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11/2/2006

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Joining A Windows XP Virtural Machine To A Domain

I broke one of my main rules in life and purchased a cheapo computer from an unkown website...and it's been problem after problem ever since. At first I thought that it might have something to do with the x64 architecture, but who knowns. Most of the issues I've encountered are probably due to this, and are not worth mentioning.

However, one came up that might be of assistance to other people using Virtural Server. Basically, after the OS (Win XP x86 SP2) loaded, I went to join it to my domain. In Control Panel, under System, I clicked in the "Computer Name" tab, and found that the option to change the workgroup or domain were all grayed out; I could only change the computer name.

I did have Internet access, but couldn't ping any of the other machines on the network (nor could they ping this VM). All the network options, including Client and TCP/IP seemed to be okay. Although I was getting a valid IP address from my router, any ipconfig commands failed.

What did the trick was manually starting the "Workstation" service. It was enabled; just not set to automatically starte. Doing so brought all of the otherwise disabled and/or malfunctioning network features to life in Windows. The first sentence in the description of this service is "Creates and maintains client network connections to remote servers."

So there you go. I've never had to mess with this before, and wonder what exactly about a VM might cause this service to not start - perhaps something with the virtural network adapter. Remember, it could just be one of the gremlines running about on this crazy machine, since I haven't run into this issue on a native installation of Windows.

Just thought I'd share...

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