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I have a computer which was joined to a domain. That domain no longer exists. I've learned that its' fairly straight forward to remove the domain association from the computer (and I do know I need the administrator's account's password - and I have it).

The question I have is when I remove the domain, is the primary user (which is from the domain) lost or will I still be able to log in to it. That is, does it convert to a local user?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

You won't be able to access your domain account unless you take steps to convert your domain account to a local account. There are several guides detailing how to do this, but basically it boils down to creating a new account and copying over all files from old domain account to that newly created local account:

See this: How to convert your Domain Profile to a Local Profile.

There is also an application that claims that it can do this automatically: User Profile Wizard (personal edition is free):

User Profile Wizard will migrate your current user profile to your new domain account so that you can keep all your existing data and settings.

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The user profile will still exist, but you won't be able to log into it because the computer will no longer trust domain accounts for any purpose.

You can forcibly take ownership of the profile directory using a local admin account, or you can rejoin the domain. Joining another domain that has a trust relationship with the first will probably also make the account usable again.

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Do you have stright forward steps to take ownership as you suggested? – Frank V Jan 15 '13 at 23:44

If you leave the domain, then all cached accounts related to that domain will be gone, and you no longer be able to authenticate. The profile which includes the registry for that user and the users files will still exists though.

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