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I have a Dell desktop that I changed from the domain (at my workplace) to a random workgroup. At the login screen it doesn't give me the option to choose my domain and entering [domain]/[username] doesn't work either.

I really don't want to reinstall windows because there are years worth of work documents that have not been backed up. PLEASE provide me with some recommendations. THANK YOU!

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Did you set a local administrator password? Just use Administrator as the username and the local password that you set. Should log you right in... assuming you set the local password. – C-dizzle Oct 5 '12 at 17:34
It was always using domain credentials until I changed the work group. I don't know what was set up on this machine for the admin. I came along and stupidly changed it to a workgroup instead of the domain and now the creds for the domain no longer work. Along with that on the login screen it won't let me even choose a domain or a local computer. VERY STRANGE! – Josh Bucklen Oct 5 '12 at 20:08
Well, you are not part of a domain now. You were (paste sense) part of one. As to local computer, that is how you are logging in now. – Hennes Oct 6 '12 at 0:20

The safe way is to go to your IT department. They can log in with the local admin password and rejoin the desktop to the domain.

(I assume that you do not have the local administrator password nor access to an account which is allowed to join comnputers to your works domain).

Alternatively: Get a live CD, boot from CD, reset the admin password. Reboot, log in (now with a known account), and copy the data to a safe place. (Technically you do not need to do this, but when messing around without knowing precisely what you do, you really want a backups somewhere). Then copy stuff from the domain account to your new workgroup account.

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As a start, remove the drive and create a copy. That will protect the data you neglected to back up. You might even be able to browse the data after taking ownership of the needed folders and files. Mousnt in a second system or use a USB to whatever interface adapter (SATA, etc)

If on a domain did the admins use a common computer password when it was configured. This is common. You could then log on as local administrator or some other account they/you created.

What does corporate IT have to say. They should be able to assist easily.

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Removed the hard drive - copied files - reinserted then reinstalled the OS. Problem solved. – Josh Bucklen Oct 10 '12 at 19:38

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