Networking / Beginners

Joining a Domain Network

If you are adding a new computer to a domain-type network you will need the cooperation of a Domain Administrator. You must either have the username and password of a domain admin account yourself, or a domain admin must preconfigure the network by adding a "computer account." You'll need to obtain the following information from your network administrator:

  • Computer name.
  • Domain name.
  • IP address configuration information. In almost all cases you will be instructed to leave your network adapter set for automatic (DHCP) address assignment. In rare cases you may be supplied with an IP address, network mask, gateway address and DNS server address(es).

If you are installing Windows XP from scratch, you will be asked to supply the domain and computer names during setup; this should be all you need to do.

If you are adding an existing Windows XP computer to a domain network, install the network adapter. Then log on as a Computer Administrator.

In most cases, you can leave the adapter's IP address information set for automatic (DHCP) configuration, unless your network admin instructs you otherwise. To enter manual settings, open the Network Connections window, right-click the icon for your Local Area Connection, select Properties, select Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), and click Properties.

Then, run the Network Identification Wizard: On the Network Connection window's menu, select Advanced, Network Identification, and click Network ID. Enter the information supplied by your network administrator as requested by the wizard:

  1. Click Next on the wizard's first screen.
  2. Select This Computer Is Part of a Business Network, and It to Connect to Other Computers at Work, and then click Next.
  3. Select My Company Uses a Network with a Domain, and then click Next twice.
  4. Enter your network login name, password, and the network domain name. Then, click Next.
    You might be asked to enter your computer's name and its domain name. This information will also have been supplied by your network admin. If you're asked, enter the computer and domain names provided; then click Next.
    You also might be prompted for a domain Administrator account name and password. If this occurs the network administrator will have to assist you.
  5. You should finally get the message "Welcome to the xxx domain." Close the Properties dialog and allow Windows to restart.

If an error message appears, click Details to view the detailed explanation of the problem. Report this information to your network administrator for resolution. The problem could be in your computer or in the network itself.

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