select System and Security and then System. At the System window, in the "Computer name, domain, and workgroup settings" section, click on Change settings. At the System Properties window, you can change the contents of the Computer description field. Then click on OK. You don't need to reboot the system, if you just change the system description.


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Created: Friday January 1, 2016