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Domain's vs Workgroups...

I've recently took over IT at the radio station, and am needing to make improvements to certain places where i see a problem

Previously we've ran ESET smart Sec v4 without problems, however due to people bringing in USB sticks etc i've been tasked in securing our systems without interfearing with the membership.

I've heard about 'domains', i know we have a workgroup in place as we use XP home and XP pro on these systems, i am in the process of trying to set up a domain - and to be brutally honest am well out of my depth as i am hardware trained not software.

I have my 2 personal systems running ESET 4.2 and have them both on Xp Pro sp3 and in a workgroup - this works fine but when i upgraded the systems at the station to 4.2 (as i was told to do) all [bleep] broke loose, shared network resources wouldn't work, printers etc.

I have a option to format and reinstall all the systems up there if needed but as we have 10+ running you can see that this is going to be a major undertaking

These 10 computers are on the net 24/7 and in a workgroup. Being a charity they were built from companies that build Home PC's, they are not designed as to be server machines - we have one called 'server' that runs the record library and a british hits database and printers

I am wanting to make this as secure as possible but how easy is it to do??? and more importantly how much brain ache am i giving myself?

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Nice to be informed...

I asked ESET to let me know....

I was one of the people to spot this massive error that stopped network browsing - lets hope that all this 'domain vs workgroup' stuff aint needed until i know how bigger headache it will be

Thanks noknojon :)

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You are right to be concerned..... going from a workgroup to a domain will require some work and some knowledge.

First off, you have a mixture of Windows XP pro and Home computers. The pro computers you will be able to join them onto a Domain, but the home computers you can not join a domain (they will require pro). Also if you go with windows 7 you will need a pro/ultimate edition to join a domain.

Second, to have a domain, you will require to have a server. Server software needs to be say Windows 2003 Standard Ed. R2 or Windows 2008. (an xp computer can not run a domain).

If you do decide to go this route, it will give you much more controll of the workstations cause you will be able to use password controlled at the domain level, group polices, (that you could use to disable floppy drives, usb drives, etc or any other functions you like).

If you have other questions you can ask.

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It also makes things much easier to administer. Can push out software, change policies and update all (or select) computers all at once. Depending on how many computers you have, you might want to just stick with a workgroup as it is pretty spendy to get a domain going.

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Regarding the actual server - being a charity they will definitely turn it down......

Thanks for your honesty guys...

Its appreciated

Now on the other hand... know anyone with a server that they dont want and are willing to donate???? :D

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I have some in my garage.... but sorry they are not for donation..... Good luck trying to find one though.

A good server will run about $4000 and up, then there is licensing of the operating systems and the number of computer that will connect to it. Server software comes with a 5 user License.

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