After installing the Windows 10 Enterprise beta the first thing you’ll notice is that Microsoft tries to make you sign into a Microsoft account immediately instead of giving you the option to first join your domain.

If you sign in immediately and then join the domain later, you’ll end up with two different profiles, both loaded with Microsoft Profile stuff, which is NOT A GOOD THING.

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There’s no obvious way to “not” sign into the Microsoft account and instead join the domain.

So here’s the work around I’ve come up with.

At this point in the installation, disconnect from the Internet by either unplugging a physical netwok cable, entering airplane mode if you have the switch on your computer to do so, or otherwise just break your connection to the Internet.  If testing in a virtual machine, enter the settings of the VM< and either change the network adapter to “Host Only” such as in VMWare workstation
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or if using a Windows Hyper V server, open Settings…

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Then change the Networking Adapter Virtual Switch to “Not connected”.

When that step is complete, click the Back arrow at the top left of the screen to return to the previous screen, then click the “Next” button again to be presented with the old “Local Account” creation tool:

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On this screen create an account name such as “Admin” – something OTHER THAN the name that you intend to log into this computer with later when joined to the domain.  This step is important to avoid ending up with your C:\User\ folder being called YourName.DomainName instead of just YourName.

When done, re-connect the machine to the network, then join the machine to the domain:

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Type “Join a domain” in the box at the bottom of the screen.

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Click “Change”

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Enter the computer name that you want, the domain name that you want, then have a domain admin or user with add computer rights on the domain to authenticate to the domain and you’re set.

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After restarting your computer, click the “Back” arrow to switch user:

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Click the “Other User” option:

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Then finally sign in with your domain credentials.

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Note: if you aren’t normally a domain administrator, you may need your domain admin to first log into the machine to make your domain account be an admin of the machine if that is appropriate for your usage scenario.

 

NOTE: If you’re reading this from home and are trying to figure out how to join the domain over a VPN connection, this IS POSSIBLE by creating a shared network connection while logged in as that “Admin” user.  But that’s a topic for a different post.  If doing this with VMWare workstation, and using NAT networking as long as the host computer is already connected to the VPN this VM should also be able to use that VPN connection for the domain authentication.

Another note: Windows 10 Beta build 9926 seems to install just fine on VMWare Workstation 10 and does not appear to require an upgrade to version 11 even though the VMWare web site seems to encourage that.  I was able to successfully install VMware v10 tools to the Windows 10 machine.

One limitation of VMWare Workstation 10 however seems to be that it limits the maximum screen resolution to 2560×1920:

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Supposedly version 11 fixes that and adds support for full QHD+ (3200×1800) displays like the one in my Dell M3800.  That alone may be worth the upgrade just to not be annoyed by the screen resolution not matching the actual display.  Otherwise the VM seems to run fine on Version 10.

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