How to offline join Windows 7 to Windows Server domain

The new combination of Windows 7 / Windows Server 2008 R2 makes a lot of new things that are impossible to do in the previous versions possible. Offline domain join is one of them. It becomes possible because of the new command tool, djoin.exe, that comes with the system. Actually, what makes more interesting is that it doesn’t require Windows Server 2008 R2 as domain controller on your network. However, because the tool is made in Windows 7, it may not work in any previous windows.

Michael Pietroforte at 4sysops wrote two great posts, here and here, that describe the use of DJoin.exe in detail. So if you are interested, check them out.

Basically, there are two steps involved to use djoin.exe offline join one computer to domain.

First, you have to create the computer account in Active Directory. This process is called “provisioning.” The easiest way to do that is on an R2 domain controller. Djoin will create a base 64-encoded metadata blob as text file. This blob then has to be used to offline domain join the Windows 7 machine.

And then you can use djoin.exe on the workstation to offline join to the domain using the blob file created in the first step.

It sounds neat but I have yet found a good use of it. 🙂

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