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How to Pre-Stage a Computer Account in Windows Server 2003 Active Directory Domain Environment?

By Codrut Nistor

Posted in How-to, Windows-server-2003

Whenever a computer joins a domain by default its account is created in Computers container. If the administrators want some group policies to be applied on the computers they need to move the computer accounts manually from the default Computers container to the organizational unit to which the desired group policy is linked. Administrators can reduce this overhead by pre-staging a computer account. Pre-staging means that the computer account is manually created in the desired organizational unit before the computer is actually configured to be the member of the domain. The benefit of pre-staging the computer account is that administrators can define which user or group is authorized to join the pre-staged computer to the domain. Administrators can run the scripts to Pre-stage multiple computer accounts in a single session. You can Pre-stage a computer account by following the steps given below:

  1. Log on to the domain controller with administrator privileges.
  2. Click on Start button.
  3. From the start menu go to Administrative Tools and from the submenu click on Active Directory Users and Computers.
  4. From Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in expand the domain name which in this case is TESTDOMAIN.COM.
  5. Right click on the organizational unit in which you want to Pre-stage the computer account and from the context menu go to New.
  6. From the submenu click on Computer to create a new computer account.
  7. On New Object-Computer box in Computer Name text box type the name of the computer which you want to Pre-stage. Optionally you can type NetBIOS name of the computer in Computer Name (pre-Windows 2000) text box.
  8. On the same window click on Change button to select users or groups who you want to authorize to join this machine to the domain.
  9. Once done click on Ok button to finish the pre-staging process.
  10. Close Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in.