Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Windows 8 Member of Domain greyed out and unselectable

UPDATE: This is also the case with Windows 10. You'll have to upgrade from Windows 10 Home to Window 10 pro to join the domain. Its only about $99 (as of 1/11/2017) and can be completed on the actual POS device.

I recently installed Windows 8 on my PC and was attempting to join it to our corporate domain but was unable. The 'Domain' button and field in the 'Member of' group were greyed out and unselectable (Figure 1 below).
  1. As a first step, make sure the that Workstation is running (Figure 2 below). If its running, restart it and confirm the domain is still not working
  2. Check the version of Windows 8 (Figure 3 below)
    1. If it just says Windows 8 (like highlighted in Figure 3), thats the issue. Windows 8 'Home' edition can't join networks.
For me, step 2 above was the issue. I needed to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro or Enterprise. This can be easily done through the system by clicking on 'Get more features with a new edition of Windows' as seen in Figure 3 in the 'Windows edition' group. This will prompt you with Figure 4 where you can either enter a Windows 8 Pro key (if you already have one) or you can buy it through the system.

If you buy your key through that tool, the system will automatically install new features and restart a few times.

NOTE: Make sure that you have a Windows 8 bootable media device before going any further. I encountered a variety of issues in the earlier versions of this product causing errors that prevented boot up of the OS without the ability to access the advanced boot options.

<!--7/17/2015 NOTE: This post was from 2012. The below isn't really valid anymore but retaining it for historical purposes-->
If you buy your key, you can enter a promo code to get the upgrade price of $40 or less instead of $70. Even though I had a valid Windows 7 key, I could not enter a promo code (the original Windows 7 key) nor could I use a code from to lower the price. Neither codes worked for me so I paid full price. Full price is still an amazing deal for something you use every day. It's a solid piece of software.

You can actually buy Windows 8 Pro for $15 through without buying a new PC. I don't recommend it as its unethical but you can just fill out the personal information and pick out a PC Brand (Dell), name of retailer (Best Buy), and PC model (Latitude). Just make sure the Date of Purchase is within the required time frame for the offer. You'll get a promo code in your email within 4 hours and you can use that.

 Figure 1 - The Member of Domain button and field are disabled

Figure 2 - Make sure the Workstation service is running. Restart it to be safe

Figure 3 - Navigate to the above and check the version of Windows.

 Figure 4 - The 'Add features to Windows 8' screen

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