Windows XP Home Accessing data on a Domain Server

by Johannes Helmig [Published on 2 Dec. 2001 / Last Updated on 2 Dec. 2001]

You should have checked first your Network adapter, then you should verify / configure the
network setup
to make sure that your network is working properly.

Unlike Windows XP Professional, Windows XP Home Edition is NOT able to join a Domain:
(no possibility to define the Domain name in the Properties of your XP Home Edition system )

But you can still access data on a Windows NT4 or Windows 2000 Domain server :

In the Control-Panel, select the
System icon:

(or right-click "My Computer" on the desktop
and select Properties)

Select the tab : Computer Name

Make sure, that the name of the
Workgroup is defined EXACTLY
the same as your Domain name
(not the name of the Domain Server ! )

Since you are NOT able to join the domain , which handles the usernames (and passwords)
for all systems on the network in a central database on the Domain server
, you have now to
make sure, that you make the log on to your Windows XP Home system with a Username
and password, which is defined IDENTICALLY in the User Management on the domain-server.

Then use "My Network places",
which should show the shared
resources on the network
if no Shares are displayed,
then use
"View Workgroup Computers",
it should display the Domain Server.

If you try to access a share on the Domain server and either the Username and/or the password
does NOT match, then you will be presented with a prompt, to define a username (with password),
which is valid on the Domain server :

You can also access the shares
on the Domain server via the
Windows Explorer.

Summary :
Using Windows XP Home Edition instead of Windows XP Professional in a Domain Server
environment is a trade-off :

+Windows XP Home Edition is Less expensive than Windows XP Professional
-Windows XP Home can NOT join the Domain to benefit from the centralized Userdatabase,
so you will have to manually make sure that the username and password will be the same on
both your XP Home system and in the Domain User Management ( which can cause some
hassle, when your Domain Administrator is enforcing a change of password every x weeks)
-No execution of Login script, when accessing the Domain server

See Also

The Author — Johannes Helmig

Dr.Johannes Helmig is working as Director, Technical Knowledge Management in the Belgium office of Gerber Technology where he is involved in Customer Service and internal training, with special interest in Networking.


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