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I have a question regarding domain identification of a computer. How does the domain determine the operating system of a computer on its network. Does it use the Registry or some other method?
ASKED: March 7, 2006  10:00 PM
UPDATED: March 5, 2008  8:47 PM

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The domain does not determine the OS of the desktop, but it does limit it. Windows ME, 95, and (* can not operate of a Active Directory domain (200 or 2003) that has been upgraded to Native mode from the default of mixed mode.

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  • Larrythethird
    By saying domain, I'll have to assume that you're talking Windows here. Windows identifies other Windows systems using netbios, the name of you computer or whatever the Windows DHCP identified you as when it gave you an address. To Windows, you are either a Windows OS or unknown. The Windows to Windows netbios names are found through WINS, while the rest of the world uses DNS. This is one of the reasons that Windows is the easiest OS that a virus can propagate on. If you block netbios on your network, your Windows infrastructure will break down. Leave it open and all kinds of Windows chatter goes back and forth.
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  • Howard2nd
    A - Presumptions Windows 2000/2003 domain controller(s) 95-98-ME-2000-XP workstations. In a standard domain. At logon there is an exchange of information between the workstation and server. A pure 2003 domain would not even let 95/98/ME workstations login. But the basis is not by IDing the OS of the workstation it is by specifiying the protocols for the establishment of a connection. If you have a domain and want to enumerate the OSes of the various workstations then use WMI and a script. Linux/BSD workstations connect thru 'Samba' and can be counted the same way.
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  • OngBak
    What do you mean when you say "how does teh domain determine the OS" ??? When you say 'the domain' I assume you are referring to Active Directory and the Domain Controllers. Well, they don't go out and ask each computer it's OS. When a computer joins a domain it sends certain information to the DC's, and part of this is it's operating system, which the client reads from it's own registry. This information is not used for much anyway.
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  • Petroleumman
    Hello, You may want to research Active and Passive Identification methods. This is the foundation for most tools used to detect and ID a system. Good Luck!
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  • Rjournitz574
    Hi: If you mean this, When the Microsoft operating system is installed the installation process creates registry entries that state: The name of the Operating System, i.e. ? Windows Server 2003 or Windows XP Professional, etc. The version, it?s what most of us call the build number, i.e. ? 5.1 (2600) The Service Pack, i.e. ? Service Pack 2 or if you have not installed any packs this is left blank. When you join a computer to a domain, technically Windows NT and above, AD reads the registry information of the system being added and updates the AD information record for that system. This happens after the 1st reboot upon joining the domain and is updated when required on each reboot after that. Let us know if this is not what you are looking for. RWJ
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  • Bobkberg
    I'll assume that you mean Microsoft Domain, not Domain Name System. As other folks have pointed out, the Domain Controller doesn't determine (or care) about the O/S of the authenticating workstations. What makes the differerence are two factors: 1) Does the Domain Controller allow for pre-Win2000 authentication? 2) Does the workstation O/S have the capability to authenticate to any domain? Windows XP in particular comes in two basic flavors (for purposes of this consideration, that is) Home and Professional. The Home version is not allowed to participate in a Domain - only in a workgroup, whereas the Professional version can do either one. Although the first poster meant well, the definition he provided related to the Domain Name System, not Microsoft's Domains (Curses upon Bill Gates and his minions for THAT muddle). Bob
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  • Sanjay81
    Any computer when it attached in a N/W it broadcast his mac address to the hole n/w.After getting IP address through server it joined the n/w. And when we joined that particular system into the domain it ask user name and password of that particular account which is having domain join rights,after giving poper authentication it registered in the domain and make a entry in the domain server
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  • Guardian
    I think all th information by other users just about sums up most of it. Keep us informed if you have any queries. There are third-party utilities that provide a PC's system information (a lot of it freeware). I trust your question is answered. Regards Newton
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