Windows XP Home cannot join a domain, or can it?

by Volker Weber

Normally, Windows XP Home Edition cannot join network domains, simply peer-to-peer workgroups. However, there is a fix which can solve the problem and allow WinXP Home Edition to join a domain. Microsoft wanted to cripple Windows XP Home Edition so that it could not be used on domains, which would force many to upgrade to the more expensive Windows XP Professional Edition simply to join a network domain. However, it -is- possible to get on a domain using Windows XP Home Edition.

This can also be accomplished with the free and widely available Xteq X-Setup 6.1 by navigating to the "Network \ Auto Login \ Windows NT/2K/XP \ Settings" option within X-Setup. Simply enter the appropriate information and click "Apply Changes" - upon your next reboot, you can then join domains with WinXP Home Edition. Problem solved. X-Setup includes many other useful Windows XP tweaks / hacks / etc. for Windows XP as well, all free for personal use.

Download here »


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While it can't be a domain client and XP Home doesn't support group policies or other 'advanced' domain features, you can connect to domain resources such as shared directories. It's not that difficult and most everyone who can follow simple instructions can do it.

1) Find the Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) on the server that you want to access. This can be found by right-clicking the My Computer icon on the desktop and selecting properties. It will be found to the right of 'Full computer name:'. On the next line, is the Domain:. Write both these names down. Examples:

Full computer name: \\

2) On your XP Home system, open the My Computer icon (if it's on your desktop, otherwise, right-click on the Start button and select explore).

3) From the Tools menu, select 'Map Network Drive...'

4) Select a drive letter to share (Z:, X:, etc).

5) In the folder box type two backslashes (\\) and then the Fully Qualified Domain Name from step 1, then a backslash (\) and the shared folder you want to connect to. Example:


6) Below the drive/folder settings is a link named: "Connect using a different user name.". Click this link and a dialog will appear asking for the user name and password to use when connecting to the folder.

7) In the 'User name:' field, enter a domain username that has access rights to the folder you want to access. Add it in the format username@domain. Where domain is the domain listed in step 1. Example:

8) In the 'Password:' field, enter the password for the domain user account specified in step 7.

9) Click OK.

10) Make sure the 'Reconnect at logon' check box is checked so you won't have to enter the user credentials each time.

You're done! The specified network share should open and be associated with the drive letter you setup.

While you can access shared network folders in a domain, if different credentials are required for different folders, you are out of luck. That's because you can only connect with a single set of credentials at a time with XP Home. So if you needed info from domain/xyz directory that has access rights set for one user and domain/qrs that has a different user you will only be able to access one at a time. In that case you will have to disconnect the shared drive before trying to connect to the other one with a different user name.

Hope this helps.

- Bob

Bob Consorti, 2003-02-12 00:36

How to get XP Poff/Home working on Linux Samba server(6.1)???????

you aren't using Samba 6.1; Samba 3.0 was just released. You may be using, for instance, RedHat linux 6.1 I'm currently using Samba (2.2.8a, I believe) as a file server and Primary Domain Controller for XP Pro, 2000, 95, 98, 98SE, and NT4 workstations. Update Samba to a recent version, then follow the Samba instructions. The NT4/2000/XP clients all use the same procedures.

I've installed Linux Suse 9.0 with Samba as the file server. All the 10 clients are running Windows XP home edition. 9 of them are connecting without any problems to the shared folders on the linux server.

The second day 1 of them (which had been working the day before) did not connect to the share folder even though it had a connection to the Internet and it saw the public folder. When you clicked on the folder it asked for user and pwd. But it didn't logged the user. Looking at the windows event log it seemed that it was using the name of the XP Pc name as the domain name. I installed x-setup and change the domain name (following your instructions), but still no success. The log stills shows the PC name as the domain. Another stange thing, is that samba does not show anything on the log. FYI. I've checked 100 times the user and password in linux and in samba. As matter of fact, it worked for a day.

Finally, I wiped out the XP home hard drive, reinstall XP home and now it is working....

The thrid day another computer that was working the 2 days before showed the same problems.

I rebooted linux, restarted samba, but still no improvements.

Tomorrow will be the fourth day. What XP will not connect? I am afraid I will have to go back to the old windows workgroup, since I am not planning to wipe out HD every other day.

Any suggestions.



First question Miguel, have you read the samba manual and checked the faq's, done the google etc search?

Have you seen this link, it's well worth a read on how to ask a question and get people to want to answer and give you their time.

I suggest having alook at this link

Follow the protocol and you will probably help yourself.
If not then you will at least be able to pose a question others can help you answer. If you do this your learing potential will grow dramatically as will your solving skill.

Good luck. I hope this is of help to you

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