How to Migrate users from a workgroup to a domain. ~ Ask The Admin

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

How to Migrate users from a workgroup to a domain.

migrate windows birdsWow, that was fast... We got our first question while I was writing my second post. John from Downtown Manhattan wants to know what the best way to migrate his users from a Windows 2003 Standalone Server into a fresh new domain.

Well, John we have just completed something very similar with the assistance of Microsoft's addusers.exe command and l0phtcrack for password retrieval. Addusers.exe can be found on the windows 2000 Resource CD or from Using addusers.exe with the /d switch we were able to extract to a text file all of our local users, groups and descriptions. But we were unable to export passwords... Thats where l0phtcrack came in we ran this against our local server and recovered all 250 user passwords in under 24 hours.

Then after joining the machine to our freshly created domain we used the adduser.exe to import the user information from the text file we exported using the /c script. We then went in manually and set the passwords. You could also leave the option to require the user to change their password on the next logon. Below you will find the syntax for addusers.exe.

Adds, Writes, or Erases accounts as specified by a delimited file.

ADDUSERS {/c/d{:u}/e} filename [/s:x] [/?] [\\computernamedomainname] [/p:{lced}]

/? Display this help screen.
/c Create accounts specified in the file.
/d: Write current accounts to the specified file, opt. followed by {:u}.
/u Write current accounts to the specified file in Unicode text format.
/p: Set's account creation options, followed by an comb. of {lced} l Users do not have to change passwords at next logon. c Users cannot change passwords. e Passwords never expire. (implies l option) d Accounts disabled.
/e Erase user accounts specified in the file.
/s:x Sets the separator character for the input/output file. Replace the x with the character to be used for separating fields. (e.g. /s:~)

Note: The separator character is a comma ',' by default.
For detailed information please refer to the Resource Kit Help file.