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The nonprofit think tank for which I spent the last seven years working on climate and energy policy has gone bankrupt. It is no more. The server is returned to the company that rented it to us, and the offices are closed and have new tenants.

As part of the shutdown, I agreed to compete work on a few grants without pay, mainly to preserve my own reputation with foundations I may need to work with in the future. My nonprofit gave me the laptop I have been using so that I could fulfill these obligations.

My computer is still on the work domain and governed by work policies, even though the network does not exist. It is behaving in a buggy manner, and I have reason to suspect this is related to bollixed network settings due slapdash changes in our last year of operation. I also want to remove

I have no IT support. I do have the administrator password. In fact, I am now using the Administrator account as my main and only normal account.

I would like to remove the domain and domain policies from the computer while keeping my data and installed programs. In particular, there is specialized econometric modeling software, including two different proprietary models of the economy of California, for which the disks somehow disappeared in the move out of the office and that it would be difficult for me to replace. I need these models to complete the work I have promised to do.

Is this possible? Can anyone walk me through it?

I have Windows Vista Ultimate with SP2. The computer is an HP Pavilion with an Intel Core 2 and 2 gig of RAM. (I know this is an oddball machine for a workplace to buy, but there it is). This machine did not come with Vista disks (though the Vista & office are certified genuine). The disks are supposed to be on a partition of the hard drive, as I understand it. (It shows up in Computer as HP_RECOVERY D:) I do have the MS-Office disks, and the software CD folder from the office with about 50 assorted CDs in it, should I need them.

Any help you could offer would be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely, ClimateWonk

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I would like to remove the domain and domain policies from the computer while keeping my data and installed programs. In particular, there is specialized econometric modeling software, including two different proprietary models of the economy of California, for which the disks somehow disappeared in the move out of the office and that it would be difficult for me to replace. I need these models to complete the work I have promised to do.

Any help you could offer would be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely, ClimateWonk

First, I really must apologize if I'd sound too nosy, but without some questions about several facts I can't start any help.
So:
- when you use your computer, do you use it as domain user, or even as domain administrator, or as local user, IIRC - as local administrator? Better to ask, however it might sound dull, how do you log on a computer?
I'm asking you that because it can be rather complicated to do the dedomenization (demonize???) for Vista/Win7 computers.
Most common action is to make it a member of workgroup, instead of domain.
With that there is some mumbo-jumbo you have to do with a computer name.

Greetings, MadDogSh

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Dear MadDog--
You write:

First, I really must apologize if I'd sound too nosy, but without some questions about several facts I can't start any help.

Please, no apologies. I am delighted to supply any information that is useful.

- when you use your computer, do you use it as domain user, or even as domain administrator, or as local user, IIRC - as local administrator? Better to ask, however it might sound dull, how do you log on a computer?

I am afraid that you are already beyond my negligible understanding. But I'll tell you what I know.

When I lock the computer, there is a blue background with the words "Press CTRL+ALT+DELETE to unlock the computer. RUR\Administrator is logged on." Following thes instructions, I then see blue background a with a square containing a yellow flower in the middle of it. Now, suppose my domain name were "RUR" (which it is not). Below the flower, it says "RUR/administrator". I then enter the administrator password, which for this discussion, we will call "R0ssum" <-(letter "o" replaced by numeral zero).

Using the same conventions, according to the "System" window in Control Panel, the full name of my computer is John-PC.RUR.local and the domain name is RUR.local.

Under the Control panel->System>Advanced System Settings->Advanced Tab->User Profiles->Settings dialog box, the profiles on this computer are account unknown (4GB), John-PC\John(32MB), and RUR\Administrator (56GB).

If you need more information, you'll probably have to tell me how to find it.

Warmly, ClimateWonk

PS. There are some old profiles in C:Users, occupying about 4 gig of space. Will anything dire happen if I just delete them?

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MadDogSh? Are you there? --CW

Are you still having trouble with this? You need to start using it under the John-PC login. Make sure you have admin rights for that account. Try to open the same programs that you would normally use under the RUR login. Once you are sure you can do that, copy the files over to your John-PC profile. I stress you should copy not cut and paste incase something goes wrong. Try accessing the files from your profile with those needed apps. From there you should be fine. Once everything has been working fine for a while, remove it from the domain and put it back to a workgroup. Hope this helps.

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Dear Simeon--

Thanks so much for picking up the ball on this. Yes, I am still having trouble. I have a number of programs, such as Adobe Acrobat, that detect and install their own upgrades. Frequently, these fail, because the program looks for something -- I do not know what -- on the no-longer existanrt network, which it of course can not fined. There areother problems, all of which I believe to be related to group policies.

I am now my own administrator, but unfortunately, I have no training in this. Please forgive me if I need to ask very basic questions.

I do not know what privileges I have under the John-PC profile. Can you tell me how to find out?

I do not know the password for that profile, if it is different. Can I learn what it is, or reset it, with the administrator password? Or create a new profile unconnected to the network? Note that all the profiles that exist on this machine were created when the machine was on the network.

If I installed a program under this profile, will it continue to work under a different profile?

How do I change from a domain to a workgroup?

What I really want, besides making sure my software keeps working, is to get out of the old group policies that still control this machine. My security settings, update settings and i believe a lot of other things, are all controlled by policies set on a network that no longer exists. I'd like to reset to some good default policies and get my machine to stop obeying network policies and stop looking for things on the network. Will the advice you give below achieve those things?

If so, I'd like to learn how to follow it.

Warmest regards,

ClimateWonk

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