The other day, I was starting a new gig to integrate an in-house sales system with Microsoft Dynamics and naturally I needed to install MSDynamics on my machine. The best option was to install it on a VM so that I get rid of it after the project is done. I decided to install it on a Windows XP machine that needs less resource to run, but I bumped into something interesting:

Error Message

It seems Microsoft Dynamics only installs on your machine if you have connected to a domain controller. But I don’t have any domain controller, now what?

The first solution is to download and install a trial version of Windows Server 2003/2008, add your XP machine to the domain, install, and then you are free to kill the domain controller altogether, but all these efforts just to install an application seems ridiculous.

A better solution was to modify registry keys to fool your OS and make it think you are connected to a domain controller, but the server is not reachable at the moment! To do this, go to this registry key:


Enter any new name e.g. “VM” into this registry key. Now you also need to set an environment variable. You can do this using command prompt or by going to Control Panel, System, System Properties, Environment Variables. Add a new environment variable under System variables. The variable key is “UserDnsDomain” and you need to enter the same value you have entered in the registery key. You are all set. Run the installation and it will work this time. Remember to revert the registry key back to its original value when you are finished installing.