Category Archives: Uncategorized

Logging onto a machine not on a domain

I discovered a neat trick today that was so obvious I can’t believe I haven’t ever tried it before. When you try to mount a network share from Windows Explorer, the operating system has a tendency to assume that the machine is operating under the same domain as your machine, and tries to log on using your current username/password combo.

This is all well and good, however if you are attempting to log onto a machine that is not a part of the same domain (or part of a domain at all!) you get a dialog box popup similar to this:

Network Share login dialog
Network share login dialog

Notice that the dialog is assuming I want to login via my corporate domain. I can specify an alternate login ID via the username entry, something I have done regularly for many years!:

Login with an alternate domain ID
Specify an alternate domain for login

Here’s the bit that I’ve never thought of doing before. It is possible I may want to log into a machine that isn’t on any domain (in a workgroup for instance). Doing this requires logging in via a local username on the machine. When I’ve needed to do this I’ve always reverted back to my favourite dos prompt and created a ‘net use’ for the share. It had never occurred to me that I can use a ‘\’ at the start of my username login – this removes the Domain field and allows me to enter the local user and password for the machine.

Logging in as a local user on a non-domain machine

Thanks to Paul Kelly for doing this in front of me so that I realised this is possible!