04 December, 2010

Offline Domain Join - Concept

Offline Domain Join: This is a new feature of Windows 2008 R2 using which we can join a client machine to the domain even if there is no connectivity of the client with the domain controller

It involves 2 steps:
1. Provisioning (On Domain Controller)
2. Offline Domain Join (On Client Machine)

In this process, it will create an account for the client machine in Active Directory and will provide a file (BLOB) which will have the complete information about the domain controller and the domain which the client machine requires to join to the domain

We will use DJoin Utility (Inbuilt in Windows 2008)
Run the following command on the domain controller

DJoin /Provision /Domain <Domain Name> /Machine <Name of Client Machine> /SaveFile <File Name + Location>

DJoin /Provision /Domain ds.com /Machine WinXP-DS /SaveFile C:\Offline.txt

The file "Offline.txt" will now have all the necessary information required by the client to join itself to the domain

Offline Domain Join
In this process, the text file (BLOB) that is created while provisioning is used on the client machine to join that client machine to the domain even in the absence of network connectivity between the client and the domain controller
Run the following command on the Client Machine or on the Member Server

DJoin /Requestobj /Loadfile <File Name + Location> /WindowsPath %SystemRoot%\LocalOS

DJoin /Requestobj /Loadfile C:\Offline.txt /WindowsPath %SystemRoot%\LocalOS

(In some cases, you might get an error after running the above command. The error could be "Error 57: File not Found". In that situation, do not use .txt as the extension to save the file. Instead, use .djoin extension while saving the file on the DC and then using the same file with .djoin extension on the client machine)

In case of any errors, do check the Netsetup Log

Note: You cannot join a domain controller using this method. You can only join a client machine or a member server suing offline domain join