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Monthly Archives: May 2011

Connecting a computer to a Domain

Installing a domain name server (DNS) and active directory are the first step in making the work network.

I got the help for configuring the DNS and AD through videos present in my previous blog “DNS Installation & Setup”.

However I didn’t get to connect the client computer to domain that easily.

Microsoft pages guided me to use the Computer Name/Domain Changes dialog to get connected to the Domain.

But I ended up with the exception, “Network path was not found”. I found that the reason for this was that I didn’t provide the DNS server’s IP address on the client machine. By following the Step 1 below, I was able to get through it.

After completing the issues, I found that the connecting a computer to a domain is a three step process.


Step 1: Preparing the client to connect to the domain

1. Click on Start button, select Control Panel. Click on Network and Sharing Centre.

2. On the left pane of Network and Sharing Centre, select the Change adapter settings to open Network Connection window.

3. The Network Connection window would contain the network connections configured in the client system.

4. Right click on the Local Area Connection which is actively connected and select Properties.

5. In the network adapter Properties, select the Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and select Properties.

6. In the Internet Protocol Version 4 properties, select Use the following DNS server addresses.

7. In the Preferred DNS server, provide the IP address of the DNS server. The IP address of the DNS server can be found by executing the ipconfig /all in the server’s command prompt.


8. Select Ok twice to close the dialogs. No need for restart.


Step 2: Change your computer name (Optional)

Its always preferred to change the name of the computer before joining it to the Domain, because the default name of the computer may look a little odd. However this step is optional if we are comfortable with the existing name.

Follow the instructions on the Microsoft’s page, Change your computer name to do this. You would be requested to restart the computer to have the change take place.


Step 3: Connect the client to the Domain

1. Use the Microsoft page Connect your computer to a domain to open up Computer Name/Domain Changes dialog box.

2. In the Member of group box, select the Domain and provide the domain name. In my case 8FingerGenie.

3. On selecting Ok, it would ask for the user name and password of the domain. Use the domain server’s Administrator or equivalent credential here. I used the Administrator and its password. Before clicking Ok, ensure that the domain name you have provided is displayed under the password text box, like Domain: 8FingerGenie.

4. Once the credentials are accepted, you would be prompted with a confirmation dialog as below.


5. Clicking Ok here would display another dialog like this. This instructs us to restart the computer.


6. Once the machine is restarted, it is connected to the DNS. We can find the computer’s name added to Active Directory of the AD-DS server. In my case, the new computer’s name is Perseus and I could find that the active directory was displaying that as below.