Dismantle SBS domain after server died

Discussion in 'Windows Small Business Server' started by doucettea, Apr 1, 2008.

  1. doucettea

    doucettea Guest

    Hi, can I remove computers from a domain if the server has died?
    I have a server with a dead motherboard (power supply toasted it) and I'd
    like to dismantle the SBS domain and just move back to WinXP shared folders
    (workgroup). We were planning to do this in a few weeks anyway, but now that
    the SBS is dead, it is more expedient. I have a few questions, though.
    (I posted the following earlier but it's not showing up.)
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    If the server is dead, will I be able to disjoin the PCs from the network?

    What will happen with the redirected folders (my documents, desktop) when
    the computer is disjoined and there is no server?

    Will I be able to just put the (ex) server's shared drives into another
    machine that was on the network and get everyone's files back? Will there be
    permission issues?

    What do I do about permissions after all machines have been disjoined?

    Is there a path for migrating from exchange ost to outlook pst? (thence
    we'll move to imap email)

    Is there a way to get WSS docs out of the WSS backups without a server?

    doucettea, Apr 1, 2008
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  2. Hi,

    The link provided gives you the idea on how to move to a workgroup mode
    before rejoining a domain again.

    Yes, you can dismatle your clients. Important is to make sure you have an
    enabled LOCAL administrative account to log on with on each XP machine.

    How to properly rejoin a client workstation to an SBS 2003 Domain

    Henrik \(Hear\), Apr 1, 2008
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  3. Hi doucettea:

    Sorry to hear of your misfortune, and even more so to hear that your giving
    up SBS.

    For Outlook, you may be able to bring the workstation up and find that your
    Exchange data is intact, even without the server. This is called an OST
    file. If it is there, you *must* copy or export that data to a .pst before
    you disjoin from the domain or your sid will change and the .ost will be

    I suspect, but have never proven, that the cached copy of "my documents" as
    a result of redirected folders will behave in a similar way. That is, if
    you start the workstation and the "my documents" appear to be intact on the
    local workstation, I would copy them out to another folder on the
    workstation before disjoining.

    Probably my paranoia, but I have seen too many gotchas over the years.
    Larry Struckmeyer, Apr 1, 2008
  4. If you disjoin from the domain or connect to a newly created domain, you'll
    lose access to the OST and the offline files. Before you do anything else,
    I recommend getting the data out of the OSTs (copy it to a PST) and out of
    the offline files. For offline, open Windows Explorer and go to Tools ->
    Folder Options -> Offline, and click the button to view the files. From
    that interface, you can copy them to a more accessible location.
    Dave Nickason [SBS MVP], Apr 1, 2008
  5. doucettea

    doucettea Guest

    Thanks so much.
    I will certainly try to move the emails etc from the OST into a PST for each
    user and will attempt to copy the offline files to another location before I
    I'm glad to know this.
    Do you know if there will be problems accessing the other files in other
    shared folders that were on the server? Can I take permission of all of them
    as a local administrator if I just move the server's shared HDD's into a
    Is there a way to get files out of WSS backups?

    doucettea, Apr 1, 2008
  6. doucettea

    doucettea Guest

    I tested this on a workstation but have had some problems.
    I backed up the files from the redirected folders. I also made a new pst
    file and dragged the mail items into it in outlook.
    I removed the computer from the domain and made it part of a workgroup and
    restarted 2x.
    Now, and I guess I should have known this, the domain user accounts are not
    users on the workstation. So I have to create a new account on the
    workstation for the users that will be using it.
    The new user accounts get new outlook pst files. When I drag the emails into
    them from the back-up pst file (above) I can't access those emails in outlook
    with the new user.
    I'm sure that I'm likely to run in to plenty more problems, but these two
    are pretty serious. How can I get the old mail from exchange into these new
    outlook accounts?
    Thanks for any help
    doucettea, Apr 2, 2008
  7. doucettea

    doucettea Guest

    Does anyone know how I can get this email back? Outlook doesn't even work
    right now.
    doucettea, Apr 2, 2008
  8. Hi:

    I may be overthinking this, but trying to imagine how you could do this
    without running into trouble, I tried to create a "can't fail" check list

    Try this:

    As you have done, copy out the .ost and the user files.

    As the Domain Admin, verify you can log on and log off the local computer.

    While logged on, change at least one *local* account to administrative
    privileges, and be *sure* you know the password.

    Log off and log back on to the local machine (use the options - domain
    name - name of local computer in the ctrl-alt-del phase) as a local user to
    prove you can.

    Now you are logged on to the local machine as a local user, open the
    control panel - mail - create profile.

    Open Outlook, using that profile.

    Do not import or otherwise try to manipulate the pst file created in step 1,
    simple use File - Open - Outlook Data File. Browse to the .pst file you
    created earlier.

    At that point you have proven that you have a viable pst file that you can
    open with a different profile.

    Now you can disjoin from the domain and clean up the old profiles. You will
    either need to be logged on as the Domain Admin, or you will be challenged
    for the Domain Admin Credentials to disjoin.

    For the one you have already done, Control Panel - Mail - remove any
    profiles, create a new one for the local user, file open the saved pst file.
    Larry Struckmeyer, Apr 2, 2008
  9. You are going to have to start by configuring a new profile in Outlook.
    Once you get that done, you'll have Outlook properly functioning with a new
    PST. At that point, you should be able to go to File -> Open -> Outlook
    Data File and open the old PST. Using the Outlook Folder List, copy items
    from the old PST to the new. It should be obvious in the folder list which
    is which - aside from the fact that the new one will be empty, it'll be at
    the top of the folder list, with the other one below.

    If you still can't open the PST, try giving the user (the new local user
    account) admin rights, and change the permissions on the PST to give the new
    account full control of the file. You might have to take ownership before
    the permissions can be changed.
    Dave Nickason [SBS MVP], Apr 2, 2008
  10. doucettea

    doucettea Guest

    I have gotten this to work by exporting everything from the OST to a pst,
    then running scanpst.exe on that pst, creating a new outlook profile, then
    importing everything from the repaired pst into the new profile.

    I still haven't been able to remove a computer from the domain without
    serious consequences, though.
    After I remove the computer and log in as a local admin, Outlook won't work
    and the rest of the office apps won't work right. So I uninstalled office,
    deleted the outlook profile, restarted, reinstalled office, made a new
    profile. Then office tries to "configure" itself every time an office app
    launches and Outlook still doesn't work.

    So far I've had to format and rebuild the client PCs. Fortunately there are
    only a few more to go. I'd REALLY like to not have to do this. I wish I knew
    what I was missing here.
    doucettea, Apr 2, 2008
  11. I can't think of an explanation for what you're seeing. You're going to run
    into profile issues when disjoining the computer from the domain, because
    the domain account you've been using will no longer exist, and the local
    account will be new. I'd expect to have to configure the new profile for
    everything (including Outlook), but I can't see why you'd have any of the
    other issues you describe. For example, I don't know what would cause
    Office to need to be configured every time you start an app.

    Can any of this relate to NTFS permissions? Something where the domain
    account has file access rights that the local account lacks?
    Dave Nickason [SBS MVP], Apr 3, 2008
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