What Is a Domain?
A domain is a logical boundary or a logical empire that is ruled by one or more servers named as Domain Controllers. When any network operating system, for example Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2008, is promoted to a domain controller by installing Active Directory Services (ADS) in Windows Server 2003 and Active Directory Domain Services or ADDS in Windows Server 2008 it becomes capable of providing services to all the client computers and member servers that accept the domain controller as their masters.
The logical empire of a domain controller may expand worldwide, that is, irrespective of the geographical locations. In other words, any computer that can communicate with a domain controller and has been added as a member of the domain can avail the services offered by the domain controller from anywhere around the globe. For example, if an organization has one branch in Sydney and the other branch in London, which also has a domain controller configured in its office and if one computer of London branch is not added as a client to the domain controller that resides in its very own premises but a computer from Sydney branch is a client for the domain controller in London, the client computer from Sydney will be considered a member of the domain whereas the computer from London branch, which was not added to the domain, will not be considered a client.
Why Must Windows 8 Be Added to a Domain?
In almost all organizations, where there are more than 20 computers, it becomes quite impractical and time taking for administrators to manage every computer individually. Since in the absence of a domain controller (server) all computers that are connected to each other remain in workgroup, that is, in peer-to-peer network, they maintain their own security. Moreover in such environment administrators must create user accounts on every computer to allow users to log on to them. If there are several computers and thousands of users, it would be impossible for administrators to create accounts on all of them separately and manage them individually.
When a network operating system is promoted as a domain controller, administrators can create domain user accounts, which is one-time process. In domain environment administrators can also manage all the computers that are added to the domain from a central location, that is, domain controller.
Moreover, administrators can manage multiple client computers right from the domain controllers using group policies which can be applied on the entire domain or site. Need not to say that group policies are effective on the domains and sites irrespective of the geographical distances between the client computers and servers.
How to Add Windows 8 Computer to a Domain?
In order to add a Windows 8 computer to a domain, user account must be the administrator of the local computer and must have a domain user account created on the domain controller. It is mostly understood that only domain admins or enterprise admins can add a client computer to the domain but this is not actually the case. Any domain user account can add up to 10 workstations to the domain using its credentials. However a local user account must have administrator privileges to configure the client computer accordingly. Following steps must be implemented in order to add a Windows 8 computer to the domain:
- Log on to Windows 8 computer with local administrator account.
- Make sure that the computer has been assigned a static or dynamic IP address with appropriate DNS server address.
- Assuming that the computer has been configured to display classic start menu, click Start and from the menu right click Computer.
- From the context menu click Properties.
- On the opened window click Change settings under Computer name, domain, and workgroup settings category.
- On the opened System Properties box make sure that Computer Name tab is selected and click Change button.
- On Computer Name/Domain Changes box under Member of category click to select Domain radio button and in the available field type in the name of the domain and hit enter key.
- On the appeared box type in the credentials of either a domain user account or domain admin or enterprise admin account and hit enter key.
- A welcome notification will be displayed after the successful joining of the client computer to the domain. Once displayed, restart the computer to allow the changes to take effect.
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