Typically, when you deploy a client computer on a Windows Server 2012 Essentials network or on a Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials network, you must first join the computer to the Windows Server 2012 Essentials domain or Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials domain. In this situation, if the client computer is joined to another domain, you must manually remove the computer from that other domain before you proceed with the client deployment. Otherwise, the deployment fails.
This article provides an alternative solution to deploy a client computer on a Windows Server 2012 Essentials network or on a Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials network without joining the computer to the domain.
This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
How to back up and restore the registry in Windows
This solution is supported only on client computers that are running one of the following operating systems:
- Windows 8 Enterprise
- Windows 8 Professional
- Windows 7 Enterprise
- Windows 7 Ultimate
- Windows 7 Professional
Additionally, the following are not supported on the client computer when you apply the solution:
- All features that are available only to domain-joined computers (for example, domain credentials, Group Policy, and VPN)
- All third-party add-ins and applications that are available only to domain-joined computers
- An off-premises client deployment that is made without joining the client to the Windows Server 2012 Essentials domain
To deploy a computer on a Windows Server 2012 Essentials or on a Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials network without joining the computer to the Windows Server 2012 Essentials domain, follow these steps:
- Open an elevated command prompt on the client computer. To do this, follow these steps:
- In Windows 8, go to the Start screen, type cmd, right-click the Command Prompt icon on the left side of the screen, and then click Run as administrator at the bottom of the screen.
- In Windows 7, click Start, type cmd in the Start search box, right-click cmd.exe, and then click Run as administrator.
- At the command prompt, type the following command, and then press Enter:
reg add "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Server\ClientDeployment" /v SkipDomainJoin /t REG_DWORD /d 1
- To connect the computer to a Windows Server 2012 Essentials server, follow the steps that are presented in the following Microsoft TechNet topic: