I had a Windows 7 machine with one account connected to the office domain.

I moved abroad, carrying my Windows 7 machine, and the office disappeared. However I still was able to login locally in my computer with my domain account, even there was no Domain Controller available to validate my user/password.

The problem came when I switched the type of my user account from "domain account" to "workgroup account", thinking it was more appropriate for my home. However I was disappointed: A new account was created, desktop erased, favourites erased, etc.

I see the old account files are still there, in the old folder C:\Users\Oscar.FML. When changing to workgroup, it created a new C:\Users\Oscar folder.

So I want to get back to my old domain account, but it asks for a domain controller in order to obtain permissions.

Rewinding to a previous Restore Point didn't solve the problem.

How can I get back to my old domain account? Preferably without building a whole PDC for this.

  • Finally I used a combination of solutions: 1) Using the profile migration tool "profwiz" I accessed the files 2) Also tested successfully a little more bizarre solution: I had a full backup image of the domain server. I managed to clone it on a VirtualBox machine, so that it was reborn again, and able to validate my old credentials, allowing me to enter in my old account. – oscar May 4 '17 at 18:30

You cannot go back to your original domain account without reconnecting to the domain. There is a password cache the computer uses to login if a domain controller is not available but when you switched profiles it broke that cache. This was bound to happen overtime anyways so this is not a bad thing persay. It's obvious that connecting back to the original domain isn't an option based off of your original post. Rather than manually copying over the data after giving yourself access to the old user folder, you can also use a third party tool to migrate the profile.

I personally use a freeware tool called profwiz. It can be found at: https://www.forensit.com/domain-migration.html

When you run the tool it will show you all the old profiles and SIDs. Select your old domain profile in there and specify the new local account you created and it will migrate everything for you and make it seem like you're logging into your old profile. It should also migrate your email files but you may have to create a new mail profile by specifying your SMTP settings again.

If for some reason you cannot use this tool or another third party tool then you can give yourself permissions to the original user folder and manually copy over any data you'd like.


If you can connect to the domain again you can get your computer back on the domain. If you cannot do this then you are unlikely to be able to use that domain account again even if you create a DC Active Directory system with same details. The SID for the account you want to activate again is only valid with the original DC and any other DC will have difference SID even for same names. Sorry.

You need to take ownership of the files as the a user who is has administrator rights on local PC. You do this by going to Explorer, find your files you want to own and right click, select properties, security tab, advanced button, then you should see and Owner or Ownership option where you can change the owner. Try to make your login the owner. This should let you access all the files of the Domain user account. If you need to access Outlook OST file then you will need to convert it using an OST to PST converter.

Good Luck.

  • Alternatively you can boot a Linux live CD or Windows PE CD and simply copy the files from outside the OS. – LawrenceC Feb 7 '15 at 13:32

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.