Cannot Connect to Domain (and don't want to)

By norncabor ·
My neighbor has a problem that he asked me to look at. When he logs onto his Windows XP Home computer, it tells him it can't connect to the domain. That has never happened before and the domain name is something very unique to him - and similar to his password.

He tells me he didn't set up a domain - and he wouldn't know how, either. Is there any way a domain could 'accidentally' be joined?

Is there a way to remove the computer from the domain without being able to log in? The Administrator log on still says it can't log on because it can't connect to the domain. Since it's the home version there isn't the traditional drop down menu to log onto only his computer.

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All Answers

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XP Home cannot connect to the domain

by w2ktechman In reply to Cannot Connect to Domain ...

without reg tweaks or alternate 3rd party SW.

I would boot into safe mode and rename the workgroup

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Changing Workgroup in safe mode

by norncabor In reply to XP Home cannot connect to ...

I should have mentioned that I am booting in Safe Mode with this happens so that I get the Administrator log in option.

I may have to go 3rd party ... does anyone have a suggestion?

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What happens if you

by w2ktechman In reply to Changing Workgroup in saf ...

rename the computer? If it is connected to a domain, it should give an option to join a workgroup instead.
Or, look in the reg for the domain name. What keys do you find?

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XP Home never could

by albert In reply to Cannot Connect to Domain ...

XP Home Edition never could join a domain -- only XP Pro. This is by design so you can't accidentally join a domain with Home Edition. Even so, you still should be able to log on to the local machine. (Unless logon policies prevents that.) But that's XP Pro.

It could be that the machine name was either changed or forgotten. That would go in the same field as domain in the logon dialog box -- if this were XP Pro.

I guess that a corrupt SAM registry file might cause this, though I couldn't say for sure.

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Windows XP Home - Domain and possible Corrupt SAM

by norncabor In reply to XP Home never could

I hadn't thought of a corrupt SAM registry file. I cannot log in at all to edit the registry. Is it possible to do from a boot disc?

The computer was initially hanging at agp440.sys. Using a WinXP install disc, I disabled that service as per a MS Knowledge Base article ( It was after disabling this service that the log on said the domain was not available.
I wouldn't think that procedure would corrupt a SAM registry file, could it?

My neighbor told me she had contacted Verizon about a month ago for Internet problems and she claims Verizon told her to make changes to "something in the control panel" and used the domain name that is now unavailable to "rename something." I'm not sure what Verizon was telling her to do but it sounds unusual.

Any way to edit the registry from a command line?

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Recovery Console

by albert In reply to Windows XP Home - Domain ...

When you log on to the Recovery Console, you can only log on as Administrator.

Do you remember the Administrator password you used to get into Recovery Console? (It may have been blank -- Though, generally accepted as a bad idea to leave it blank.)

Try to log on normally on to his system as Administrator using that password (or no password). If you can get in, then the problem could be that his user account's password got reset. Once in the system, reset his account's password, then try to log on with his account. If it still fails, then his account may have been corrupted. (Which takes us back to SAM.) You can try to do a System Restore to a point before all of this happened.

If you are in as Administrator, that's great because your options are wide open.

*Before going any further. Since you're in the system, you should take the opportunity to backup his most important data before doing any further troubleshooting.*

Good luck

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