Windows 7 Moved win 7 system from Domain to Workgroup and can't log in


TS Rookie
I just left my old domain (server was retired some time ago) on my Windows 7 laptop, and created a workgroup to move it into. I was using domain administrator account and password consistently on this machine, and when I did this. I was prompted for Administrator account name and password before windows would make this change, so I thought everything would be ok. Password succeeded.

Now system boots to login page displaying icon and existing name for the computer. (computer was named before joining domain long ago). No other icons are available, no link to log into other accounts, and no password entry field is present (I didn't initially create a password for new workgroup). When I click icon, "welcome" appears briefly, then "logging off", then I am taken back to same login screen. Shutdown options appear in lower right, but only include shut down, hibernate, sleep, and restart; no option for log off or change user.

F8 > Last known good config yields same result. I can log in on safe mode, but windows explorer is not present in start menu or task bar, and start menu left (main) panel is featureless above all programs. Control panel and standard options appear in start menu right panel. I can start explorer from search field, and full directory structure in accessible. Computer named account is shown to be administrator type. I have option available to create a password, but don't want to make things worse.

I want to be able to log onto this account on computer normally, without reinstalling windows. This is my only objective at this time. I don't actually need to be in a workgroup, but that seemed the only way to leave domain. My purpose in leaving domain was so I could create a homegroup to connect with virtualized windows 7 on my linux desktop system, and to avoid other annoyances that have come up with being in domain.

Guidance please? Thanks in advance...


TechSpot Chancellor
Unless you are running Win 7 professional, you should only have the option of a 'homegroup' not a 'workgroup'. If you open the windows search box available from the start button, and type homegroup you will see a number of topics such as 'find and fix problems with homegroup', which may help. Following help topics about homegroup will probably be better than workgroup.


TS Ambassador
As long as you are associated with a DOMAIN, lots of policies currently left on the PC will still be in control.

If the pc ( I assume a laptop) is to be disassociate from the DOMAIN, then the WORKGROUP will be your road to full control (ie sans the group policies) and also allow full print/file sharing - - even via the Linux SMB.

On my Win/7, I've never created the HOMEGROUP and share equally with
{ iMac, Win/7, Linux, and by gosh, my old win98se running as a file server}.

It's all in the firewall and Sharing setup.


TS Rookie
Thanks for the replies.

I'm on Windows 7 Ultimate (above professional) on this laptop, and yes, I'm now in a WORKGROUP - having completely left the DOMAIN. HOMEGROUP is not relevant.

The problem is that I cannot log into the account now that I have made that change. Please read the post above carefully before responding.


TS Rookie
Thanks for the responses. I was able to log on to new account from safe mode, create new administrator account, and move all files there. Then deleted all other accounts.


TS Ambassador
Suggest two verifications: in a command promp enter:
  1. net users
  2. wmic useraccount get name,sid
(1) is a simple list of accounts
(2) gives the SID for each and there's difference between an account with admin privs and the true 'administrator' account. Here's my list:

C:\ >wmic useraccount get name,sid
Name SID
Administrator S-1-5-21-635012957-3435899091-545158274-500
Apache S-1-5-21-635012957-3435899091-545158274-1009
Guest S-1-5-21-635012957-3435899091-545158274-501
HomeGroupUser$ S-1-5-21-635012957-3435899091-545158274-1002
Jeff S-1-5-21-635012957-3435899091-545158274-1004
Master S-1-5-21-635012957-3435899091-545158274-1000
Master_2 S-1-5-21-635012957-3435899091-545158274-1007

Only the sid xxx-500 is the true administrator account. This is the account accessed when we Safe Mode boot.

There are a few tasks that actually demand to be running under the xxx-500 SID.