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How to join a client PC to WS2012E R2 that's already a member of another enterprise domain using the skip domain join registry entry? RRS feed

  • Question

  • In WSE12 R1 you can install the connector application on a Windows 7 PC that has already been joined to a corporate domain using the skip domain registry key:

    reg add "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Server\ClientDeployment" /v SkipDomainJoin /t REG_DWORD /d 1

    Upon doing so, the client PC is then able to perform client backups to the WSE12 R1 server but remains a member of the original corporate domain.  This is no longer possible when using this registry key when installing the Windows Server 2012 Essentials R2 connector

    Is anyone aware of a way to install the WSE12 R2 connector and skip domain join without first leaving the corporate domain? 

    I am avoiding moving to WSE12 R2 until I can figure out a way to accomplish this.

    • Edited by miles267 Wednesday, January 22, 2014 6:49 PM fixed formatting
    • Changed type Andy QiModerator Friday, January 24, 2014 10:47 AM
    Wednesday, January 22, 2014 6:47 PM

Answers

  • Great news.  Appears a recent MS KB Update to Windows Server 2012 R2 has addressed this issue.  Now, using the conventional skip domain registry hack, this is now an option.  I've tested on multiple Windows 7 x64 PCs.

    Unfortunately I can't identify specifically which KB has addressed this issue, my WS2012E-R2 box is fully patched to current and has since allowed alternate domain client members to successfully backup to my R2 server which meets my specific requirements.

    Thank you Microsoft!

    • Marked as answer by miles267 Tuesday, February 25, 2014 7:53 PM
    Tuesday, February 25, 2014 7:53 PM

All replies

  • Hi,

    Regarding the current issue, please refer to the following article and similar thread to see if they could work.

    How to make Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials client connector install behave just like Windows Home Server

    http://www.tinkertry.com/how-to-make-windows-server-2012-r2-essentials-client-connector-install-behave-just-like-windows-home-server/

    R2 client skip domain connector install - fails Win 7

    http://homeservershow.com/forums/index.php?/topic/6211-r2-client-skip-domain-connector-install-fails-win-7/

    Best Regards,

    Andy Qi


    Andy Qi
    TechNet Community Support

    Friday, January 24, 2014 10:47 AM
    Moderator
  • Both of the links above are for the same registry entry "fix."  While this works for Windows Server 2012 Essentials, it no longer works for Windows Server 2012 Essentials R2 when the client PC on which the connector is being installed is already joined to another corporate domain.

    Was hoping the Microsoft developer experts would have a workaround for this.

    Friday, January 24, 2014 2:26 PM
  • Those are the R2 instructions.  So how do they not work for you?  I'm confused?

    Unfortunately TechNet isn't coming back, sorry folks :-(

    Tuesday, January 28, 2014 8:09 PM
  • Those are the R2 instructions.  So how do they not work for you?  I'm confused?

    Unfortunately TechNet isn't coming back, sorry folks :-(

    Please refer to the explanation in the previous post from 1/24/14.  This registry workaround documented for R2 is identical to that of the R1 release.  However, in the case of WSE12R2, the client connector installer has been modified to first check whether the client is a member of an existing domain before proceeding.  This check does not occur w/ the R1 connector installer.

    Again, hoping MS Dev might know of perhaps an additional registry entry that can be added to ignore the R2 connector installer check so it doesn't care that the client already has an existing domain membership (since you're intent is to skip the domain join altogether).

    Tuesday, January 28, 2014 9:35 PM
  • I noticed this was incorrectly marked as an ANSWER. Although it wasn't a resolution, I recognize the connector install behavior is different in R1 vs R2. If it would be possible to ask the developers to include the following functionality in a future Essentials R2 Update, we'd appreciate it. During client connector install, give user the option via radio button: 1.) install connector join domain, enable client PC backup 2.) install connector, join domain only, no client PC backup 3.) install connector, do not join domain, enable client PC backup Option #3 would satisfy this request and negate the need for unauthorized registry hacks. Thank you.
    Sunday, February 9, 2014 4:52 PM
  • Confused.

    So, the registry key works - except - if the machine is already joined to another domain.

    What happens in that event? The connector does not install, or it moves it to the Essentials domain?


    Robert Pearman SBS MVP
    itauthority.co.uk | Title(Required)
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    Friday, February 14, 2014 10:54 PM
    Moderator
  • Confused.

    So, the registry key works - except - if the machine is already joined to another domain.

    What happens in that event? The connector does not install, or it moves it to the Essentials domain?


    Robert Pearman SBS MVP
    itauthority.co.uk | Title(Required)
    Facebook | Twitter | Linked in | Google+


    The connector installer will fail and insist the client PC first be removed from the domain. The connector will not install at all. Whereas the same skip domain registry hack works with the R1 connector regardless of whether the client is already joined to another domain.
    Saturday, February 15, 2014 1:16 AM
  • Hi, Miles267

    Actually the register key solution you mentioned should just work well in Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials. Please provide more details about the repro steps so we can understand your case more clearly.

    Thanks,

    Guang

    Tuesday, February 18, 2014 4:07 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi Guang,

    Thank you very much for your response.

    GOAL: I have multiple laptop PCs that are members of the domain CORPORATE - we'll call one PC-1.  The objective is to backup PC-1 to the Windows Server 2012 Essentials R2 server WITHOUT having to change their domain membership from CORPORATE to HOME using the skip domain registry key.

