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I've been google searching for hours trying to find a solution, but can't seem to get a solid answer. I have a home server running Windows Server 2012 Essentials. I had a few computers connected to it using domain ABC. Using the connector software, it basically copied the local profile to a new profile called user.ABC . Just to be clear, by profile I mean all the user settings, documents, desktop, etc.

I then had to reinstall WSE2012. I kept all the same settings, calling it ABC domain again, thinking incorrectly that it could just seamlessly take the place of the old server. Of course, I was wrong and all the computers needed to be rejoined to the domain. The problem is that when I went to rejoin the domain (switch to workplace, then back to domain), using the connector software, it once again tries to migrate some local profile to the domain. In other words, there's no way to tell it to use an existing domain profile.

In the end, I just created the new profile and manually copied over all the data from the old user.ABC folder to the new user.ABC.1 (or whatever it was). I still lost some settings, such as start menu entries, background, and various app data.

My question is if there is a better way to go about re installing a domain server. The only way I can tell is if you setup the new domain while the old one is still up. But since I don't have an extra computer for this, is there a best practice for re installing on a single computer? I like having the domain, but it seems the profiles/accounts are locked into it and it is difficult to move them to a new domain.

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migrated from Mar 11 '13 at 3:54

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The only way you can do it on one box is to take a system state backup to external media before you kill the old domain and restore it once you've reloaded your server. That'll get a copy of AD and everything you need to get the old domain working again. That won't capture your profiles though; You'd need to specify which files to backup manually.

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What I do sometimes is use the Windows easy transfer. I set it before joining the domain, only choosing items fir t the current user. I then save it to the server, then join the domain. After I join, I go back to Windows easy transfer, and say this is now the new pc

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Reinstalling a Domain would be a dire option of last resort only for a professional. Professionals keep good backups, known to be good only by testing the restore procedures.

From a Hobbyists standpoint, no you can't reinstall a domain like that. It'll end up with a different GUID and redoing everything is the only course of action. You could have copied the entire profile over, and edited security as necessary to make it work with the new GUIDs. But that's prone to failure at best.

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