Version 1 (modified by trac, 13 years ago) (diff)


Guide to accessing and utilizing the SIG Windows 2000 Domain


Welcome, if you are reading this page then most likely you have received an user account for use in the Windows 2000 Domain Environment here at SIG. This guide will help you make the most out of this new account.

What a Windows 2000 Domain account provides for a user

  • Access to any machine that is a part of the domain (such as all lab computers) with a single username and password.
  • Access to a home folder from any machine. This home folder is kept on whichever computer that is most convenient for you.
  • Keeping essential files inside the home directory on a single computer allows for guaranteed backup of those files no matter which computer you are working on.

In addition to these there are numerous benefits to administration as well, such as increased security, centralized user account management, and as well as automated rollout of patches and updates.

What is still the same about using a Windows 2000 domain account?

  • Once you are logged in, you are working on that machine just the same as if you logged on with the old method of a local account. The only things that are happening remotely are the verification of your username and password, and of course when you access your home folder over the network.
  • Keep in mind that software does not follow your account when you move from computer to computer. The software that you see will be software that is installed on that computer. (This is usually not a problem since the most common software is installed on most of the machines, but if you ever need to install something feel free to contact the domain system administrator.)

What is different about using a Windows 2000 domain account?

  • Keep in mind that the procedure for logging in will slightly different (this will be explained in detail below). This is because there is now a distinction between logging in to the domain, as opposed to logging in locally to the computer.
  • Since there is now a centralized means of establishing security policies, the computers will seem more “locked down” in some respects, but for normal office applications this shouldn’t be a problem. For example, normal users do not have the ability to change the system time on any of the computers. (There is actually a good reason for this, mainly for synchronized timestamps to verify a user when he/she logs on.)

Logging into a computer on the domain (It’s not all that different)

Prior to using a domain, logging into a workstation was simply a matter of entering a username and password. However, there is now a distinction between the old method (logging in locally) and logging in using a domain account. Here is the new login screen:

(If all you see is the username and password boxes be sure to press the options button.) Basically, if you want to log in using your universal domain account choose SIG, and if you want to log into a local account (which is the old method in which accounts are different for each system) choose ‘computer name’ (this computer).

How to access your home folder

Accessing your home folder is easy. Simply look for this icon on the desktop and double click on it:

This will open your home folder, and you can access your work files. If for some reason the icon for the home folder isn’t on the desktop, then it can also be found under my computer.

This also makes it easy to save files from within applications as well. When you are at the save dialog box in any application, simply go to my computer under "save in" and your home folder will be listed there as well.

And there is yet another way to access your home folder, it is also assigned to the drive letter N:\. Keep in mind the accessing the home folder from any computer except the one that it is actually located on will be over the network, and thus will be limited by network speeds.

Some other notes

For the time being the old accounts will remain where they are, to use as sort of a fall back in the event of some unforeseen circumstance or technical difficulty.

Home folders are kept in the c:\users\ directory of whichever computer you specified as your primary computer. They will be located in a subfolder with the same name as your user account.

Another new feature that is available but disabled by default is the ability to keep your desktop, my documents folder, and/or start menu synchronized on any system you log into. Also they will be backed up in the same location as your home folder, and whatever changes you make will be kept track of and maintained on any domain computer you log onto. (This isn’t all that different from just keeping files maintained inside your home folder share but perhaps just slightly more automated. If you are interested in this feature contact the domain system administrator to have it enabled.)

Connecting from home via VPN

Quick Steps to setting up VPN:

  1. Goto Start-> Control Panel -> Network Connections
  2. Click on 'Create New Connection' (On win2K it will be a icon, on winXP it will be on the left sidebar)
  3. Click next on the wizard panel that appears.
  4. On the next screen select the option that says 'Connect to Network' or something similar. (On win2k it will be the 3rd option, on XP it will be the second.)
  5. If it asks you dial-up or VPN select VPN
  6. On the next few screens it will ask for the Server Name and the Server IP address, but the order will depend on the version of windows. Just make sure the IP is set to and the name doesn't matter, you can set it to the same as the IP if you like.
  7. Finish the wizard and the shortcut will be placed on your desktop, and will also appear in the Control Panel -> Network Connections window.
  8. Double click the shortcut icon and connect using your Domain Username and Password.