    SCENARIO A - Windows Server 2012 Essentials - SUCCESSFUL:  have a Windows Server 2012 Essentials server (SERVER) that is a domain controller for domain HOME.

    On PC-1, if I:

    1.) Open command prompt with admin access and enter: reg add "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Server\ClientDeployment" /v SkipDomainJoin /t REG_DWORD /d 1

    2.) Connect to http://SERVER/connect and install the connector

    3.) The connector successfully installs on PC-1.  PC-1 remains a member of domain CORPORATE.  It is NOT changed to the HOME domain.

    4.) PC-1 shows up in the SERVER dashboard and can successfully conduct client PC backups to the SERVER without having to change its domain membership from domain CORPORATE to HOME.

    SCENARIO B - WINDOWS SERVER 2012 ESSENTIALS R2 - FAILS: Windows Server 2012 Essentials R2 server (SERVER) that is a domain controller for domain HOME.

    On PC-1, if I:

    1.) Uninstall Windows Server 2012 Essentials connector

    2.) Restart PC-1

    3.) Login to PC-1 and open command prompt with admin access and enter: reg add "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Server\ClientDeployment" /v SkipDomainJoin /t REG_DWORD /d 1

    2.) Connect to http://SERVER/connect and attempt to install the R2 connector, the connector installer will report that the client PC already belongs to an existing domain and that it must first leave the domain before the connector can be installed.

    • Edited by miles267 Tuesday, February 18, 2014 3:12 PM Fixed error msg
    Tuesday, February 18, 2014 2:51 PM
  • I wonder if it is picking up previous connector install.

    I would:

    Delete any folders from following locations:

    c:\program files\windows server

    c:\programdata\microsot\windows server

    hklm>software>microsoft>windows server

    reboot.

    add your skip domain reg key.

    attempt connector install.


    Robert Pearman SBS MVP
    itauthority.co.uk | Title(Required)
    Facebook | Twitter | Linked in | Google+

    Tuesday, February 18, 2014 3:09 PM
    Moderator
  • Yes, I've performed those exact steps on numerous occasions but unfortunately that doesn't appear to be the issue.  Rather the R2 connector seems to be aware that the client PC already belongs to my CORPORATE domain.  The installer insists that the client first leave the CORPORATE domain before the connector can be installed despite the skip domain join registry entry.

    My intent is to keep the client on the CORPORATE domain and join the connector to my SERVER only (NOT the SERVER's domain) for client PC backups only.

    This scenario works in R1, but it appears the R2 client connector installer has been modified to check for an existing domain membership even when using the skip domain join registry entry.

    Tuesday, February 18, 2014 3:15 PM
  • Great news.  Appears a recent MS KB Update to Windows Server 2012 R2 has addressed this issue.  Now, using the conventional skip domain registry hack, this is now an option.  I've tested on multiple Windows 7 x64 PCs.

    Unfortunately I can't identify specifically which KB has addressed this issue, my WS2012E-R2 box is fully patched to current and has since allowed alternate domain client members to successfully backup to my R2 server which meets my specific requirements.

    Thank you Microsoft!

    • Marked as answer by miles267 Tuesday, February 25, 2014 7:53 PM
    Tuesday, February 25, 2014 7:53 PM
  • Just tested this on Essentials 2012 R2, connecting a couple of windows 7 machines that had been manually joined to the domain and were not showing up in the dashboard or remote web access panel. They now show up and work in both, Searched a long time for this solution! 

    Thanks guys! 

    Tuesday, March 4, 2014 12:23 AM
  • I noticed this was incorrectly marked as an ANSWER. Although it wasn't a resolution, I recognize the connector install behavior is different in R1 vs R2. If it would be possible to ask the developers to include the following functionality in a future Essentials R2 Update, we'd appreciate it. During client connector install, give user the option via radio button: 1.) install connector join domain, enable client PC backup 2.) install connector, join domain only, no client PC backup 3.) install connector, do not join domain, enable client PC backup Option #3 would satisfy this request and negate the need for unauthorized registry hacks. Thank you.

    Great discussion here, and glad things seem to have changed for the better with R2.

    Spot on with those suggestions, miles267!

    Back in Dec 2013, I wrote about my fairly simple registry tweak done at just the right spot during the client connector install, still seems to work like a charm
    (as of Dec 12 2014, ~15,000 folks read it so far):

    TinkerTry.com/connect
    which redirects to:
    http://www.tinkertry.com/how-to-make-windows-server-2012-r2-essentials-client-connector-install-behave-just-like-windows-home-server

    with a lot of (admittedly confusing) comments:
    http://www.tinkertry.com/how-to-make-windows-server-2012-r2-essentials-client-connector-install-behave-just-like-windows-home-server/#comment-1705687227

    Sincerely hoping such feedback helps encourage Microsoft to take a simple radio box checkmark request seriously. Really, it'd really help folks a lot, so they wouldn't have to feel they are trusting a "hack" which is really a simple, documented registry tweak, done at just the right time.

    I hope this little post here, and my article, truly helped people out!








    • Edited by tinkererguy Friday, December 12, 2014 4:06 PM
    Friday, December 12, 2014 3:57 PM